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At stake: The lives of 1,700 unwanted dogs
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The lives of 1,700 dogs could be spared over the next 10 years if Manteca has the same success with a proposed mandatory spay and neutering ordinance such as the one Santa Cruz now has in place.

The Manteca City Council will consider adopting such an ordinance when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. It comes on the heels of a workshop at which the majority of 27 people present who represented primarily breeders and animal groups spoke in opposition to the plan to expand the city’s current policy of mandatory fixing of pit bulls and related breeds to all dogs over six months old in the city.

The exceptions are dogs that such a procedure may threaten their life, licensed show dogs, service and specific work animals and dogs registered with breeders.

Santa Cruz enacted its ordinance 14 years ago and had the kill rate reduced by half in the first 10 years. Manteca elected leaders proposed a similar ordinance to reduce the kill rate at the city’s animal shelter that reached 339 unclaimed dogs in 2007.

It costs between $60 and $130 to spay or neuter depending upon the size of the dog.

Allowing a dog to breed or give birth without a city permit will be a violation of the law. Even simply keeping dogs of the opposite sex in the same dog run or area or even simply allowing contact would be considered prima facie evidence that the owner intends to breed the dogs.