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Manteca leaders ponder restricting how many cats & dogs you’re allowed
Manteca’s elected leaders will consider re-establishing a limit on the number of dogs and pets a household may have within the city limits.

Thanks to a bureaucratic snafu there has been no limit since 2011 on the amount of dogs and cats you can have per dwelling in Manteca.

City staff is recommending the council re-impose the previous limit of three dogs and three cats.

The previous council rejected the plan and the current council wanted staff to give the proposal a second look after it triggered howls of protests from pet owners.

On Tuesday, the matter will be back before the City Council when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

This time around staff is providing three other options if the council doesn’t embrace the three dogs and three cats limit.

Those options are:

No more than four animals total, either dogs or cats.

Two dogs and three cats.

No more than five animals total of which three may be dogs. That means you could have five cats or three dogs and a cat.

Regardless of what option is adopted, Police Chief Jodie Estarziau said owners who have more pets at the time a restriction goes into effect will be exempt as long as dogs are currently licensed with the City of Manteca and as long as the cats live.

The ordinance, if adopted, also will make it unlawful for any owner or person controlling an animal to refuse to promptly remove their pet’s excrement that it drops on sidewalks, streets, parks, play areas, or other private property. It also extends to all private property that they have not asked for and received permission to allow their pets to take a dump.

The city argues a limit on the number of pets and the mandatory removal of pet excrement in public places is needed to establish and enforce standards that promote better overall property values as well as providing for the general welfare and quality of life of citizens.

Estarziau noted setting a limit on the number of dogs and cats allowed will bring Manteca in alignment with every other incorporated city in San Joaquin County.  The following is the amount of dogs and cats allowed by other cities in the county:

Escalon: No more than four animals total, either dogs or cats.

Lathrop: Three dogs and three cats.

Lodi: No more than five animals total, either dogs or cats.

Ripon: No more than three animals total, either dogs or cats.

Stockton: Three dogs and three cats.

Tracy: Two dogs and three cats.

The two previous attempts to re-insert language in the ordinance governing pets that restricted households to three dogs and three cats that was inadvertently removed during a municipal code update eight years ago triggered a number of calls and social media posts to council members objecting to the limits.

Some pointed out small dogs were less problematic than big dogs and that the real issue was how responsible owners were and how effective dogs were trained as opposed to the number of pets. Others indicated limiting pets was akin to the city limiting the number of kids families could have,

Several speakers at the meetings indicated if there had to be a cap that it should simply be six animals allowing households the option to have six cats, six dogs or any combination.

In postings, one resident argued they’d rather have a household next door that had six small dogs than any combination of cats since dogs generally don’t roam uninvited in neighbors’ front and back yards where they urinate or take a dump.

Regardless of the limit the council may place on the number of dogs a  households may have residents that meet specific conditions can secure a kennel license through the police department to legally have more dogs.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email