Manteca’s elected leaders want to be brought up to speed on the city’s animal shelter at a future council meeting.
Council members made the request Tuesday after hearing a number of citizens share their concerns about how the city operates the animal shelter.
Ideally, those who addressed the council would like to see the city become a no-kill animal shelter as well as contract with a local veterinarian to provide emergency services for dogs and cats turned in — or picked up by animal services — that are in need of medical attention.
Councilman Charlie Halford pointed out the quandary the city is in.
“Everyone would love to have a no-kill shelter, I just don’t think it is practical,” Halford said.
Halford noted it will come down to a question of money and shelter capacity.
At the same time if the city turns away dogs that may be dropped off by breeders unable to sell a litter of puppies as one speaker said, the reality is they’d likely by dumped off somewhere in the city or the the county.
Speakers were concerned about the number of unwanted cats and dogs that are being euthanized.
They’d like the city to step up efforts to address the overpopulation of pets to augment voluntary efforts that are now underway dealing primarily with feral cats.
That could involve working with local veterinarians to provide lower cost spay and neutering services.
There was concern that the staffing and size of the animal shelter is inadequate for a city of 88,000 that could reach 100,000 by 2030 at the current growth rate.
Speakers questioned whether a faciality that can handle 30 dogs was big enough especially since the City of Lathrop contracts with the city for space.
That means dogs turned in to the shelter by Manteca residents or picked up loose on the streets have a lower chance of not being euthanized if space were available.
The timing of the concerns coincides with the fact the City of Lathrop’s contact with Manteca for animal shelter space is up for renewal.
The animal services division has three full-time animal service officers and two part-time kennel assistants. A third part-time kennel assistant is being sought in order to keep the shelter open for drop-ins and people interested in adoption when animal service officers are on calls
Volunteers allow the animals to be exercised and better cared for, according to speakers.
There was nothing but praise for the existing staff as well as the quality of the physical aspects of the shelter. The issue with the facility was available space for animals and the level of supplementary assistance the animal services divisions could call upon to care for animals in their custody as well as help reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats in the city without resorting to them being euthanized.
The staff was asked to bring back a report on various aspects of the animal shelter operations including the numbers of pets handled and such so the council could discuss options they could possibly pursue.
Included were fees the city charges.
As an example, of you want to surrender a pet to the shelter, the city charges $25. The lowest such charge in nearby cities is $40.
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