Very few of the dogs that Manteca’s animal service officers pick up on the streets are registered or licensed with the city.
And that’s not a good thing. It’s technically illegal.
According to the State of California, every dog must be licensed within the jurisdiction that they reside. Intended to give local authorities an idea of how many pets are in town and prevent runaways from going unreturned, the law, according to Animal Services Supervisor Crystal VanDykhuizen, often goes unheeded by pet owners that think that their immunization shots are the same thing.
“We see people that come in and say that they already have a tag and all that they really have is a rabies tag, and that’s not the same thing,” VanDykhuizen said. “We want people to know and realize that they need to come in and license their animals. It’s inexpensive and it’s the law.”
But there’s an incentive for owners that might have either forgotten to license their dogs or simply not known that it was required of them to do so.
On Saturday, Feb. 22, anybody that brings their dog into the Manteca Animal Shelter to get registered will receive a free microchip placement. It will provide the owners with an additional level of security knowing that if their pet ever disappears and turns up at a local shelter, they’ll be easily identified and likely returned.
“It’s something that we encourage people to come down and take advantage of,” VanDykhuizen said. “We’re hoping to get sponsors that will help cover the costs and really make it beneficial to the residents.”
It costs $20 to license a dog that has been spayed or neutered, and $50 for a dog that hasn’t been fixed.
But if your dog is a Pit Bull – an American Staffordshire Terrier or any mixture thereof – it’s an absolute requirement that they be fixed. According to Manteca’s city ordinance, any pit bill or pit bull mix – the designation of large, strong, bully-breed dogs that fit into a variety of breeds – needs to be fixed if it lives within the city limits.
Not adhering to that policy, VanDykhuizen said, can be an expensive mistake.
“A lot of people don’t know that, and what happens is if we called out somewhere and the animal isn’t fixed, we have to confiscate it and it becomes a process for the owner to get that animal back,” she said. “There’s a citation involved and the fine is pretty hefty so we just want people to know that ordinance is in place and it’s something that people need to know about.”
The Manteca Animal Shelter is located at 115 E. Wetmore Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, or to learn more about the upcoming microchipping event, call (209) 456-8270.