PETA — the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — is being cited by those concerned city officials are being pressured to implement “no-kill” policies at the Manteca Animal Shelter.

The position of PETA regarding no-kill shelters is included in a presentation prepared at the City Council’s request that will be given at Tuesday’s meeting.

In the past several months several groups such as Better World Rescue as well as other volunteers have expressed concern to the City Council that Manteca may not be offering adequate services for dogs and cats in their care at the city shelter.

They have also pointed out concerns with polices and fees that they believe are not helping efforts to reduce the unwanted pet population as well as place unclaimed dogs and cats into homes.

Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu has come out strongly in favor of the city pursuing a no-kill shelter for the municipal facility at Wetmore Street and South Main Street.

Cantu criticized the pre-prepared power point presentation included in the agenda packet for Tuesday’s 7 p.m. council meeting as not presenting both sides of the issue. The mayor said he has researched PETA’s position as well as three other animal organizations that take an opposite stance and embrace no-kill shelters.

He said the report “is typical” of city staff finding reasons not to do ssomething as opposed to getting a workable solution in place.

Cantu vowed to push for solutions that will work toward eliminating “the short time frame to death” for a number of animals that are taken in at the city’s shelter.

The mayor said the minimal initial steps needs to involve the city increasing the availability of low-cost spaying and neutering as well as stepping up efforts to get more animals adopted.


Staff report says why PETA

opposes no-kill shelters

Besides explaining what services are in place, the staff presentation appears to be making a case against Manteca pursuing a no-kill shelter.

The presentation notes PETA with more than 659,600 members and supporters in California has expressed the following concerns with no-kill shelters:

*Such policies have been shown to have unintended consequences that harm animals and endanger the public.

*If no-kill policies actually helped animals, PETA would be their strongest supporter.

*However, when these polices are put in place and animal shelters refuse to help people or make it difficult for them to do the right thing, both the animals and public are victimized.

*It isn’t surprising that residents in communities across the country are becoming increasingly frustrated when shelters with no-kill policies turn animals away, refuse to provide important services, and fail to protect the community, all to make their “live release” statistics appealing.

*Animals rejected by shelters don’t just disappear. They die slowly and painfully after they’ve been abandoned on the streets — often producing and creating even more homeless and roaming animals — or are cruelly killed.

*”Life at any cost” polices don’t address the root cause of the homeless-animal crisis and instead cause animals to endure fates that are far worse than if they have a peaceful end.

Among challenges the staff report said the city would face with a no-kill shelter are:

*The number of dogs and cats involved.

*Animals posing public safety concerns due to behavioral traits.

*Animals needing constant care due to overall health conditions. That includes severely injured strays.
*The inability to put down animals surrendered for euthanasia.

*Nuisances wildlife.


The nuts and bolts

of animal services

The report addresses the nuts and bolts of animal services:

*There is a full-time lead animal services officer, two full-time animal services officers, and three part-time kennel assistants although one position is currently vacant.

*The Animal Services Division of the Manteca Police Department consists of field services and the animal shelter facility.

*Manteca previously contracted with the City of Lathrop but that contract expired Sept. 30, 0222.

*Field services impound animals; take reports of vicious, mistreated or nuisance animals, investigates animal bites; and testifies in court when appropriate.

*The shelter houses seized, impounded or surrendered animals while attempting to locate the owners or new owners.

*The shelter works closely with contracted veterinary clinics to ensure the health of all impounded animals as well as making sure they are spayed or neutered prior to release.

*Efforts are made with rescue organizations to find homes for as many animals as possible.

*The shelter has two play yards. Shelter staff rotates dogs throughout the day into the yards.

*Dog play groups are located in the yards as well. This is where dog friendly dogs have play time in the yard together with shelter staff. This is done to alleviate kennel stress — a term used for when dogs encounter mental and emotional strain by experiencing tension during or after a kennel stay.

The report also outlines the animal intake process at the shelter:

*The types of intakes include owner surrender, surrender for euthanasia, nuisance wildlife, deceased animals, and stray holds including dogs, cats, avians, reptiles, and such.

*Owner surrender requires a $25 fee for either a dog or cat and proof of residency.

*Surender for euthanasia requires a letter from a veterinarian recommending euthanasia as well as $50 fee for the service.

*The spay and neuter fees are $170 to $320 plus to spay dogs, $140 to $230 plus to neuter dogs, $120 to spay cats, and $95 to neuter cats.

*Feline pain injections are $15.

*Feline pain tablets are $20.

*Canine pain tablets are $21.

*E-collars are $15.


New endeavors plus


New endeavors for animal services division is trying include:

*Trying to conduct weekly pet adoption events. The next is Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Barks and Brews event on Maple Avenue.

*Developed a Facebook page for the animal shelter.

*Scheduling tours of other shelters for staff to benchmark best practices.

*Obtained a $40,000 grant to put toward shelter services and programs.

*Exploring new programs and shelter opportunities.

*Holding a yearly “Clear the Shelter” event.

Recommendations staff is making includes:

*Establish a foster program to free up space at the shelter.

*Expand the volunteer programs.

*Pursue a low cost spay and neutering program.

*A pet microchip program.

*Research possibility of trap, neuter, vaccinate and return program for feral cats.

*Increase the budget in the 2023-2024 fiscal year to include veterinarian services, additional staff (an additional full-time animal services office and two part-time staff to help with programs).

*Research possibility of establishing a non-profit organization to help the Manteca Animal Shelter with funding.

*Eliminate nuisance wildlife trapping to acceptance of nuisance wildlife.

The report also explains how the shelter’s cooling system works.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email




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