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Who are we?
Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) is an open admission, life-saving, municipal animal welfare agency in the County of Ventura. The Camarillo Shelter, the main shelter, is located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties and houses the Administrative Offices and Veterinary Hospital. The Camarillo Shelter has a 400-animal capacity which can increase to over 900 during declared natural disasters.
The Simi Valley Animal Shelter is smaller facility located three miles from Moorpark College and can house up to 40 animals. The Simi Valley Shelter, however smaller, offers many of the same services and opportunities as the Camarillo Shelter, such as the intake of stray and surrendered animals, pet adoptions, pet licensing, the reclaim of lost animals, and volunteer opportunities.
VCAS offers a wide array of programs and services to the residents and animals of Ventura County. These services include animal sheltering, pet adoptions, lost & found, field services, cruelty investigations, pet licensing, TNR surgical services, low-cost vaccination clinics, volunteer/foster opportunities and emergency disaster response.
VCAS provides contract services to the residents of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Ventura, and all unincorporated areas of Ventura County. VCAS is dedicated to improving the lives of the animals in their care, and to safeguard the community through rabies suppression and the sheltering of stray animals.
The mission of Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) is to improve the lives of animals in our care, be timely and compassionate in our responses, educate the public through community outreach, and provide for the health and safety of the citizens and animals of Ventura County.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Can I bring my animals in for a checkup?
No. Our Veterinary Hospital is not available to the general public. Our Veterinary Hospital only services animals in our care. We do host vaccination an microchip clinics throughout the year. Please follow us on Facebook to know when these events occur.
How much does it cost to adopt a pet?
For the most current schedule of adoption fees, please click here.
What if I find a stray dog in the middle of the night or very early in the morning?
If you can keep the dog safe in your home until we open, please do so. If you cannot provide temporarily care for the dog, please call (805) 388-4341 and use OPTION 4 to be put through to our after-hours service.
What if I find injured wildlife?
If you found injured wildlife, please contact the Animal Help Now non-profit organization by clicking here. If this is an animal emergency, please go directly to a 24-hour emergency animal hospital near you.
Why is a pet license so much cheaper if my dog is spayed/neutered?
The discount is an incentive to have pets spayed or neutered. There is an overpopulation of animals in our community and spay/neuter is the only proven method of curtailing uncontrolled breeding. View pet licensing fees at www.vcas.us/licensing.
Can my child volunteer?
The minimum age for volunteers is 13. Volunteers 13-15 must apply with an adult partner volunteer and must have permission from their legal guardian. Volunteers 13-15 will train and volunteer with an adult at all times. The child and partner/parent must submit separate applications. Please visit www.vcas.us/volunteer to sign up.
Do you have Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, or Therapy Animals for adoption?
No. VCAS adopts out companion animals, but pet owners can take steps to make them Service Animals, Emotion Support Animals, or Therapy Animals.
Socially Conscious Shelter
Ventura County Animal Services has joined a growing number of animal welfare organizations across the country in adopting a new sheltering framework. This model is called Socially Conscious Sheltering (SCS). This SCS model and the No-Kill model are not mutually exclusive. VCAS utilized the no-kill model to help guide us on our initial journey. Through it, we created, and still maintain, positions and programs vital to the movement.
This new SCS framework aligns with our core values of being an organization that encourages cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders (elected officials, community members, private veterinarians, transfer/rescue partners, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, local businesses, volunteers and other animal welfare agencies). We wish to promote a positive culture of mutual respect and support.
Frequently Asked Questions about the SCS model:
Q: What is socially conscious sheltering?
Socially Conscious Sheltering is a compassionate, transparent and thoughtful model for animal welfare organizations. There are eight (8) tenets of Socially Conscious Sheltering:
Place every healthy and safe animal.
Every single one. Healthy is defined as either having no signs of clinical disease or evidence of disease that a veterinarian determines has a good or excellent prognosis for a comfortable life. Safe means that the animal has not exhibited behavior that is likely to result in severe injury or death to another animal or person.
Ensure every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care.
An animal’s opportunity to be nurtured, healed, and re-homed should not depend on their age or condition—every community must have a shelter that accepts all animals brought to it. It is unacceptable to turn animals away because they are too old, too sick, or too broken.
Animals housed in shelters and rescues must be assessed for disease and injury and must have all medical conditions addressed so the animal does not suffer. These animals must also have their behavioral needs assessed and met, including enrichment sufficient to make them comfortable and to prevent self-destructive, obsessive-compulsive coping behaviors.
Q: Are you still a no-kill shelter given your adoption of the SCS model?
A: Yes. VCAS continues to meet and/or exceed all no-kill benchmarks, goals, and philosophies while maintaining a 90% or higher live release rate (LRR). It is critical to note that VCAS will never compromise the health and safety of an animal to maintain a statistic. Statistics do not govern or control our daily activities, and decisions are never made to maintain a high LRR. Our Live Release Rate (LRR) is simply the result of daily hard work and our life-saving practices. We are fully transparent about our shelter metrics, as they are posted each month online.
The adoption of the Socially Conscious Sheltering model does not change our day-to-day lifesaving efforts that we have grown and have continued to build upon since 2013. SCS is simply a framework that more accurately describes who we are as an inclusive, positive, and compassionate animal welfare organization. We continue to work towards finding the best possible outcomes for all animals which is the fundamental goal of this model. SCS provides a clear message about our commitment to providing quality care to the people and animals of Ventura County.
Q: How was the Socially Conscious Sheltering movement developed and initiated?
VCAS Leadership Team
Jackie began her animal welfare career in 2007 and has been fortunate to hold several senior executive leadership positions in both non-profit and municipal animal welfare agencies across the country since that time. After having served as the Vice-President for the largest non-profit behavioral healthcare agency in South Florida (an agency she was with for over 19 years), owning a private consulting firm specializing in non-profit board development and organizational capacity building, and having a small law practice, Jackie found a way to combine her executive leadership experience with her passion for animals. Her cross-county journey (fostered by the support of her husband) has provided her the opportunity to be the Executive Director for the Addison County Humane Society in Middlebury Vermont, the Executive Director for the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park New York, the Director of Animal Services for Multnomah County in Portland Oregon and currently serves as the Director of Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS).
Jackie approaches the animal welfare field through the lens of social services and is committed to improving the lives of animal and people. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, a post-graduate certification in Humane Resource Management, a Juris Doctorate in Law, and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA). Additionally, Jackie is a licensed attorney, a member of the Florida Bar, and is certified in Florida as a Certified Addictions Professional (CAP) and a Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJAP). Jackie is a board member of the California Animal Welfare Association (CalAnimals). When not at work, Jackie can be found enjoying the outdoors, playing guitar, volunteering at a horse sanctuary, or spending time with family and friends. Jackie and her husband currently have two dogs and two cats, all of them having been adopted from one of her previous agencies.
Donna began her career with VCAS in 1992. She has held the positions of ACOI, ACOII, Statistics Officer, Supervising Animal Control Officer before assuming the position of Deputy Director in 2009. Donna has been an integral part of VCAS’s transition and integration of live-saving philosophies and creative and innovative programming. Donna oversees all operational aspects of VCAS an brings enthusiasm, passion, and drive for service excellence for our County’s residents and animals. Donna is a life-long resident of Simi Valley and is the proud mother of two children and two beautiful grandchildren. She shares her life with her partner and their dog, cats and chameleon. In her off time, Donna enjoys music, spending time with family and road trips/camping.
Phil joined Ventura County Animal Services in 2018 as the Fiscal and Administrative Services Manager and was promoted to Administrative Services Director in 2020. He serves VCAS by overseeing the Fiscal, Payroll, Facilities Maintenance, Administrative and Human Resource functions for Animal Services. Working at VCAS is a perfect fit for Phil, as it allows him to help animals in need and the passionate staff and constituents of Ventura County who also love animals. Prior to his role with VCAS, Phil was the Chief Operating Officer for a public relations and marketing firm and has held a variety of other positions with Fortune 500 companies and startups. Phil and his wife have two beautiful young boys and enjoy spending time with their family, friends and dog named Monkey!
Dr. Britz originally hails from South Africa, but has spent the past 20 years living, studying and working in California. She is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, holds a Master’s degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, and completed the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Fellowship in August 2021. Dr. Britz joined the team at VCAS in 2019 as an associate and was promoted to Managing Veterinarian in 2022. Leading up to her time at VCAS, she had worked with multiple species in various settings throughout California — from thoroughbreds on the Southern California racing circuit, to livestock in the Central Valley, to companion and exotic animals throughout the greater Los Angeles area. She fell in love with shelter medicine as it represents the intersection of her many interests: mixed animal medicine, population health and epidemiology, infectious disease, public health, and community service.
Kimberly has always had a love for learning and a passion for animal behavior and enrichment. She received a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kim began her career in animal welfare at a small rescue in Santa Barbara in 2009 and has advocated for changes to improve the quality of life for shelter animals ever since! She joined VCAS in 2012 and built our Canine Behavior and Enrichment Program from the ground. Since joining the team, Kim has been promoted several times and currently serves as the Manager for all Animal Care Services including shelter operations and oversight of our Care and Pathways Planning Services (CAPPS) Team which includes our Canine and Feline Coordinators, Volunteer Program, Foster Care Program, and Pet Retention Program. Kim loves spending time with her dogs and hiking/camping whenever possible.
Bryan joined our team in 2005 as an Animal Control Officer working in the kennels. He has served our department in several capacities. Some of his duties include investigating animal cruelty/neglect cases, assisting in staff training, and acting as the department Hearing Officer. For many years he has been the department’s Emergency Volunteer Response Team Coordinator and is currently on the Cal Animals Disaster Committee. He coordinates emergency response with partnering agencies, volunteers, and has coordinated animal evacuations throughout the years. He is also a member of the Ventura County EOC Team. Bryan is currently the Field Services Manager and has oversight of services performed in the eight (8) contract cities. In addition, he oversees the Administrative Citation program with contracted cities, and oversees the department’s safety committee.
Carla has always had a deep love for animals which led her to pursue a career in Veterinary Technology at Los Angeles Pierce College and become a practicing Registered Veterinary Technician. She joined Ventura County Animal Services in 2011 worked for many years in the Veterinary Office. In 2019, Carla advanced to the role of Client Services Manager where she leads the team that serves the public from the reception counter and the licensing unit. Carla is a passionate cat advocate and has been involved with the Community Cat Coalition for many years. She hopes to see Ventura County residents and animal welfare groups advance a successful T-N-R program to secure population control of tame and feral free roaming cats. Carla likes to garden in her backyard, travel, go camping and goes hiking or on bike rides on the weekend. She enjoys cooking and is a true foodie-she loves ALL good food! She can quite often be found reading a variety of subjects, usually multiple books at the same time. Her guilty pleasure is anything Sci-Fi/Fantasy.
Transparency is very important to us at Ventura County Animal Services. This page is dedicated to providing statistics regarding the intake and outcome of animals who enter our shelter system each year.
There are two (2) reports we publish each month, the Asilomar Report which reflects income and outcome data on dogs and cats along with their live release rate, a percentage of live outcomes. This report, however, does not highlight the dozens of programs we have created to enrich the lives of our animals. For that, we publish the Monthly Report. This one-page dashboard attempts to illustrate the magnitude of what is accomplished each month, but even this report falls short in many areas. It does not, for example, highlight such innovative programs like our Rescue Readers program where children read to shelter pets, or our amazing Bunny Brigade, who are a 100% volunteer-based group who care for our cherished rabbits from intake to outcome.
We encourage you to get to know the people and pets behind the data. Visit our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages. Watch a video. Read a story. Or better yet, come and join the village. Become a volunteer and give love and attention directly to the animals in our care. Become a foster parent and make a difference by bringing a shelter pet into your loving home.
If you have any questions please let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.