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PET ASSISTANCE

Life events, such as job loss, eviction, divorce or death, can result in a wonderful pet needing assistance or even a new home.  In an effort to help families keep pets with their families and out of the shelter system, we have developed this PET ASSISTANCE page containing numerous resources.  About 3 out of 5 pet parents are able to help their current situation by using the information found on this page.

Resources:

COMMON Issues

BEHAVIOR ISSUES:  If your pet is displaying behavior issues, please email us at info@vcas.us so we can recommend resources and a local trainer.  Also, take a look at our Behavior & Training section for helpful information addressing a wide range of pet issues.  Many problems can also be improved by ensuring your pet is spayed or neutered. Please review the Assistance Checklist below for low-cost spay and neuter services.  If you didn’t socialize your dog as a puppy, it’s not too late to teach them manners.

DOMESTIC ISSUES:¬†¬†Are you staying in an abusive relationship for fear of what may happen to your pet if you leave?¬† If so, please contact¬†Ventura County‚Äôs Interface Program¬†by dialing ‚Äú211.‚ÄĚ ¬†After arrangements have been made with the Interface Program, VCAS can place your pet(s) in a secure and private temporary foster home if needed.

If you are a survivor of domestic violence and need immediate assistance, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.

EVICTION:  If you are being evicted and are looking into housing that does not accept pets, you may have an option.  If you have a disability-related need for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), the housing provider could have no choice but to allow an animal as a reasonable accommodation, unless the housing provider can show that an exception applies.  Carefully review the Emotional Support Animals and Fair Housing Law and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for further details.

HOUSING:  There are apartments, townhouses, and condos that accept pets; however they can be more expensive.  If money is an issue, some places may allow you to spread a pet deposit over multiple months.  You can also start a GoFundMe page to help crowdfund for this expense.  Further, check out Pet-Friendly Rentals in our county.  If you are unsure of your next housing situation, consider asking a friend, coworker, or family member to temporarily care for your pet.  That way, the animal can still be in your life until circumstances have improved.

NEW BABY:  Here are two (2) resources to help your baby and pet live together:  Introduce New Baby to your Dog, and Safety Tips for Kids and Dog.

NOT ENOUGH TIME:  Experts agree that dogs require a minimum of 15 minutes of one-on-one time with their owner each day to be happy.  Pets reduce personal stress, can add years to your life, and even decrease the amount of medication you take.  So, try to make the time for you and your dog.

PET FOOD:  If you require temporary pet food assistance, click here to learn about our Pet Pantry Program.  To directly apply for pet food assistance, please CLICK HERE.

SERVICE MEMBER ASSISTANCE:  Contact Dogs on Deployment regarding the safe keeping of your pet while on active duty.

VETERINARY ASSISTANCE:¬† Low-cost vaccinations:¬†¬†Humane Society of Ventura County,¬†Mercy Crusade, local¬†Petco¬†stores, and¬†Theresa’s Country Feed & Pet.¬†¬†Click here¬†for an expanded list of veterinary resources.¬† Low-cost spay or neuter services:¬†¬†Humane Society of Ventura County,¬†Simi Valley Non-Profit Spay & Neuter Clinic, and¬†Spay & Neuter Animal Network.

Pet Pantry

Ventura County Animal Services cares about you and your pets.  If you are in need of supplemental and/or temporary pet food assistance, the VCAS Pet Pantry is available to you.  Food provided through this program has been donated by our Pet Pantry Partners as well as caring individuals and businesses in the community.

Participation Guidelines:
Animals participating in this program must be current with their rabies vaccination and be spayed or neutered.  All dogs any cats who reside in Moorpark or Oxnard must be licensed.  Our Pet Retention Coordinator can help you arrange for low-cost spay or neuter services and rabies vaccinations during the application process.

By Participating in the Pet Pantry Program, participants agree to the following terms:

  1. Food distributed through the Pet Pantry are supplied via Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) and is provided as a donation through community members and local businesses. Because this program is donation-run, there are times that the program may be limited on the availability of food or supplies. 
  2. Food pick-up is offered monthly by VCAS. This program is intended as a supplemental food supply for a duration of three (3) months in a one (1) year period of time.  If you are in need of an extension, please contact our Pet Retention Coordinator at KeepMyPet@ventura.org. There is no guarantee of an extension being granted.
  3. You will be asked to fill out an application to apply for this program and to schedule an appointment for pickup. This will allow us to provide you with a more personalized package of food and/or supplies. 
  4. You may designate up to two (2) other members of your family or caregivers to pick up food on your behalf.  
  5. You agree that pets are for companionship and not for breeding or any illegal activities.
  6. Have transportation to pick up food.
  7. Pet owners are strongly encouraged to keep all pets on the program up-to-date with rabies shots, and current licenses, pursuant to county or city licensing ordinances. See our licensing page for fees and information.
  8. Maintain healthy living conditions for your pet(s), which includes, but is not limited to, providing fresh water and food daily, and basic veterinary care.  Let a VCAS representative know if they cannot maintain this level of care.
  9. Agree that you will not add more pets while receiving food from the VCAS Pet Pantry Program. Your first responsibility is to the pets you already own.
  10. Agree to inform a VCAS representative of any of the following changes: a) Change of contact information, such as address, phone number or email address and b) death of the pet.
  11. There are risks involved with introducing a different food to a pet.  We suggest slowly introducing the new food over time.  By participating in this program, you take full responsibility for any adverse effects which may come about due to the introduction of new food.
  12. Agree, along with members of my household, family members, and friends, that Ventura County Animal Services Pet Pantry, their officers, directors, member agents, employees, and volunteers shall not be held liable for any claims, liabilities, losses or damages.
  13. Agree to allow Pet Pantry to use any photos of you and your pet that may be taken at the time of food distribution. You must relinquish all rights for monetary gain and compensation.
  14. Registration and participation may be revoked at the discretion of Ventura County Animal Services.

Please email KeepMyPet@ventura.org to being the application process.  Thank you!

Pet Pantry Partners

VCAS has partnered with caring local pet supply businesses to help keep our pet pantry stocked with critical food needed by those in our community.  These businesses are official pet food donation DROP-OFF sites where pet food donations can be made.

Rescue Groups

There are several non-profit transfer rescue groups who may be able to provide assistance including the transfer of ownership.  Below is a list of Animal Rescue Groups in Ventura County and surrounding counties.

Boarding Facilities

Veterinary Assistance Programs

Actors and Others for Animals
www.actorsandothers.com/emergency_medical_assistance.html
818-755-6045
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: None.

Animal Health Foundation
www.animalhealthfoundation.org/financial-assistance
Resources Offered: Financial Assistance Resources
Requirements: None.

Bow Wow Buddies Foundation
www.bowwowbuddies.com/apply-for-grant
720-259-2251
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: No preventative care, spays/neuters, dentals, chronic illness, or end of life care.

Brown Dog Foundation
www.browndogfoundation.org/ask-for-help
browndog@browndogfoundation.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: None.

Canine Cancer Awareness
www.caninecancerawareness.org
Resources Offered: Cancer Assistance & Resources
Requirements: None.

Diabetic Cats in Need
www.dcin.dreamhosters.com/assistance-programs
info@dcin.info
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Offers Glucose Testing Kit + Insulin.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance
www.fveap.org
Amysawy@fveap.com/ Josephplummer@fveap.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Cats Only.

FETCH A Cure
www.fetchacure.org/resource-library/financial-resources
Resources Offered: Cancer Assistance & Resources
Requirements: None.

For the Love of Alex
www.fortheloveofalex.org/help-my-pet
610-866-2539
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Emergencies Only.

Frankie’s Friends
www.frankiesfriends.org/apply-for-assistance-3
888-465-7387/helprequests@frankiesfriends.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Cancer Treatments Only.

Friends Vet Helping Pets
www.friendsandvetshelpingpets.org/need-assitance
859-201-1177/info@friendsandvetshelpingpets.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: No routine/preventative care, no diagnostics. Proof of low income.

Go Get Funding
www.gogetfunding.com/category/animals-pets
Resources Offered: Fundraising Platform
Requirements: None.

Grants For Seniors
www.elderlypet.org/pet-insurance-grants-for-senior-pets
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Pets 6+ years, pet must be on pet insurance.

Help-A-Pet
www.help-a-pet.org/apply.html
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Annual Income: < $20k/yr. for individual or < $40k/yr. for family.

Jameson Humane CAAP
https://us12b.sheltermanager.com/service?account=az1802&method=online_form_html&formid=53
707-927-3536/helpinganimals@jamesonhumane.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance, Food, Trainers, Spay/Neuters, Pet Rent Deposit
Requirements: Must apply for Care Credit to qualify.

Magic Bullet Fund
www.themagicbulletfund.org/apply
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Cancer Treatments Only.

My Pet Child
www.mypetchild.com/financial-aid-program
info@themosbyfoundation.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Proof of financial hardship, pet must be spayed/neutered.

Oscar Newman
www.oscarnewman.com/pages/violets-friends-applicant-pre-requisites
603-406-1400/info@oscarnewman.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Must have positive, long-term prognosis.

Paws 4 A Cure
www.paws4acure.org/askforhelp.php
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: No routine care.

Peanut Fund
www.peanutfund.org/how-to-apply
info@peanutfund.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Non-basic, Non-urgent care.

Peninsula Cat Works
www.peninsulacatworks.org/needhelp.php
408-831-2280/info@peninsulacatworks.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Cats Only.

Pet Assistance Inc.
www.petassistanceinc.org/financialaid
petassistance1973@gmail.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: No Corporate Vets (Banfield, VCA).

Plumfund
www.plumfund.com/pet-fund
Resources Offered: Fundraising Platform
Requirements: None.

R.U.F.F.
www.ruffrescue.org
949-580-1092
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: None

Red Rover Relief Program
www.redrover.org/relief
916-429-2457/info@redrover.org
Resources Offered: Temporary Boarding, Veterinary Assistance, National Assistance Programs
Requirements: None.

Sam Simon Foundation
www.ssfmobileclinic.org/free-surgery-clinic
1-888-364-7729/clinic@samsimonfoundation.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: None

Saving Gracie
www.saving-gracie.org/angel-fund-apply-for-help
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Pet must have life-threatening emergency.

Star Relief
www.starelief.org/aid-a-pet-grant-application
203-636-0971/care@starelief.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance & Temporary Boarding
Requirements: Routine care, emergency, & preventative care.

The Mosby Foundation
www.themosbyfoundation.org/apply-for-aid
540-885-2260/info@themosbyfoundation.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Pet must be spayed/neutered.

The Murphee & Sugar Angel Foundation
www.murpheeandsugarangelfoundation.org/apply
888-228-8114/murpheeandsugar@gmail.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Pet must be spayed/neutered, must have veterinarian sign off.

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation
www.onyxandbreezy.org/grant-application-faqs.html
info@onyxandbreezy.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: None.

The Pet Fund
www.thepetfund.com/for-pet-owners
Info@thepetfund.com
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Non-basic, Non-urgent care.

Voice for the Animals Foundation
www.vftafoundation.org/helping_friends
310-392-5153/info@vftafoundation.org
Resources Offered: Veterinary Assistance
Requirements: Southern California residents only.

Waggle
www.waggle.org/about-us/how-we-work
Resources Offered: Fundraising Platform
Requirements: None.

Re-Homing TIPS (Checklist)

If, after all your efforts, your situation has not improved and you find yourself needing to re-home your pet, please follow these helpful suggestions. Please keep in mind that animals housed at the shelter can stay with us for weeks, months, and sometimes years, thus surrendering your pet to VCAS must be the final option when all other avenues have been explored.  Keeping animals in a home style setting should be a top priority.  

  1. Returning your pet:  Did you acquire your pet from a private breeder or animal rescue organization?  If so, you would have likely signed a contract stipulating that the pet can or should be returned to them if you can no longer keep them.  These groups are usually foster-based thus your pet would be in a home-style environment versus a kennel at a shelter.
  2. Make Your Pet More Adoptable:  Animals who are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and groomed have a better chance at finding a new home.  Continue reading for low-cost vaccination and spay and neuter resources.
  3. Interested Party:  When someone responds to your efforts, you have an opportunity to interview them.  Do an initial phone interview before meeting in person.  This way you can eliminate unsuitable potential adopters.
  4. Sample interview questions:
    • Past pet experience?¬† Evaluate their responsibility level.¬† Let them talk about past pet experiences as that can tell you a lot about how they would treat your animal.¬† If they had an animal, ask how old they lived and what was the cause of death.¬† Ask to see photos of their past pets.¬† Most animal-lovers will have photos to share.¬† They should also have a few photos of them with their pets to prove the pet they are referring to was theirs.
    • Who is the pet intended for? If not them, ask to speak with the potential owner.
    • If there is a yard, is it fenced?¬† Unfenced yards may encourage people to tether/chain dogs, a practice that is discouraged and has the potential to be dangerous.
    • Will this be an indoor pet, outdoor pet, or indoor pet with outdoor access?¬† Pets need human contact. If the pet will be outdoors, they must have access shelter, water, and human contact.
    • Will they walk the dog regularly or provide exercise?¬† Especially important for young dogs and/or apartment dwellers.¬† Dogs with yards don‚Äôt necessarily mean they get adequate exercise, so ensure they get regular walks.
    • What if the pet gets sick?¬† Ensure they would seek veterinary care.
    • Do they have children? If so, ask if smaller children will be supervised around them as young children don‚Äôt always know how to appropriately interact with animals.
    • Alone time for the pet during the day? Address loneliness and boredom.¬† Ensure they understand the potential destructive nature of animals left alone and the importance of having a plan to keep them occupied and secure when alone.
    • Own or rent?¬† Pet policies matter!¬† If they rent, they must be allowed to have pets.¬† Don‚Äôt accept, ‚ÄúOur landlord doesn‚Äôt care.‚Ä̬† Consequences range from returning the animal to you or the animal ending up at an animal shelter.
    • Will they allow a home visit?¬† If they are unwilling, we suggest immediately ruling them out. ¬†If they are willing, bring 2-3 adults with you.
    • Would they consider declawing a cat?¬† We suggest immediately ruling them out as declawing is inhumane.
    • Indoor or outdoor cats? Indoor/outside don‚Äôt live as long as ‚Äúindoor only cats‚ÄĚ.¬† We strongly recommend all cats be indoor only as outdoor cats are vulnerable to disease, predation, traffic accidents, etc. ¬†Cats who live indoors only can live up to twenty (20) years.
  5. In-Person Meeting: ¬†USE CAUTION when you consider meeting potential adopters. ¬†Meet in a public place like a coffee shop, police station, or fire station and do not bring your pet with you.¬† It’s a red flag if they refuse to meet in those locations.¬† You may ask for a re-homing fee to deter unscrupulous individuals. ¬†You can always donate the re-homing fee to a local animal shelter if you’d like.
  6. The Hand-Off: ¬†If you’ve found a suitable family, schedule a time and place to do the hand-off.¬† Again, this should be done in a public place like a coffee shop, police station, or fire station.¬† Bring their bed, blanket, toys, food, bowls, litter box and litter (if it’s a cat), medication and all paperwork including veterinary records.¬† Provide the contact information of their veterinarian so they can continue their care. ¬†Lastly, go to the shelter to transfer ownership so the pet is now in their name.
  7. Follow-up.  Ask for ID and contact information so you can follow-up to see how things are going.  Provide any assistance over the phone but do not visit the pet.  Seeing the pet will confuse them.

Re-Homing Portal

VCAS has partnered with Adopt-a-Pet.com to improve our courtesy rehoming efforts.  In addition to being listed below, owners will now have the option to have their pet listed on multiple sites and receive expert advice from Adopt-a-Pet staff.  And with over 3 million potential adopters using Adopt-a-Pet each month, owned animals will find new homes faster while keeping them out of the shelter system.

Animals listed below are not available for adoption through Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS).  They are being responsibly re-homed by their owner.  Please tap/click the pet below to learn more and to contact their owner directly.  Thank you!

Disclaimer: ¬†Please note that the information concerning animals listed here was provided by each animal’s owner(s). ¬†No one from Ventura County Animal Services has met or evaluated any of these animals, nor have we confirmed the accuracy of the information we were provided for inclusion on this webpage. ¬†As with all prospective animals, you should take reasonable steps to evaluate the suitability of a particular pet for your home and family. ¬†VCAS hereby disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied (including without limitation any implied warranty of fitness, fitness for a particular purpose and/or merchantability) concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information concerning any animal or the suitability for any particular circumstance of any animal listed here for rehoming. ¬†Thank you.

PET BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

Pets don’t come with instruction manuals.  Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned pet parent, questions will arise.  Our dedicated Animal Care Team has provided resources to help address common behavior issues you may be experiencing;  from marking in the house to jumping on guests.  If you need more direct assistance, please email us at info@vcas.us.

Pet Surrender

VCAS is dedicated to ensuring the compassionate care of every animal entrusted to us.¬† To help ensure ample kennel space is available for urgent and critical cases, our Pet Retention Coordinator may need to schedule your pets’ surrender.¬† Our waitlist operates on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to the most critical situations.

If you are the legal owner of your pet and you were unsuccessful in securing an alternative placement for your pet (i.e. with family, friends, coworker, etc.) and find yourself in a situation where surrendering your pet to our shelter is the last and only option, please complete the surrender request form below.¬† Your submission will be promptly acknowledged with a confirmation email signifying your pets’ addition to our waitlist.¬† We kindly ask that you also monitor your spam/junk folders to ensure you receive this crucial communication.

If you have any questions or if your situations changes, please do not hesitate to contact our Pet Retention Coordinator at keepmypet@ventura.org.

VENTURA COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES provides pet retention assistance to those living within our contract cities:  Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Ventura and unincorporated areas of Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks.  Those who live within the city limits of Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, are asked to contact the Agoura Animal Shelter at (818) 991-0071.

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TRANSLATE DISCLAIMER

The VCAS.US website has been translated by Google Translate. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace human translators. Translations are provided as a service to users of the VCAS.US website, and are provided ‚Äúas is.‚ÄĚ No warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy, reliability, or correctness of any translations made from English into any other language. Some content (such as images, videos, Flash, etc.) may not be accurately translated due to the limitations of the translation software.

The official text is the English version of the website. Any discrepancies or differences created in the translation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in the translated website, please refer to the English version of the website which is the official version. Ventura County Animal Services employs bilingual staff who are able to provide assistance.  Please call (805) 388-4341 or email info@vcas.us.

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