⚠️  Due to SEVERE OVERCROWDING, we will be holding a FEE-WAIVED pet adoption promotion through Sunday, September 24th.  Promotion applies to all animals except dogs under one (1) year of age.  Click here to view our animals.


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Ventura County Animal Services’ Rescue Readers Program is a program where children ages 4-14 come to read to shelter animals.  This program generally takes place every Sundays at the Camarillo Animal Shelter at 600 Aviation Drive at the Camarillo Airport.  First-time readers are asked to arrive between 9:30am – 9:45am.

Rescue Readers can read to dogs, cats, rabbits, or giraffes.  Children may bring books from home or select one from our cart.  Those reading to dogs or cats will be sitting three (3) feet from the kennels and will enjoy undivided attention from their four-legged friends.  Readers should know that dogs can bark loudly and sometimes abruptly.  Oftentimes barking is a greeting and should settle down once the reading begins.

It’s a fact that animals go to the bathroom like people do.  Dogs primarily utilize their outer kennel area for this purpose.  Rescue Readers may see and smell this waste until shelter personnel can come by and hose it away.

Those who wish to read to rabbits can do so in the barn.  Sometimes rabbits are placed in small enclosures with the Rescue Reader themselves. It’s a hopping good time!

What to bring:

  1. A book or select one from our cart
  2. A blanket or chair
  3. Sunscreen and water bottle on warm days
  4. Sweater on cool mornings

Program Benefits:

There are many benefits to children reading aloud to animals:

  1. No judgement.  Kids can read at whatever speed they wish, and they won’t be judged for making mistakes.  This can be a big confidence builder.
  2. Practice reading aloud.  Many schools require children to read aloud as a curriculum requirement.  This activity can help prepare them.
  3. Excellent opportunity for children to have a positive, rewarding experience with animals of different sizes and breeds.
  4. Parents can take pictures and post images on social media.  You can tag @VCAnimalServices or @VCASrescuereaders.  This could even help animals get adopted if your friends see an animal they like!
  5. It’s a great outdoor activity…away from screens!


  1. A parent/guardian must be with their child and provide undivided attention at all times.
  2. Readers must sit at least three (3) feet from the kennel bars.
  3. Readers must not put fingers near or through the kennel bars.
  4. No feeding of the animals unless you have approved VCAS treats or food.

Message to Parents and Guardians:

When you arrive, please park along Aviation Drive to allow priority parking in our parking lot for those with critical/urgent needs.  Parents and guardians must be with their child at all times.  If you bring siblings, you must be able to render attention to each child without the assistance of VCAS personnel.  Parents are encouraged to take pictures.  We only ask that you tag us on social media (@VCAnimalServices or @VCASrescuereaders) and note the animal’s name and/or ID# of the pet your child is reading to.  This could help our pets get adopted, quicker!

Sign Up:
If you wish for your child to participate, please send a message to our VCAS Rescue Reader program coordinators through either their Facebook or Instagram pages.  Just tap/click the “send a message” button.

Cancelled times:

Rescue Readers will be cancelled during all federal holidays as well as during inclement weather events (primarily heat waves and rain).  Follow and visit the Rescue Readers’ Facebook page to learn if a session has been cancelled.

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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 “as is.” 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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