This Saturday, April 27th, 2024, 11am-4pm at the Community Center Park East – 800 Hobson Way in Oxnard.  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

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Rescheduling:  We will be cancelling the upcoming Rescue Readers session this Sunday, April 21st, 2024.  It will be rescheduled for the following Sunday, April 28th, 2024.   Thank you!

Ventura County Animal Services’ Rescue Readers Program is a wonderful program where children ages 4-14 come to read to shelter animals.  While kids mainly read to dogs and sometimes cats, there are times they will read to rabbits where kids sit in small enclosures with the rabbits themselves.  It’s a hopping good time!

When and where:

What to bring:

  1. A book from home, or you can select one from our cart
  2. A blanket or chair
  3. Sunscreen and water bottle for warm weather, and a jacket for cool days.

What to expect:

  1. Loud Noises:  Dogs can bark loudly and sometimes abruptly.  But oftentimes barking is a greeting and should settle down once the reading begins.
  2. Stinky Smells:  It’s a fact that animals go to the bathroom like people do.  Kids may see and smell dog poop until shelter personnel can come by and take care of it.

Program Benefits:

  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. Enjoy undivided attention from their four-legged friends.
  5. 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!
  6. It’s a great outdoor activity…away from screens.

Rules and Expectations:

  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 for Rescue Readers at the Camarillo Shelter, please park along Aviation Drive to allow priority parking in our parking lot for those with critical/urgent needs.  When you arrive for Rescue Readers at the Simi Valley Shelter, please park in the designated area.  If other children are accompanying you, ensure you have the ability to render attention to each child without the assistance of VCAS personnel.  Parents are encouraged to take pictures and you are welcome to post them on social media!

Sign Up:

If you wish for your child to participate, please email and let us know which shelter (Camarillo or Simi Valley) you are signing up for, and how many kids will be attending.  If you are unable to make it, please let us know so we can open another slot for another reader.

Group Sign Ups:

If you are a community group, such as Scout Troops and Summer Camps, and would like to reserve a group experience, please email and let us what group you are with and how many kids will be attending.  Please know that we can only accommodates special groups at the Camarillo Shelter due to space limitation at the Simi Valley location. 


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.

Program Apparel:

Participants will also receive an official Rescue Readers T-Shirt, at no cost to the family.  We encourage kids to wear these shirts when at the shelter and can wear them out and about to help promote the program!  

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

County of Ventura spotlight on our VCAS Rescue Readers Program.

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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

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