Ventura County Animal Services’ Rescue Readers Program is a program where children ages 4-14 come and read to shelter animals. This program takes place on Sundays from 3:00pm – 4:00pm at the Camarillo Animal Shelter at 600 Aviation Drive at the Camarillo Airport. First-time readers are asked to arrive at 2:30pm for a quick orientation.
Rescue Readers can read to dogs, cats or rabbits. Children may bring books from home or select one from our cart. Those reading to dogs or cats will be sitting three 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 participant sits down and begins reading.
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!
- A book or select one from our cart
- A blanket or chair
- Sunscreen and water bottle on warm days
- Sweater on cool days
- There is 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.
- Practice reading aloud. Many schools require children to read aloud as a curriculum requirement. This activity can help prepare them.
- Excellent opportunity for children to have positive, rewarding experience with animals of different sizes and breeds.
- Parents can take pictures and post images of the activity on social media. This may even help animals get adopted if the parents reference the animal’s ID# and name in the post.
- It’s a great outdoor activity on a Sunday!
- A parent/guardian must be with their child and provide undivided attention at all times.
- Readers must sit at least three (3) feet from the kennel bars.
- Readers must not put fingers near or through the kennel bars.
- No feeding of the animals unless you have approved VCAS treats or food.