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Shelter Life Documentary

Shelter Life Strays Today Pets Tomorrow

In 2016, Ventura County Animal Services created a 9-part documentary series to help chronicle changes this department was undergoing as it transitioned to a life-saving organization.  A number of programs outlined in this documentary have changed considerably since its original publication.  We continue to tell our story via social media and we encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

EPISODE 1: A Place of Hope
An Animal Shelter is often last place of hope for stray and surrendered pets. Join us on this journey to discover what it’s like working in a high intake, open admission, county shelter.

EPISODE 2:  Becoming No-Kill
The transition to becoming a no kill shelter was a major shift in the culture and general practice of Ventura County Animal Services.

EPISODE 3:  It Takes a Village
Community outreach and social media have been game-changers for Ventura County Animal Services. Involving ‘the village’ is essential to informing the public about the life-saving programs we offer.

EPISODE 4:  Community Cats
T.N.R. (Trap Neuter Return) has replaced the old “Catch and Kill” method as the way of dealing with the overpopulation of feral cats. T.N.R. is the only proven method of reducing the overpopulation of feral cats.

EPISODE 5: Saving Lives
Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Heather Skogerson, and her medical team, work tirelessly to care for more than 1,400 pets that they touch each month. 

EPISODE 6: Pet Retention
The Pet Retention program is designed to help “Keep Pets With People.” This program has reduced the number of surrendered pets by offering alternatives. With donations from local stores and the community, VCAS is able to help residents keep their animals fed during difficult economic times.

EPISODE 7: Take Me Home
It’s a combination of speed dating and Love Connection. Adoption Counselors work their magic to ensure the best match is made between person and pet.

EPISODE 8:  Dog Mentors
Specially trained volunteers are taught how to handle and enrich the lives of our large-breed dogs. These K9 Ambassadors take our pets out of the shelter and often hit the town to find the right family in our Hound On The Town (or HOTT) program. But it all starts with the fundamentals.

EPISODE 9: In The Field
Not the image we have of “dog catchers” from days gone by. These highly trained field officers are fully stocked with the latest technology and equipment to handle anything from dogs to deer.

About The Producer/Director:
Stephen Rocha, of Maverik Media, is a native Simi Valley resident. He has created documentaries for NASA, National Geographic as well as for local organizations like the Museum of Military History located at the Simi Valley Town Center. As an animal-lover, Stephen wishes to bring more attention to the homeless and abandoned pets of Ventura County. He approached Animal Services in 2015 with this venture. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome! Thank you, Stephen, for your hard work and dedication!

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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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