Ventura County Animal Services has joined a growing number of animal welfare organizations across the country in adopting a new sheltering framework. This model is called Socially Conscious Sheltering (SCS). This SCS model and the No-Kill model are not mutually exclusive. VCAS utilized the no-kill model to help guide us on our initial journey. Through it, we created, and still maintain, many of the positions and programs vital to the movement.
This new framework aligns with our core values of being an organization that encourages cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders (elected officials, community members, private veterinarians, transfer/rescue partners, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, local businesses, volunteers and other animal welfare agencies). We wish to promote a positive culture of mutual respect and support.
We are excited to embrace the newly created SCS model to help us continue these efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you still a no-kill shelter given your adoption of the SCS model? Yes. VCAS continues to meet and/or exceed all no-kill benchmarks while maintaining a 90% or higher live release rate. It is critical to note that VCAS will never compromise the health and safety of an animal in order to maintain a statistic. Our Live Release Rate is simply the result of hard work and our normal life-saving practices. This statistic does not govern or control our daily activities, and decisions are never made in order to maintain a 90% LRR or higher. Some months, the Live Release Rate dips below 90%. We are fully transparent about this, and other statistics, as they are posted each month on our statistics page. Though our overall, annual live release rate has continued to be above the 90% benchmark..
The adoption of the Socially Conscious Sheltering model does not change our day-to-day life-saving efforts that we have grown and have continued to build upon since 2013. SCS is simply a framework that more accurately describes who we are as an inclusive, positive, and compassionate animal welfare organization. We continue to work towards finding the best possible outcomes for all animals which is the fundamental goal of this model. SCS provides a clear message about our commitment to providing quality care to the people and animals of Ventura County.
Q: What is socially conscious sheltering?
Socially Conscious Sheltering is a compassionate, transparent and thoughtful model for animal welfare organizations. There are eight (8) tenets of Socially Conscious Sheltering:
1. Place every healthy and safe animal.
Every single one. Healthy is defined as either having no signs of clinical disease or evidence of disease that a veterinarian determines has a good or excellent prognosis for a comfortable life. Safe means that the animal has not exhibited behavior that is likely to result in severe injury or death to another animal or person.
2. Ensure every unwanted or homeless pet has a safe place to go for shelter and care.
An animal’s opportunity to be nurtured, healed, and re-homed should not depend on their age or condition—every community must have a shelter that accepts all animals brought to it. It is unacceptable to turn animals away because they are too old, too sick, or too broken.