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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=100001597299471¬es_tab=app_2347471856 Concernedcitizensthousandoaks Nick Quidwai
Monday, May 5, 2014
Adoption fees reduced as county shelters work on overcrowding CAMARILLO
Adoption fees reduced as county shelters work on overcrowding
CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR Tara Diller (left), Ventura County’s new animal services director, and animal control officer Patricia Monsour work with dogs in the exercise area of the Camarillo shelter.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Josie is an 11-year-old Jack Russell Terrier available for adoption at the Ventura County animal shelter.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Sparky is a 3-year-old male miniature pinscher available for adoption at the Ventura County animal shelter.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Linda is a 3-year-old Chihuahua available for adoption at the Ventura County animal shelter.
On Monday morning, room was scarce.
Ventura County’s animal shelter in Camarillo had 146 dog kennels and 165 dogs. It had space for 85 cats and had 81 on Monday morning.
Ten chickens and 64 rabbits rounded out the list of adoptable animals.
With more animals brought in daily, county officials appealed to the local community for help, offering discounted adoption fees.
“We have amazing dogs and cats,” said Tara Diller, director of county animal services. “A lot are ready to go home today.”
County animal services is discounting its adoption rate to $25 per animal, from $125.
The hope is to find homes for 200 or more animals to bring the shelters down to more manageable numbers, officials said. The smaller Simi Valley shelter also is short on space, with about 30 dogs and 10 cats.
Dogs and cats from the county shelters have a certificate showing they have been spayed or neutered and preliminary vaccinations, including their first rabies shot.
Adopted pets also have a county animal license, implanted microchip and a certificate for a free health exam at any veterinarian’s office in the county.
Dog adoptions also include a free six-week obedience class, officials said.
Over the weekend, 12 dogs and four cats were adopted, Diller said.
That 16 animals found new homes is great, she said. But with $25 adoption fees, the numbers should have been higher.
Getting word out about the discounts should help, she said. Also, it’s just a busy time for intakes.
As it gets warmer, more dogs and cats are having litters. That means more puppies and kittens coming in.
The county also has set a goal of being a “no-kill” shelter, meaning close to 90 percent of its animals leaving the shelter through adoption, because they were returned to an owner, or transferred to a nonprofit rescue group.
An unintended consequence of going no kill, however, is keeping animals longer, which also can affect the numbers.
The county has started several new efforts to help the animals during their stay and to increase adoptions, from more adoption events out in the community to enrichment and exercise programs inside the shelter.
Christina Morgan and Chad Atkins said they founded the Camarillo-based Paw Works organization to help county shelters toward the goal of having “no-kill” policies.
There’s no question that it takes a community effort to make it happen, Morgan said. It costs money and time, having people willing to foster animals or adopt from the shelter.
“Even something as simple as sharing a picture on Facebook saves lives,” she said.