The Humane Society of Ventura County is a compassionate care shelter and non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and adoption of homeless animals throughout Ventura County.
Our mission statement is, “The Humane Society of Ventura County is dedicated to promoting the health, safety, welfare, compassionate care and protection of all animals through education and community outreach programs.”
The Humane Society of Ventura County fulfills
its mission by:
- Providing a safe environment for homeless, neglected or abused animals
- Providing adoption services to responsible homes
- Promoting and providing spay and neutering to reduce overpopulation
- Pet-assisted therapy in hospitals and nursing homes in the community
- Providing Humane Education in local schools
- Humane Officers investigate reports of cruelty, abuse and neglect
- Compassionate care including medical treatment
- Organized volunteer program including training and socialization
Who We Are
Nestled in the rolling hills of the picturesque Ojai Valley lies a 4.4 acre hidden treasure for wayward animals. Founded in 1932, we here at the Humane Society of Ventura County have been serving not just the animals of the Ojai Valley, but all of the animals in Ventura County. Traditionally, an animal shelter is thought of as solely a place for animals to seek refuge until a permanent home can be found. While here at the Humane Society of Ventura County we provide this safe refuge, we also strive to remedy the greater problem of animal overpopulation, abuse and neglect.
Countless animals are the innocent victims not only of senseless and deliberate abuse and neglect but many others are the victims of unintentional abuse. Abuse can come in many forms ranging from physical abuse to simple failure to care for an animal properly. Here at the Humane Society of Ventura County we seek to break this cycle by visiting schools, day care facilities, clubs, volunteer organizations to provide information on animal health and safety, disaster preparedness, overpopulation, abuse, neglect, animal rights, and pet care and responsibility.
Education is a great way to break the cycle; however, in the meantime 6-8 million animals enter shelters in the United States each year. Roughly half of them will be euthanized because of overpopulation. Here at the Humane Society of Ventura County we run a compassionate care shelter and provide a low to no cost spay and neuter clinic for the county. Our clinic currently spays and neuters approximately 15-20 animals 5 days a week.
As we continue to educate individuals in the county and spay and neuter as many animals as we can, we also provide safe, temporary housing for animals across the entire county. We provide our animals with medical treatment, proper nutrition, exercise, rehabilitation and lots of love. Our volunteers play with the animals, walk the dogs and give the animals the love and attention they so desperately need and deserve.
One would find cats contently curled up on chairs, cat hammocks, beds and cat trees. And if the cats were not content sleeping or playing inside, one might find them doing so in our safe, enclosed outdoor portion. While for safety reasons we cannot house all of our dogs in a similar facility, we provide outdoor play pens with toys, water and some room to stretch their legs. We seek foster homes for our special needs animals and permanent, responsible homes for all of our animals which are screened by our humane officers, staff and volunteer yard checkers. We also attempt to reunite owners with lost animals that have been brought to us.
In addition to all of the above, we also provide many other services. These include our pet therapy program in which volunteers bring our animals to assisted living facilities and hospitals within our county to provide comfort to patients and purpose to our animals. We also provide owner requested euthanasia and grief counseling references for the difficult time that follows. Further, our humane officers are a great asset to our shelter. We are the only agency in Ventura County with Humane Officers. They assist local law enforcement with animal abuse and neglect cases and often resolve many cases before law enforcement must be called.
All of our programs, services and outreach are funded one hundred percent by donations, memorials and sponsorships. We are not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States nor do we receive funding from the city, state or federal government. With the help of many volunteers and continued financial support through donations, memorials and sponsorships we will continue to provide for the safety, health, welfare, compassionate care and protection of all animals within our county.
In addition, Shelter employees are prepared, 24 hours a day, to help with the rescue and transportation of animals during emergencies and natural disasters. Because pets are not allowed in Red Cross evacuation centers, the Humane Society is also a drop-off point for animals following a natural disaster such as a flood, fire or earthquake.
For more information about the Shelter and the many services available, including the Spay and Neuter Clinic, call 646-6505 or 656-5031.
History of the Shelter
The Humane Society of Ventura County was organized in 1932 by a group of dedicated animal lovers. After many years of struggling with small shelters, very little money and lots of needy animals, the Humane Society moved into our the existing shelter in 1982.
Sara Bayless (pictured at right), our beloved benefactor of many years, bought and donated over 4.4 acres of beautiful property for our new Shelter. Thanks to a lot of hard, dedicated fundraising, the Shelter was paid for the day we moved in.
Our badged and trained Humane Officers have been responsible for alleviating the suffering of many animals throughout the county. Over 400 reports of neglect and abuse are filed each year. Some of these cases are prosecuted in court, but many are handled by educating and monitoring the pets' families.
The Humane Society and other emergency agencies are always involved in rescuing animals during fires, floods and other disasters. The Shelter is a busy place. We never know what it’s going to be like from day to day.
Our Spay and Neuter Clinic was started in 1986 and has since been responsible for altering approximately 15-20 dogs, cats and other animals per day. As Claire Ladigin often said, “an animal never born never suffers.” The Humane Society is so blessed to have Dr. Curtis Lewis who has been with us since the beginning of the clinic. Spaying and neutering is the best solution for animal overpopulation.
Mr. Harry Valentine understood the value of spaying and neutering pets and left a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of animals in Ventura County. The Harry Valentine Visitors Center opened on July 30, 2011. The new visitors center marked the beginning of a three phase project dedicated to remodeling the Spay and Neuter Clinic. The first stage of the project moved adoption counselors and administrative staff out of the old building and into a new building complete with the Humane Society’s very own gift shop. Phase two of the project included the remodel of the existing building into additional cat housing, housing for sick animals, an office for the Humane Officers and a state of the art spay and neuter clinic that is twice the size of the original clinic that opened in 1986. The third phase of the project is still in the fundraising stages but it is to expand and remodel the existing kennels.
Humane Education became one of our main priorities in the late 80s. We have visited thousands of school classrooms, children and youth organizations, service clubs, and various functions promoting the protection of and kindness to all living beings and our environment. Children are never too young to learn respect for all life.
Our Pet Therapy program has been run by volunteers for 25 years. What joy these pets bring those who are confined to assisted living facilities and hospitals.
We are very proud of our high adoption rate. The staff and volunteers at the Shelter work very hard to find a loving home for each and every animal. Our dream is that someday there will be a responsible and happy home for every one of the very deserving animals in Ventura County.
We value our loyal volunteers – BIG TIME! Since the day the Humane Society was organized, volunteers have been a huge part of what we do. These dedicated folks socialize the Shelter animals, do fundraising, help at various events throughout the county, make necessary repairs at the Shelter, help with landscaping, serve on the Board of Directors, and do many more valued jobs.
Come and join our Humane Society family – it’s lots of fun and look at all the good work you’ll be doing for the animals. Please visit our Shelter and Adoption Center. You will meet a happy staff and volunteers who love being here. It is a cheerful, positive, hopeful place and we welcome all of you.