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History of the Shelter

Sara BaylessThe 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 lots 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 every year. Some of these cases are prosecuted in court, but many are handled by educating and monitoring the pet’s 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. 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 Vetura 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 will be 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 will be 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 80′s. 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. We are a “no-kill” Shelter which means that no adoptable pet will be euthanized. For more information on our ”no-kill” policy click here.   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 fund raising, 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.

Megan is a female, brown tabby Domestic Shorthair. She is about 1 year old, and she has been at the Humane Society since October 29, 2013. Megan loves to be petted!
Ashton is a male, gray tabby Domestic Shorthair, who is 1 year old. Ashton has been at the Humane Society since July 30, 2013. Ashton is easy to overlook because of his shyness, but if you are slow and quiet he warms up and enjoys a good scratch!

What makes this so special is the bond that these two cats have cultivated throughout the past 7-8 months. What we are requesting is to find a home that would take both of these sweethearts. Please help us spread the word and find that special person willing to give these two shy kitties a home. We guarantee that house will be filled with love!

We really want these two to go home together so their adoption fees have been cut in half – $120 for both of these sweet cats. The adoption fee of $120 includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, free veterinarian visit, and microchip implantation. For more information on Ashton & Megan,  or other adoptable animals, please call 805 646-6505. You can meet them Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

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  • Words and Music by Kerri Climer and Robert Shelor
  • Vocals: Kerri Climer
  • Backup vocals: Robert Shelor
  • Bass guitar: Dave Hutchison
  • Piano: Smitty West


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My Dog Jack

Price: $1.00
  • Words and Music by Bob Ryman
  • Vocals and Violin: Bob Ryman
  • Piano and backup Vocals: Smitty West
  • Bass guitar and drum programming: Dave Hutchison
  • Harmonica: Lynn Mullins

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The Animals of Ojai

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  • Words and music by Smitty West
  • Vocals, piano and synth: Smitty West
  • Backup vocals: Julija Zonic
  • Violin and backup vocals: Bob Ryman
  • Bass guitar: Dave Hutchison

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My Old Friend

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