Animal services representatives are canvassing communities throughout Ventura County to make sure pet owners comply with state and local licensing and rabies vaccination requirements.
“Our main objective here at animal services is rabies suppression,” said Bryan Bray, licensing division supervisor for Ventura County Animal Services.
So far this year officials have found nine positive cases of rabies within the county, all contracted by bats. Last year one person in Moorpark was bitten by a rabid bat.
“This is why vaccinating and licensing is very important. The rabies virus is still a big threat throughout Ventura County, and we can suppress this deadly virus through education and license enforcement,” Bray told The Acorn.
County regulations require cats and dogs over 4 months old to be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs must be licensed. Failure to license a canine may result in fines, and any dog found without a current license tag may be impounded, according to the county animal services department.
Canvassers recently went door-to-door in Oak Park and Moorpark and are scheduled to canvass Camarillo and Simi Valley neighborhoods.
“During our canvassing we were able to educate many residents and provide new and renewed licenses,” Bray said. “Currently we have 1,118 licenses issued in Oak Park.”
The licensing program protects the pets and enables the local shelter to reunite lost animals with their owners, he said.
Cat licenses are required in Moorpark and Oxnard but not in other areas of the county. But cat licenses are highly recommended if the cat is allowed outdoors, Bray said.
Ventura County is using a door-to-door canvassing plan to educate residents and crack down on owners of unlicensed dogs.
Thousand Oaks residents aren’t part of that program because the city contracts with the Los Angeles County Animal Control Department for animal services. However, residents of unincorporated areas, such as Casa Conejo, must license their dogs with Ventura County.
For more information on how to obtain a pet license, visit www.vchca.org/animal-services.
Annual licensing fees are $20 for spayed or neutered animals. The cost for unneutered animals is $75.
The county offers vouchers to help pay for spaying or neutering an unaltered pet. The vouchers are available to pet owners with limited financial resources whose pets are licensed in Ventura County.
Vouchers are available at participating veterinarians throughout Ventura County (excluding the cities of Santa Paula, Oxnard and Thousand Oaks).
For dogs, the value of the voucher is dependent on the weight and gender of the dog. Vouchers to spay or neuter cats are worth $20.