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Shelter Shout Out: Ventura County Animal Services

Posted by Caroline Aro on 05/17/2024

Our ShelterBeds program connects animal welfare groups with the community to campaign for bed donations for the animals in their care.

We like to feature some of these groups whose hard work brings much-needed attention and comfort to the animals in their care.

Group photo from the 2024 Build-A-Bed event Photo courtesy of Ventura County Animal Services

Group photo from the 2024 Build-A-Bed event. Photo courtesy of Ventura County Animal Services on Facebook

This month, we are highlighting Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) in Camarillo, California. In February, VCAS held an incredibly successful bed drive that made a huge impact on the shelter and on the community as a whole. Spoiler: Over 200 beds were donated in less than 48 hours and they assembled all of those beds in less than 2 hours! We got to speak with the organization’s marketing manager, Randy Friedman, about the campaign and the work they do.

Like most shelters around the country, VCAS is always hovering right around capacity and they care for a high volume of animals – around 7,000 animals come through their doors every year and on average, about 15 per day. Providing quality care and housing for that many animals can be a lot to juggle but the folks at VCAS are experts:

“You get creative, and comfort is a big part of it… Dogs are going to be sitting in kennels for an extended period of time; they may as well have nice beds to wait around until somebody reclaims them or adopts them and takes them home”

… And that’s where Kuranda comes in. While Kuranda beds are simple to assemble, each one can take around 10 - 15 minutes. This is no issue if you’re assembling one bed for your pet at home, but when you have hundreds of beds to put together, it becomes a pretty big feat. So, Randy and the team at VCAS turned to their community for help.

Instead of simply holding a donation campaign and calling it a day, they went a step further; they made this bed drive into something bigger. Ventura County residents and shelter supporters came together and became very involved in this Kuranda bed drive in all respects.

“That was kind of the tagline, you know, ‘You bought them, help us build them’… We called it a Build-A-Bed Event.”

Volunteer bed builders at the 2024 Build-A-Bed event. Photos courtesy of Ventura County Animal Services on Facebook.

Countless community members, staff, volunteers showed up on a Saturday, ready to assemble beds. What started as a plea for beds turned into a collective team effort. The community and shelter personnel came together, working hand in hand to help the animals in need. That teamwork paid off because they assembled over 200 beds in less than 2 hours!

After talking with Randy, it became apparent that VCAS is truly a trusted pillar in their community. Not only that, but that Ventura County itself is a close-knit collective of animal lovers who believe in the life saving work the shelter carries out. While this level of togetherness, hard work and passion for the animals seems almost too good to be true, that isn't at all the case for Ventura County. As Randy so humbly put it,

“That is who we are… It was really just an extension of what we normally do.”

After all of the assembly was complete, the now-expert bed builders got to physically place new Kuranda beds into the shelter’s kennels. From donating to building to placing the beds in the shelter, this campaign brough about a lot of hard work and togetherness for Ventura County from start to finish.

Want to donate a Kuranda bed? Find an animal welfare organization in need on our ShelterBeds website!

Follow Ventura County Animal Services on Facebook and Instagram.

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