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NEWBURY PARK : VanderKolk Saves 2 Doomed Dogs

A pair of wayward pooches are back home among the affection of their owners after a member of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors intervened to keep them from being put to sleep.

A 2-year-old German shepherd named Supai and a 6-month-old husky named Bear had faced almost certain death in a county animal shelter in Camarillo because owners Kim and Linda MacLeod of Newbury Park owed about $130 in boarding charges and license fees, Animal Regulation Director Kathy Jenks said.

Supai and Bear, who escaped two weeks ago and were picked up by an animal regulation worker, would have been killed in another week, Jenks said.

Kim MacLeod, an engineer, said he was broke because of a recent illness in the family. “I was at my wits’ end as to what to do. . . . They were going to be put to sleep before I could get the money,” he said. “My daughter, who’s 18 months old, was saying, ‘Where’s the doggies?’ ”

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Just before the dogs’ time was up, County Supervisor Maria VanderKolk’s office got a call from MacLeod’s mother-in-law, Heather Morris. Doug Johnson, an administrative assistant, who answered Morris’ call, said the family was desperate to get the dogs back.

At VanderKolk’s request, the fees were waived for the dogs, and they were released. All the MacLeods had to pay for were two licenses at a total cost of $27.50.

County animal regulation officials do not normally waive fees at the request of a supervisor, unless there are unusual circumstances.

The Humane Society of Ventura County discourages releasing animals to people who do not have enough money to care for their pets, said Jolene Hoffman, director of the society’s animal shelter.

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However, she added, “these are rough times for a lot of people. There are some situations where there are people who get down on their luck. Sometimes we do need to help each other.”


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