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THOUSAND OAKS : Shelter Alters Hours for Pet Adoptions

The animal shelter serving Thousand Oaks will rearrange its weekend hours starting today to accommodate Christmas pet adoptions and give employees the holiday off, officials said.

The city contracts with the Los Angeles County-operated shelter in Agoura for animal control services. Normally, the facility at 29525 Agoura Road would be closed Friday and open Saturday.

However, the shelter will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day, said Gail Miley, assistant manager.

The policy contrasts with the pet adoption moratorium in effect at Ventura County’s shelter in Camarillo since Saturday. Director Kathy Jenks said the facility does not allow adoptions the week before Christmas to discourage people from giving pets as gifts.

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“Animals are not toys,” Jenks said.

When a pet and its owner are not properly matched, the animal is often returned like department store merchandise, Jenks said. Or maybe the recipient simply did not want a pet in the first place, she added.

In past years, when the county allowed Christmas pet adoptions, “by the week after Christmas, we’d get half of them back,” Jenks said.

Miley said the Agoura shelter is staffed by volunteers who help ensure that anyone giving a pet as a gift has thought the idea through carefully. Impulse buys are discouraged, Miley said. As a result, return rates are low, she said.

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“People have to be aware that this is a commitment for the lifetime of the animal,” Miley said.


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