A new state law that protects animals from being put to sleep when they could be saved will have little effect in west Ventura County, said Kathy Jenks, director of Ventura County Animal Regulation.
The Camarillo shelter already exceeds the new law's requirements in many areas.
The Animal Shelter Law, sponsored by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles), is intended to save animals from being to put to sleep by having them adopted. It also lengthens the time an animal will stay in a shelter before being destroyed.
Previously, impounded animals were given 72 hours to be adopted before being euthanized. Now, the waiting period will be up to six business days.
"The only thing it does is make us hold owner-relinquished animals a bit longer,' Jenks said. In the past, pets turned in by owners could be put to sleep immediately.
The new requirement will cause the shelter to become more crowded with animals, she said.
But Jenks doesn't think it will significantly increase costs. No additional staff will be required, but it may ultimately mean having to build more kennels.
Tim Dewar, director of public relations for the Humane Society in Ojai, said the new law is consistent with his organization's emphasis on adoption.
Dewar said the legislation is the result of lobbying by animal advocacy groups. "They're seeing the fruits of their labor with the adoption of this law," he said.