The Oxnard Police Department Animal Safety Unit regulates domestic animals and predator control within the City of Oxnard. Animal Safety Officers (ASOs) respond to the calls regarding animal complaints, as well as the inspection of animal licensing records and overall license compliance throughout the City. ASOs are civilian Police Department employees who provide support services for the Field Services Bureau.
The Animal Safety Unit provides a variety of State and City mandated services related to animal safety and protection. Their mission is to promote and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of pets and people in the City of Oxnard.
The ASO Unit is currently comprised of three (3) officers, One (1) Senior Animal Safety Officer, and two (2) field ASOs. In addition to these positions, the Unit also has two (2) part-time employees who provide customer service at the Civic Center’s Animal Safety payment counter. Lastly, the Animal Safety Unit has three (3) License Canvassers on a part-time/weekend schedule; they walk neighborhoods in an effort to maintain licensing compliance by making renewals convenient. The Unit operates 7 days a week, 24-hours a day, and officers remain on-call after hours for emergency situations.
Animal Safety Officers perform several functions pertaining to animal control, safety, and education, they include:
Investigate animal bites/cruelty cases Complete comprehensive reports
Quarantines/Impounds/Releases Promoting responsible pet ownership
Monitor shelter costs Animal Licensing
Public information and education Respond to citizen complaints
Animal Community Fairs Enforcement of State and City laws
Below are some statistics showing ASOs performed during 2016:
- 3,300 calls for service
- 19,061 animal licenses were issued/sold
- 3,687 total City of Oxnard animal impounds
- 529 ASO live impounds
- 52 animals reunited with owners (via Facebook, dog license, etc.)
The Animal Safety Unit launched a series of new ideas toward Community Engagement with the animal community. During the summer months, Animal Licensing Fairs were introduced in an effort to increase animal licensing and safety awareness. In addition, the Unit’s social media activity increased where this platform was used to reunite animal owners with their pets, if lost.
The ASO Unit also increased field efficiency by adding laptop computers to their vehicles. By having mobile computers (New World) at their fingertips, this allowed ASOs to document animal bite incidents and research pending calls for service. ASOs are now able to identify if there are animals near their location that need to be captured and transported to the Ventura County Shelter, prior to leaving the area unaware.
ASOs have consistently connected with our animal community throughout the year. This was accomplished through events such as, Community Animal Licensing Fairs, Spay and Neuter Clinics, Rabies Shot Clinics, and social media outreach (Facebook, Nextdoor.com). The Unit’s License Canvassers also acquired new official uniforms which assisted in compliance efforts with door-to-door canvassing.