Animal Services selected for prestigious apprenticeship grant

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Ventura County Animal Services’ Foster Coordinator, Sarah Aguilar, has been selected for the Medium and Large Dog Foster Apprenticeship Program at the Austin Animal Center, in Austin, Texas. The apprenticeship is made possible by a grant from Maddie’s Fund, a foundation dedicated to making animal shelters across the country no-kill facilities. Aguilar is one of only 12 interns chosen.

The apprenticeship covers three days of intensive training, plus travel. Participants will learn how to expand and manage an adult foster program, including the implementation of safety protocols, employing foster homes to reduce length of stay, and how fostering can help reduce operating costs.

“This is a unique and innovative opportunity for Ventura County Animal Services. Sarah heads up a program that helps our dogs decompress by going into foster homes, thereby helping to keep our pets mentally, physically and emotionally stable to keep them adoptable,” said Tara Diller, Director of Ventura County Animal Services. “To have the opportunity to be taught by Austin Animal Center, well-known for their sustainable no-kill community, is a tremendous honor and we are grateful to Maddie’s Fund for this opportunity.”

Aguilar came to Ventura County Animal Services in February 2016, and was previously the COO for Northwest Boxer Rescue, based out of Washington state. Since her arrival at VCAS, she has expanded the kitten foster network and implemented the “Home for the Holidays” temporary foster program during December.

In 2016, Ventura County Animal Services placed nearly 160 dogs into foster homes, an increase of nearly 50 percent over 2015.

For more information about Ventura County Animal Services, Maddie’s Fund or Austin Animal Center, visit them online at,, and

Click here for more Coronoavirus Information News and Updates