Eagles featured residents
by Earl Bates
Residents are invited to the Humane Society Animal Shelter
and Adoption Center on Saturday especially to meet two new members
of the Ojai community, a bald eagle and a golden eagle.
"The eagles are just absolutely incredible," said Tim
Dewar, director of public relations for the Ventura County Humane
And thanks to extra efforts by some generous people, the eagles
have a new part-time home at the Humane Society's shelter on
Bryant Street. "You are more than welcome to see the new
aviary, it's a fabulous structure."
The eagles and their new specially built aviary will be a feature
of Saturday's celebration of the Ventura County Humane Society's
Ojai is very lucky to have these two distinguished eagles, according
to Kim Stroud, director of Ojai Raptor Center, the nonprofit
organization responsible for taking care of the birds.
These eagles can never become pets, but Stroud explained they
have a special educational role as ambassadors from the wild
world of raptors. "These eagles will be community members,"
These eagles are healthy, although they will never be able to
fly because of injuries they have suffered. They have been chosen
and trained for their role as educational birds. "We didn't
want one that was just going to sit in a cage, we wanted one
we could take out to schools and around the community,"
Liberty, the bald eagle, recently arrived from Alaska. Shytan,
the golden eagle, has been an educational bird at Ojai Raptor
Center for several years. The eagles will be at the Humane Society
one day per week, usually Saturday. When not out in the community
doing educational work the eagles will be living at their main
residence, the Ojai Raptor Center.
The new aviary at the Humane Society was funded by a generous
gift from Lynn and Frank Kirk. "We also had help from Ojai
Concrete, Terry Lumber, Fence Factory, Door Outlet and from Robert
Del Castillo, he designed and built it," said Stroud.
Ojai Vons has been donating trout and salmon for the bald eagle,
said Stroud. Opportunities for symbolic adoption of the birds
are available and would be a big help in feeding and caring for
them, she said. Costs for each eagle are about $1,500 per year
just for food and basic health care. In addition to the eagles,
Ojai Raptor Center is responsible for the care, feeding and housing
of 20 other birds that are available for community education
These eagles are wonderful educational creatures, but they are
wild and will never be available for adoption. Many dogs, cats
and sometimes other domestic animals are available for adoption
into good homes through the Humane Society.
"We have a lot more programs than just our adoptions,"
said Dewar. The Humane Society has a pet therapy program. "We
take shelter animals and volunteer-owned animals into nursing
homes and long-term care facilities to visit with the residents,"
he said. "It keeps the people in the facilities in touch
with animals and it helps socialize our animals while they are
waiting for a home."
The Ventura County Humane Society also has a pet education program
for schools, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and offers investigation
of abused and neglected animals. A volunteer program at the shelter
in Ojai and at their thrift store in Ventura helps provide opportunities
for people interested in helping make a local contribution to
"In addition to celebrating our 70th anniversary we are
trying to adopt out as many animals as possible," said Dewar.
June is Adopt-a-Cat Month at the Humane Society. "We are
offering the option to choose another one at no extra cost so
they can have a feline friend."
The Saturday celebration will include a parking lot sale "with
a lot of great deals on different things, particularly doghouses
and pet carriers," said Dewar. Also, pizza, veggieburgers
and barbecued corn will be for sale. "The proceeds, as they
do at our thrift store, will help support the services here at
the Humane Society."
Thousands of people and pets have been through the Humane Society
over the years, said Dewar. "We still get letters from people
who say something like 'I adopted my dog from you 20 years ago
and I would just like to thank you for being there.' So this
is a time for people to stop by and celebrate."
The open house celebration will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
at the Humane Society Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, 402
Bryant St. Residents are welcome to call the society at 646-6505
for more information.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to the news