April 16, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Santa Barbara County Animal Services is at max capacity. How you can help.

The Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelters are at maximum capacity.

There are 185 dogs at the shelter and now they are in serious need of the community’s help to alleviate the facility’s population.

There are three communities served by the county animal services: Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara.

As of now, all three have reached capacity, and on Tuesday, one woman turned in her dogs to the Santa Maria shelter because she was unable to look after them.

“A poor woman, she was unable to keep her dogs anymore and so she came into the Santa Barbara Animal Shelter and had to turn the dogs into us and, fortunately, she had 13 dogs and at that point, we knew we were in trouble,” said Ernesto Poblano, Santa Barbara County Animal Services operations manager.

Shelter officials say they had to rearrange how they house the dogs due to the overpopulation.

“Comfortably we can house 71 dogs,” said Justine Romero, a Santa Maria Animal Services Shelter supervisor. “We have 71 kennels. We’re currently at about 85 dogs in the shelter so a lot of our smaller dogs get moved out of our larger full-sized kennels and get put into wired crates to accommodate housing for larger dogs.”

Now, the shelter is calling in the community for help, to rescue these furry friends in need of a new home.

“It’s really important for the community to open up their hearts and their homes to one of our animals even if it’s temporarily,” said Romero. “To provide a shelter break for these animals until we can actually figure out how to communicate with our rescue groups and our partners and see if they are able to open up their facilities and receive some of our animals.”

A Santa Maria resident who was at the shelter told KSBY News that she adopted her dog 4 years ago and her decision made a positive impact on her life.

“I have a heart condition,” said Carrie Hamlin, a Santa Maria resident. “I’m disabled and she has just brought so much life into my life and I adopted her purposely as an older dog because they tend to be overlooked. I will tell you, as long as you take them to their regular appointments, feed them great food, take them out for exercise, you can have them for a very long time.”

Not only does the shelter need community members to adopt, but Poblano says they are also in need of volunteers to help care for the animals.

“Right now we’re in the midst of a shortage of staff and we really want to be able to provide the most for the animals that are within the shelter and we lean heavily on our volunteers to help improve the life and care of so many animals here.”

If you’re interested in bringing a new furry friend to your home, the Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelter is waiving adoption fees for Presidents’ Day Weekend.

The adoption event runs from Feb. 16-18, 2024.