Santa Barbara Humane, which operates a campus in Santa Maria as well as Santa Barbara, reported that 1,263 animals were adopted and 20,204 received affordable and even free medical care through the organization in 2021.
Of the animals that have been adopted, 669 have found new homes through the Santa Maria shelter, said Marissa Miller, social media and brand coordinator for the organization.
These are just some of the statistics that testify to the success of the organization which, for the past two years, has provided humanitarian services throughout the county after two humanitarian companies serving the north and the south joined their strengths.
The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society merged with the Santa Barbara Humane Society to become Santa Barbara Humane in February 2020 – just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Due to business closures and job losses, an increasing number of pet owners have found themselves in need of financial assistance, including for veterinary care, and the number of pets in shelters swelled.
In 2020, approximately 1,000 families benefited from the organization’s TLC Fund, which provides financial assistance for medical services and procedures. By 2021, that number had grown to more than 2,300.
The merger allowed the organization to meet growing demands by sharing resources. What one refuge could not provide, the other could.
“Until recently, 80% of medical care was provided in Santa Maria,” said Sofia Rodriguez, head of philanthropy for the organization. “We were seeing people coming from south county to get treatment in Santa Maria.”
That prompted the organization to expand the Santa Barbara clinic to handle procedures such as mass removals, circumcisions and dental work, Rodriguez said. Other veterinary services have also been added to Santa Maria.
Last year, the Santa Maria campus alone performed 1,727 medical examinations, provided 4,235 vaccinations, performed 2,631 spaying and sterilization operations, applied 2,233 flea control measures and implanted 1,084 microchips among nearly of 4,000 total applications of almost a dozen other services.
Families who could no longer care for their pets turned over 827 of them to the two open-ended shelters that try to find homes for animals, regardless of their age, health or previous circumstances.
“Santa Maria has seen a huge increase in owner abandonment, especially herders and huskies,” Rodriguez said, noting that both breeds are very popular in North County.
“With huskies, people are adopting these cute little furball animals,” she explained. “But they grow up to be big, strong dogs – not just physically but mentally, with a strong will.”
They and Shepherds are also “working dogs” and need lots of exercise, and they need specialized training from other more passive dogs.
Last June, Santa Barbara Humane opened a new training facility in Santa Maria and recently added training classes for these two breeds as well as puppy classes in addition to Refined Rover, Reserved Rover and Reactive Rover classes.
Miller said that in 2021, the aid organization provided free or low-cost behavior training to 761 dogs, 65 of whom were educated at the Santa Maria training center.
Ultimately, Santa Barbara Humane’s goal is to keep animals alive and place them in loving homes, and in 2021, it achieved a live release rate of 96%.
The national average is 89%, according to a study commissioned by Shelter Animals Count, a neutral and independent nonprofit created to share and manage the National Database of Protected Animals, which provides facts and information to save lives. lives.
Miller attributed all of these successes to the support of Santa Barbara County residents for the nonprofit, which is not affiliated with any regional or national animal welfare organization and operates strictly through donations from individuals and corporations. local businesses.