Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 2:05 am | Overcast 64º


Local News

Extended Holding Period Creates Overcrowding at Santa Barbara County Animal Shelters

Animal Services, which has a noneuthanization policy, hopes the community will step up to help by adopting a pet

A symphony of barking and yipping from dogs wanting to play or go for a walk provides background music for Jan Glick, director of Santa Barbara County Animal Services, in her office at the animal shelter at 5473 Overpass Road in Goleta.

With nearly 110 dogs to only 44 kennels, it’s no surprise the noise is loud. Overcrowding of shelters is a large issue in the county, Glick said, and has prompted Public Health Department meetings — the most recent held last week — and local spay and neuter ordinances.

While Animal Services picks up strays and has an open-access policy to accept any animal brought to one of its shelters, Glick says increased intakes aren’t the reason for the overcrowding — it’s the extended holding period.

Animal intakes remain very high. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Goleta shelter took in 2,766 animals while 1,570, or 56 percent, were adopted.

County shelters do not euthanize adoptable animals, but will hold them until they are adopted. It can result in prolonged stays at the shelters, serving Santa Barbara, Goleta and the South Coast. Other shelters are located in Lompoc and Santa Maria.

“Responsible pet ownership would be the key,” Glick said about preventing overcrowded, adding that it is illegal to let a pet run loose or without licensing and vaccination. Such violations result in the impounding of the animal.

The Goleta shelter works with DAWG, a Santa Barbara nonprofit no-kill shelter next door, the Santa Barbara Humane Society (also next door) and humane societies in Northern California, but overcrowding at county shelters remains a problem.

Glick said that although volunteering in local shelters and fostering dogs help the shelters and provide richer lives for the dogs, adoption is still the main solution.

“We are really looking to have the community step in and see what they can do to help us reduce our overcrowding,” she said. “It’s just not humane to keep the dogs in such crowded conditions. The first way to help would be if you have room in your home, come out and adopt a dog.”

How to Help

» Adopt a dog — Click here for more information about adopting a dog from a Santa Barbara County shelter. Click here for information about adopting at DAWG. Click here for information about the Santa Barbara Humane Society.

» Volunteer — With only 29 full-time staff members in all three county animal shelters, the Goleta shelter could use some help. Click here for more information about volunteering. Click here for information about getting involved at DAWG.

» More helpful links — Project PetSafe is an education and outreach campaign dedicated to increasing pet owner responsibility by promoting vaccination, licensing, spaying/neutering and microchipping. A licensing clinic for dogs will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave. K-9 Pals is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization working on behalf of abandoned dogs. Call 805.681.4369 for more information.

Noozhawk intern Erin Stone can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >