A Santa Barbara woman’s ranch home on West Camino Cielo was raided Saturday by county Animal Services, and 445 animals were seized and are now held at a local shelter.
The complaint that prompted the investigation was related not to the number of animals, but the standard and level of care, according to Animal Services Director Jan Glick.
She told Noozhawk that the county got a search warrant with permission to seize owner Sandy Coupal’s animals, which include chickens, turkeys, pigeons, quail, rabbits, an alpaca, two cats and two dogs.
It was not, Glick said, the first complaint received regarding the property, but she said she couldn’t talk about specific housing conditions observed at the home during Saturday’s raid.
The case is being investigated, Glick said, and soon will be handed off to the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed against Coupal.
Meanwhile, the animals are all considered evidence and aren’t available for adoption. It’s “taking a horrendous amount of feed” to take care of them all, Glick said, and the county welcomes donations of chicken scratch, wild bird feed, turkey food and lay crumbles/pellets, which can be dropped off at the 5473 Overpass Road shelter in Goleta.
Glick said all of the animals are at one facility, and thanked the Santa Barbara Humane Society for being a “tremendous partner” in this case.