The Santa Barbara Humane Society is celebrating its 130th anniversary, and the entire community is on the birthday party invite list.
The open house is from noon-4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, throughout the Santa Barbara Humane Society campus, 5399 Overpass Road.
The event is free and Humane Society veterinary staff will provide $5 vaccinations for dogs and cats. As a family event, there will be refreshments, live music, a dog parade, magic show, face-painting, dog demonstrations, adoptable dogs, and play groups.
“Not many people know that the Santa Barbara Humane Society was founded in 1887 and since then has been providing compassionate and humane treatment to animals through a variety of services,” said Peggy Langle, executive director.
“This annual event is a chance for us to open our doors and celebrate everything we have been able to accomplish with the help of our community,” she said.
Popular services the Humane Society offers with a $25 membership are low-cost vaccinations, spay and neutering, and low-cost boarding of dogs and cats. For pet-owners' peace of mind, there is always a staff member on the premises.
In the past couple of years, Santa Barbara Humane Society has begun progressive enrichment programs for the animals. The dogs can socialize and romp in outdoor play groups outside of the kennels. Open house visitors will be able to observe play groups.
“In play groups, our dogs become less fearful, more secure and it allows our staff to know their personalities better in order find perfect forever homes for them,” said Langle.
“With the introduction of enrichment programs, the average length of stay has dropped from 2 1/2 years to less than three months.”
While the open house is free, donations are encouraged. For more information about the open house or the Humane Society, visit www.sbhumansesociety.org or call 964-4777.
— Angel Pacheco for Santa Barbara Humane Society.