Despite COVID-19, work at the Santa Barbara Humane Society and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society have continued with their necessary work.

An initial campus closure after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s emergency order in March provided the organization an opportunity to take a step back and develop a plan to serve the community under the new social distancing guidelines.

“Despite the pandemic, we are doing amazing with both adoptions and clinic visits. We are actually beating some of our 2019 numbers including number of adoptions and number of vaccine visits,” said Kerri Burns, CEO of the organization.

Keeping up a busy pace, the clinic has performed 274 spay/neuter surgeries for animals being readied for adoption.

The need for service for public animals has also been great. After having to reschedule more than 800 appointments at the height of the pandemic closures, the clinic has returned at nearly full speed to assist animals in need.

The public has been using the Humane Society’s online booking system to schedule appointments for vaccines and other medical needs. This has led to its team performing 2,687 vaccine and wellness appointments, and nearly 1,000 spay/neuter appointments for community owned animals.

Clinic staff aren’t the only ones who have kept busy during the pandemic; shelter staff have had a steady flow of adoptions. Adoptions are by appointment only, which gives staff a chance to work more closely with the animals and have a longer and more in depth conversations with adopters.

As of Oct. 1, there have been 1,102 cats and dogs adopted from the Santa Barbara and Santa Maria campuses.

Learn more about what services are offered and view adoptable animals at