May 8, 2023

Story Poles Signal a New Era at Santa Barbara Humane

It is time that our facilities grow along with our programs, services, and vision for the next 136 years. 

Today we will be erecting some story poles  at our Santa Barbara campus, which will be up for the next week or two. These story poles signal the work we’ve done to support a new era of animal welfare at Santa Barbara Humane. 

We have been working with a professional team to identify a renovation plan that will offer a celebrated resource for sheltered animals and community animals. We are looking to include state-of-the-art veterinary facilities; enlarged pet enclosures optimized for security, support and stimulation; and adapted spaces for behavioral training.

We are early in the planning phase, and the story poles are a required precursor to presenting the City of Goleta with our conceptual plans. 

There will be a great deal more information coming out on our renovation efforts as we officially move forward with our planning and fundraising. 

We look forward to having your support as part of this exciting new chapter. 


Talking TLC with SB Humane

This week we visited with Kerri Burns, CEO of SB Humane and her team of CFO Paige Van Tuyl, and COO Dori Villalon at the Santa Barbara location on Overpass Road. The four-acre property holds a veterinary clinic and surgery center, food, lodging and training of dogs, a cat hotel, and offers shelter during local disasters for pets like rabbits, chickens, and horses.

It is obvious this team loves animals and their job, as evidenced by the animals that are there. The tour started with the vet clinic where we were greeted by the dog manning the clinic; yes, seriously. Dogs are assigned to various tasks for socialization skills. This dog was great, smiling, attentive, and followed us around – it did appear he was managing the place!

The Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Katie Marrie, holds a Masters in Shelter Medicine, and the clinic is staffed with licensed veterinarians. They perform up to 30 surgeries a day, do blood work in-house, sterilize equipment via autoclave, do health exams, and provide vaccinations. 

Burns said that services for animals are provided whether the pet owner has funds or not. “Those who can pay are actually helping pay for those who cannot, and of course anyone can make a donation towards that.”

The cat shelter features music – which research has shown calms the cats – and pheromones released into the air which smell like a mother cat, so the cats instinctively feel safe. The cats’ cages are roomy and split-level, and have a doggie door so the felines can go outside. 

We next toured the property where there are large open areas for individual dogs to run and play on a rotating basis. There is a recreation and skill learning plan, so dogs are both exercised and socialized. They go to the beach, to Home Depot, and other types of outings. The dogs have heated individual outside pens they go to only for sleep at night and feedings. Burns asked if I noticed any dogs barking. There was a friendly bark as we walked through, but not the expected chorus of barking from all the dogs. She mentioned this was because of the programs they have at the center. 

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