To This Wonderful Foundation, Every Furry Life Counts

To This Wonderful Foundation, Every Furry Life Counts


By law in the Santa Barbara County, Animal Services are required to pick up stray animals under any type of condition (no matter if they are cats, dogs or rabbits). There are three County facilities, located in Lompoc, Goleta and Santa Maria, which capacity has been considerably exceeded with numerous homeless and usually injured, neglected and abused animals. Often, no one claims the ownership of these animals and there are not enough funds to take care of them, representing a major issue for the community and shelter owners and volunteers.

As an answer to this pressing issue in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation (SBCACF) was created. Its main goal is to take care of those animals that have been hit by cars, need a surgery because they were abused or neglected, were abandoned, have mange or any other type of disease. With people from the Santa Barbara community, SBCAF provides the needed assistance to animals in vulnerable conditions, making a life-saving difference by giving them a second chance to find a new home where they can be valued and loved for the rest of their days.

SBCACF is a not for profit organization founded in 2002, which workforce is exclusively based on volunteer work. In order to promote animal welfare, the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation created education programs that promote humane ethic and responsible treatment of every animal in any condition.

In this article, Kenny Slaught shares detailed information about an organization which basic mission is to transform sadness into happy endings by assisting shelters and animals in need.

Commitment to animal welfare.

The organization knows that the intake of stray animals must be reduced and citizens should commit to adopting their next animal from a county shelter instead of buying one, in order to reduce the number of euthanized animals. For this reason SBCACF partners with SBC Animal Services, working for a no-kill county for adoptable animals. Thanks to this mission the organization’s slogan is “Together We Can Save Lives.”

SBCACF commitment to animal welfare was demonstrated during its first year of operation when the organization focused on funding and building the Santa Maria Animal Center (SMAC), a place dedicated to improving the areas that would make the most impact in favor of animals. Funds were also spent on animal houses, medical and clinic equipment, a Rabbit Resort and a play yard for both dogs and rabbits.

Through TV advertising the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation has promoted shelter adoption, animal neutralization programs, shelter fostering and volunteerism in the County.

Special contributions to the Santa Barbara County Community

The Foundation has made some major contributions to the Santa Barbara County, becoming a key element for animal welfare. Some of the most significant inputs of SBCACF are listed below:

–    Medical Assistance: SBCACF’s Medical Fund covers the costs of extensive surgeries for shelter animals – most of these surgeries are dedicated to repairing fractures. The Foundation also supports special surgeries, treatments, and therapeutic devices.

–    Animal Neutralization: SBCACF provides funds and labor for neutralization days, held during weekends every other month. This contributes to the reduction of potential street animals.

–    Funds for Projects: The organization provides funds for rabbit cages, medical equipment, and supplies needed to perform surgeries in different partner facilities.

–    Events: Many different events are helping to promote SBCACF mission and goals, such as Cause 4 Paws, Dogtoberfest Pledge walk, and a Pet Fair. These events are intended to create awareness and work as fundraising vehicles while they entertain the community.

H.O.P.E. Project

Image courtesy of Dave Parker at
Image courtesy of Dave Parker at

In 2009, the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation created and launched the first Camp HOPE for kids 9-12 years in local public schools. H.O.P.E. means “Humane Outreach through Progressive Education” and it offers a wide range of programs based on youth, intended to educate children on responsible pet stewardship while responding to matters where challenges are most dominant, like bite safety and pet overpopulation.

H.O.P.E. teaches children that the way we treat our companion animals tells a lot about what we know and are as human beings. For this reason, the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation aims to teach children to be ethical and responsible toward animals, using different types of tools and opening spaces to freely communicate their experiences, feelings, and beliefs.

By empowering members of the Santa Barbara County community from childhood, SBCACF is opening different possibilities for positive change. Giving information to children allows them to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the promotion of animal welfare. In other words, H.O.P.E. cultivates the unique minds of children, planting seeds of change for a better future.

To learn more about the Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation, you can visit their website.