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SB City Animal Control Hours
updated: Mar 10, 2014, 12:58 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Did you know that SB City Animal Control only responds to emergencies on the weekdays? There was a large stray dog at La Cumbre Jr High on Saturday, and the police dispatcher said there are only 3 Animal Control Officers now, and none of them are assigned to work on weekends. They are on-call if there is an emergency.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 501564 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:27 PM

That's normal.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:37 PM

I thought they responded for emergencies anytime? Or is that County Animal Control?


 COMMENT 501573 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:41 PM

Yes, that's how it's always been.


 COMMENT 501579P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:47 PM

No, it is not how it has always been; only the last couple of years has the city of SB Animal Control, part of the SBPD, not worked on weekends. They have been paring it down since the retirement of one of the officers.

It's really a shame that the City does not care enough....


 COMMENT 501582 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:53 PM

Yes, it's the unfortunate reality. They used to have these cages set up on the weekends and evenings, where you could drop off stray/found dogs...but apparently too much people kept dumping their animals there, so they got rid of 'em. It makes things *very* difficult for concerned citizens who find animals outside of standard working hours (which is when I'm actually outside of the office and more likely to encounter a lost animal).


 COMMENT 501586 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 01:59 PM

You can thank Grover and his merry band of tax cutters for the budget shortfalls. And the 2008 financial melt down didn't help either.


 COMMENT 501631P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 03:37 PM

The cages were at the county animal shelter, the shelter that has no choice about what/who to take in, for community members. Yeah, a lot of dumps of dying and sick and unwanted animals; it was a way to avoid giving info and paying the small fee to turn over an animal or pay for euthanasia for a dying pet. I'd still like to know the reasoning for removing them, besides work load, freeloading and contamination. On the other hand, those seem like pretty darn good reasons.

City responds to emergencies as far as I know. They may be down to 2 officers; I think the most recently hired third officer is still there -- I hope so!

I'd like to see a statement from the SBPD or some other information that there is no city animal control officer on call on the weekends. Wouldn't be surprised that dispatchers say that to lower the callers' expectations.

Animal control officers everywhere mostly respond to irresponsibility. Your tax dollars at work in the service of you and your neighbors.


 COMMENT 501633P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 03:39 PM

Does OP mean WEEKENDS instead of weekdays?
"Did you know that SB City Animal Control only responds to emergencies on the weekdays?"


 COMMENT 501634 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 03:40 PM

This is so sad and probably one of the reason the local animal shelters are slammed with unwanted dogs and cats. I would love to adopt a dog, but I'm not a fan of dozens (if not hundreds) of chihuahuas and pit bull/mix dogs that completely dominate the selection at nearly every shelter. Maybe there's one chihuahua out there that isn't "yappy" and many owners say their pit bulls are wonderful/loving, but I cannot chance even one biting incident when the children visit.


 COMMENT 501642 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 04:03 PM

What the poster meant is that during the week the City will respond to strays and emergencies, but on the weekends they are on-call and will only come out for emergencies. I don't know what an emergency is. Maybe a dog attack or a serious dog bit on a person?


 COMMENT 501696 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 06:58 PM

I've worked at animal shelters/animal control facilities in two other areas of California. I've been to many conferences for those who work in this area.
It is EXTREMELY unusual to have such poor animal control coverage in a community, especially one of this size. Not to mention in a community that is so fond of pets and on average so fiscally stable. It is nothing short of a travesty. None of us think we need a service until we need it. This is very true of decent animal control.


 COMMENT 501701P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 08:35 PM

Being on-call for emergencies 24/7 IS work. Emergencies are things like animal bites, dying animals, domestic and wild, that kind of thing. And picking up dogs from people arrested. If your dog is stray Saturday afternoon, yeah, you're probably out of luck. These people get a lot of abuse from the public but they help a lot of dogs, cats too.


 COMMENT 501703P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-10 08:37 PM

Beachbummer, have you ever worked at a municipal shelter?


 COMMENT 501723P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 01:05 AM

Yes, I knew from bitter experience. It really sucks and many animal lives have suffered and many died because of it.


 COMMENT 501730 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 07:44 AM

I have worked closely with all three SB animal control officers on dog barking issues in my neighborhood. I found them all to be diligent, hard-working, friendly and very helpful. I wish their budget was increased so that more officers could be hired, as that dept. is under-staffed for all the animal issues in a dog-friendly city the size of SB.


 COMMENT 501745P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 08:28 AM

730, the money IS there --- Animal Control is not the priority of this chief of police, Mr. Sanchez, or his boss, this city council. Nor probably a concern of the city administrator, Jim Armstrong.

It is more than too bad. (Side note: It would be interesting to know how many councilmembers are dog owners and got their dog(s) from a shelter.) There are many animal control issues that are going uncared for in the city and now with the outbreak of raccoon distemper publicized here last week, it is only a matter of time....


 COMMENT 501749 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 08:41 AM

Decades ago I got an awesome dog because the owner was arrested on New Year's Eve for a parole violation and went off to the pokey, and the cops left the pup tied to a fence. A day later when Animal Control had not come for it another homeless guy saw her there and brought her to me, suggesting she'd be a good guard dog. The previous owner never came back, I sent him a note c/o his parole officer saying she had a job now, and I even went so far as to surrender her to the Doggie Dachau for a few days and then legally adopt her as a "stray" so he'd have no claim if he did return. The Animal Control people do a job that sucks their souls, and hardens their hearts. The poor dogs get caught in the middle.


 COMMENT 501819 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 10:51 AM

A year or so ago I was out on a run and came across two large, scared, frantic dogs running back and forth on the Ortega St./101 pedestrian overpass. Both dogs had leashes attached to their collars and wouldn't come anywhere near me. I went right home and tried to contact Animal Control several times. You can't talk to a human, the calls go straight to voicemail. Very frustrating for anyone trying to do the right thing.


 COMMENT 501827 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 11:08 AM

The police take over that role, if it is an emergency, on the weekends.


 COMMENT 501862 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-03-11 12:41 PM

Animal Control in SB City is the police. I believe they are sworn police officers able to do patrol. That is why their numbers go down when budgets get tight- they get moved over to patrol duties instead of animal control.

I figure when a stray dog attacks and injures or kills a child on a weekend and the City Council has to pretend to care, then this will change.

Instead of SB City paying the County about $3/person ($240,000 per year) to have the County ACOs work in the City, the City only pays the County to be able to use the shelter facilities (about $2/person/yr). Instead the City hires 3-5 ACOs at the cost of $100,000 per officer (including benefits). Which is better for the City?


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