Living Peacefully with Wildlife in Your Community
Source: Santa Barbara County Animal Services
Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS) advocates peaceful co-existence with our native wildlife population. Understanding the normal habits of your wild neighbors and the reasons they are attracted to your property are the key to avoiding property damage and unwanted nuisances. Most wildlife species are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. Without realizing it, you may be encouraging wildlife to visit or make themselves at home, in YOUR home!
SBCAS does not rent traps to capture wildlife and we do not recommend trapping as a solution. If your property is attractive to wildlife, trapping and removing one animal only makes room for another to move in, and does not resolve the bigger issue.
We recommend the following ways to discourage wildlife from inhabiting your property:
- Don't leave pet food or water dishes out after dusk.
- Secure trash cans with tight fitting lids, tied closed if necessary.
- Keep garage doors and pet doors closed and secured after dusk.
- Remove debris piles that provide shelter for wild animals.
- Trim vegetation and tree branches that allow easy access to your roof and attic.
- Pick up all fallen fruit from fruit trees.
- Secure small domestic pets indoors and poultry in adequate outdoor caging, especially after dusk.
- Seal entry holes in fences, under buildings, eaves, air ducts, and decks. Be sure to take precautions not to enclose adult animals or their offspring inside.
- Don't feed wildlife.
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN)
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network (SBWCN) has a team of rescuers that can transport animals if need be. Your safety and the animal’s safety are paramount.
Call the SBWCN Helpline during the hours of 9 am-5 pm at: (805) 681-1080
Please call the Helpline to speak to a wildlife representative for advice. If no one answers, please leave a detailed voicemail with your name, phone number, and the exact location and condition of the animal.
Please visit SBWCN's website for more information.
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife: https://wildlife.ca.gov
Santa Barbara County Animal Services
Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not provide traps for capturing wildlife. SBCAS encourages finding ways to peacefully coexist with our native wildlife without trapping.
Prior to trapping, familiarize yourself with the State of California-Department of Fish and Wildlife Trapping Laws and Regulations. We recommend contacting a permitted trapping agency to assist you. If you decide to trap on your own, familiarize yourself with how to operate your trap and safely release animals from it. Animals must be released in the immediate area from which they were trapped. SBCAS is not responsible for releasing or relocating trapped wildlife.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services will assist with the removal of sick/injured wildlife when the animal is predominantly immobile and/or inside of a residence. To report sick/injured wildlife or if you have a related question, submit your request HERE.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not respond to calls for marine wildlife. Please visit the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife's website.