Santa Barbara Humane Celebrates Successful 2023, Looks Forward to Bright 2024

Thanks to the unwavering support and loyalty of residents of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Humane has a lot to celebrate. Operating through our two campuses in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, Santa Barbara Humane has achieved remarkable milestones in 2023:

  • 28,656 animals received affordable or free expert veterinary care.
  • 5,961 animals and families received financial assistance for veterinary care through our TLC Fund
  • 2,127 animals were adopted into loving homes
  • The first SB Humane Gala was a smashing success, with more than 300 guests and volunteers in

In 2023, Santa Barbara Humane saw a 28% increase in adoptions from 2022, resulting in 2,127 animals finding homes. One such animal was Sage, a 3-month-old English bulldog, who was surrendered to Santa Barbara Humane due to a severe respiratory infection and lack of appetite. Her owners were unable to afford her medical care.

As a brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed, bulldogs are prone to respiratory issues, and our veterinarian team’s main concern was determining how severe the respiratory condition was. Our medical team was able to physically examine her and run chest X-rays to assess Sage’s condition. The results showed mild pneumonia, but her overall health was good. She was started on antibiotics to treat the infection while closely monitoring her appetite. Within a few days, Sage’s health improved dramatically. Her appetite and energy returned as the pneumonia cleared. Her new family met her, fell in love, and adopted her on the same day.

Sage (Courtesy)

Like so many other animals, Sage arrived at Santa Barbara Humane as an owner surrender. As an open-admission shelter, Santa Barbara Humane accepts pets surrendered by their owners regardless of the animal’s age, health, or circumstance. In 2023, 1,229 animals were surrendered to Santa Barbara Humane by their owners, an increase of more than 25% from the prior year.

Shelter animals like Sage weren’t the only ones helped by Santa Barbara Humane’s safety-net programs in 2023. Thanks in part to grants and generous donations from the community, Santa Barbara Humane offers low-cost and free medical services to thousands of pets throughout Santa Barbara County through our TLC Fund. This fund made a difference in the lives of 5,961 owned animals in 2022, a 51% increase from 2022 and more than a 650% increase from when the TLC Fund was started in 2020.

One of the animals helped by the TLC fund in 2023 was Beans. Beans arrived at our Veterinary Clinic when she was just a week-old kitten, with part of her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her foot. This led to significant swelling and inflammation. Thanks to the TLC fund, our medical team had the resources to give Beans the delicate care she urgently needed.

Beans (Courtesy)

Our veterinary team carefully removed the dry skin constricting her ankle, cleaned the wound, and scheduled a follow-up to monitor healing. When Beans returned, some improvement was shown, but swelling persisted. The scab formed over the initial wound and constricted her ankle again. Our team removed it to provide relief, but the recurring scabs led to the same issue.

It was clear Beans needed more intense treatment. Throughout several post-op appointments over two weeks, Beans showed gradual but consistent improvement. She has fully recovered and is living a joyful, healthy life on all four paws! We cannot thank our donors enough for making stories like Beans possible through access to top-quality personalized medicine.

“At Santa Barbara Humane, our commitment extends beyond animal adoption; we strive to celebrate and nurture the profound bond between animals and humans,” remarked Kerri Burns, CEO of Santa Barbara Humane. “This encompasses providing assistance for the behavioral and medical needs of both shelter animals and pets already in a loving home. As a local nonprofit, our programs are funded by the community we serve. We are so thankful to our community for making it possible for us to help so many animals, both in the shelter and our community, this year, and we are looking forward to helping even more animals in 2024.”

To learn more about the services offered, book an appointment, or donate, the community is encouraged to visit

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Santa Barbara Humane is the oldest animal welfare agency in Santa Barbara County, serving the community for over 135 years. The organization’s two campuses in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria provide low-cost veterinary care, affordable dog training, adoption, and socially conscious sheltering for local animals, whether they are with a loving family or at the shelter waiting for a home of their own. Because Santa Barbara Humane does not receive any federal funding, it relies on donor support to help thousands of animals and families each year in Santa Barbara County


Written by SBHumane

As one of the first animal welfare agencies in the West, Santa Barbara Humane has served our local communities since 1887. Learn more at

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  1. Do SB Humane and the SB County Animal Services work together? Or, if not, what are the differences between the two? Are they both “no-kill” shelters? If one is interested in volunteering do they both want/need/accept volunteers?

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