SB Humane to Renovate Santa Barbara Campus

Santa Barbara Humane has errected storey poles at their Santa Barbara campus to detail upcoming construction and renovations.

Read their letter to the community below:

By Kerri Burns, CEO of SB Humane

Dear Friends,

As you well know, the role of Santa Barbara Humane has expanded significantly since our inception 136 years ago. As we look to the future, we are carefully planning to ensure our services and care can meet the high standards and evolving needs of animal welfare here in Santa Barbara County. 

As the strongest advocate for our local animals, we connect homeless and surrendered dogs and cats with loving homes and owners. More and more, our role also includes strengthening the human-animal bond, and keeping pets and families together. 

In that vein, we have increasingly become a resource for all county animals, including those sheltered in our facilities, animals from other overcrowded shelters, as well as pets in the community.

Accessible veterinary care and professional behavioral training are the marquee services that support the human-animal bond. As our role has expanded, our programs have seen significant growth in animals served over the last five years. 

Last year, 20,426 animals received affordable veterinary care from our team of professionals. Specifically, we provided free and low-cost veterinary services to 4,000 community animals, a 78% increase since 2021.

The most cited reason for owner-surrendered pets is behavioral challenges. In 2022, we provided affordable and professional behavioral training to over one thousand dogs, a 134% increase over the previous year. Each year, on average, 1,600 animals are adopted into loving homes – and we maintain a stellar “length of stay average.” 

It is now 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 up 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.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. 


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

What do you think?


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  1. Their biggest problem is operations and staffing, not the facility. If you want to go look at an adoptable pet they turn you away without an appointment. What’s with that? Can’t use the Covid excuse anymore guys. It’s frustrating. They look like they have very poor management and a skeleton “staff”.

  2. SBHS is a well funded non profit with multiple large endowments. They have the luxury to hand pick the animals they choose to shelter. They only accept owner relinquished dogs & cats on a case by case basis. They choose the most adoptable animals from other shelters and they keep their numbers low. This gives them an artificially high success rate with adoptions.
    The most beneficial to the community has been their low cost veterinary clinic. Affordable vaccinations and spay/ neuter are tremendous benefits. But you also get what you pay for. The “shelter medicine” mentality it operates under has consequences for those taking their animals there thinking it’s going to be like a private practice. If your pet has any kind of issue after treatment you have to see a regular veterinarian. Even for a vaccine they just gave 30 minutes prior. Its an assembly line of surgeries on some days. I hope their new state of the art veterinary clinic practices medicine like a regular veterinary practice and they hire qualified veterinary professionals. The Humane Society was once a pillar of our community with long time employees, great relationships with local veterinary hospitals and welcomed many more animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and other small animals. They always lent a hand when the shelter next door was overwhelmed. In the last decade this changed. I hope this new facility will encourage the current management to do better.

  3. Some of these problems are self created by constantly pushing no-kill with a burgeoning pet population and very few rentals allowing pets. So then taxpayers pay for the furry homeless. I love animals, I’ve had my share of pets, but what the hell are we doing that makes any of this sustainable? The pet industry is neither sustainable nor ecological.
    Having written that, I’m off to walk the dog

  4. It would have helped if they said where they are, “SB Campus” and then there is a mention of Goleta. I have been wanting to volunteer with rescued dogs, but am unsure of the differences between the Humane Society or the County — or are they one and the same?

    • They are both in Goleta on the same street. The Humane Societh has a little yellow house out front and county Animal Services is down the road behind it. The HS only takes some owner relinquished animals and is a non profit. They have a vet hospital and a crematorium on site. Animal Services must take in all strays and owner relinquished animals. They are part of the Public Health Dept and depemd on left ovef scraps from that department’s budget, licebse sales and dog adoption fees. AS is horribly run down and understaffed but the staff, officers and volunteers ars dedicated and work so hard to make life bettef for abandoned dogs. ASAP is a non profit cat rescue on site and BUNS is a non profit rabbit rescue on site. Both rely soley on private donations and cover all costs including medical. Volunteers are always needed .

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