It’s not as if wild cats and dogs are running amuck in the streets of Santa Barbara, but, according to the Santa Barbara Humane Society, there is a real and ongoing issue of pet overpopulation within the county.
In order to address this pervasive problem, an 11-member task force met on February 4, to discuss the potential development and implementation of new a spay/neuter ordinance within Santa Barbara. (Male cats and dogs are neutered; females are spayed.) The task force’s spokesperson, Michele Mickiewicz, explained the significance of the future regulation, “It is an ongoing problem that we have more animals in shelters than we can find homes for.” Sadly, shelters are often forced to double up pets in small spaces to accommodate the overpopulation, which can, at times, traumatize and even harm the animals.
Mickiewicz insists that this ordinance will encourage heightened responsibility and awareness on the part of Santa Barbara County pet owners. Surrounding jurisdictions, including Lompoc, have already begun to enforce similar spay/neuter operations. The task force is also working to create different, specific regulations for exempted pet owners such as licensed breeders.
Three more meetings have been planned to discuss and draft the ordinance:
February 18, 4-6 p.m., at the Board of Supervisors Conference Room, Santa Maria
March 4, 4-6 p.m., at the Board of Supervisors Conference Room, Santa Barbara
Match 25, 4-6 p.m., at the Board of Supervisors Conference Room, Santa Maria
The public is invited to attend the meetings to learn more. In the meantime, the Santa Barbara Humane Society’s Web site offers complete information of spay/neuter procedures and fees.
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Chanti Burnette is an Independent intern.