Deeply Disappointing Shelter

Your article about the Santa Barbara Humane Society (SBHS) and its disturbing underperformance is most welcome and needed.

My wife and I have lived in Santa Barbara since 2001. She has been a dedicated volunteer at the county animal shelter for 15 years; I have served as board member and in advisory roles for animal welfare organizations both large and small. In addition to adopting dogs from local shelters, we have our own private foundation which benefits dogs in need and supports efforts to keep dogs from entering the shelter system.

One of the deep disappointments we have shared is the Santa Barbara Humane Society. A rescue organization that has its physical property and financial resources should be accomplishing so much more than it is, whether you look at the number of intakes, the inferior physical condition of the animal housing and the quality of care for them, or the underperforming spay-neuter clinic. The size of the paid staff relative to the number of animals cared for at the S.B. Humane Society is disproportionate.

It is time that the SBHS Board of Directors either changes its oversight or steps down in favor of directors committed to using, not hoarding, the organization’s extensive resources. The current board should start by educating itself about what constitutes best practices and how other organizations — including ASAP (Animal Shelter Assistance Program), the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, and Woods Humane Society — are accomplishing so much more with so much less.

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