Santa Barbara County Animal Services has just launched its “All I Want for the Holidays Is a Home of My Own” campaign. The goal is to keep shelter pets from spending another lonely Christmas in cages, with no homes of their own.

“We sit up and beg the animal-loving people of Santa Barbara County to open their hearts and homes to us, in the spirit of the holidays,” said Animal Services’ spokesdog Ruby, who has been living at the Santa Barbara shelter since October 2010. “It’s a lonely life, living in a kennel day after day, month after month, year after year. We promise to bring you the gift of love in return — and big wet kisses, too.”

Spokescat Morbius, who lives at Animal Shelter Assistance Program, (ASAP) at the Santa Barbara County shelter, concurred with Ruby, albeit from a safe distance. “It’s warm and dry at ASAP, and they give us food and good care. But even a comfortable cage is still a cage. Cats don’t beg, but we do appeal to the smart, cat-loving residents of this community to find a place for us in their lives. There is nothing more wonderful than having a warm kitty curl up with you on a chilly winter day.”

In support of this campaign, Animal Services is offering discounts on adoption fees December 15-24 at all of the county’s animal shelters. The discounts will be as follows:

• Cats over six months of age will cost only $25.

• Kittens under six months will cost $40, or you can adopt two kittens for $75.

• Dog adoption fees will be reduced to $50.

• Rabbit adoption fees will be only $15.

The Santa Barbara shelter, at 5473 Overpass Road, will kick off the “All I Want for the Holidays Is a Home of My Own” campaign with a bake sale and raffle, as well as visits from Santa Paws. The public is invited to attend between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The animals at all three Animal Services shelters — Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Santa Maria — have made themselves available for the same reduced fee and urge members of the public to visit them during business hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information on the locations of all the county shelters, visit

Remember: Don’t Give Animals as Gifts

Although there are hundreds of animals that need homes in Santa Barbara alone, and it is a perfect time to adopt one for yourself or your family, please remember that it’s not a good idea to surprise someone else with an animal as a gift. Animals given as surprise gifts are often unwanted after the holiday season has ended. Instead of giving a live animal as a gift, place a stuffed animal in a box filled with needed pet supplies — food, leashes, toys, etc. Then you can suggest a trip to your area animal shelter to adopt a pet if your recipient is ready. By doing this, you will also ensure that the recipient of your thoughtful gift bonds with the pet before he makes a lifelong commitment.

Adoptable Pet of the Week

Miss Sunny

Miss Sunny is a very sweet young rabbit. She was born at the Lompoc shelter in early 2012. Miss Sunny is a pretty girl with black tipped ears and a very luxurious soft coat. She is mellow and nice to handle and could easily become part of your family.

Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS) is a volunteer organization that cares for abandoned rabbits. BUNS is located at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road, Santa Barbara. BUNS works to find bunnies permanent homes and educates the public on caring for a companion rabbit. You can call the County Shelter at (805) 681-5285 or call BUNS at (805) 683-0521 and leave a message for someone to call you back. For more information, visit


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.