Animal Shelter Assistance Program, aka ASAP, will be hosting its fifth annual free adoption event. The special adoption event will be held on Saturday, August 15th (10am to 4pm) and Sunday, August 16 (10am to 2pm). This adoption event waives the regular $75 adoption fee and offers adult cats to qualified adopters completely FREE, except for a lifetime commitment to provide love and care to a healthy, adoptable shelter cat.

Lisa Acho Remorenko

For the first time in its five years of offering the free adoption weekend, ASAP will be joined by the Humane Societies in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara County Animal Services’ other two shelters in Lompoc and Santa Maria will be participating again as well, providing cat lovers with many different shelters from which to choose a new feline companion.

According to executive director Angela Walters Rockwell, “For the first time throughout Santa Barbara County, there will be a single weekend where people can adopt an adult cat for free at six shelter locations. We are hoping that this landmark adoption event will draw attention to the plight of homeless cats in our community because there are literally hundreds of sweet, companion cats sitting in cages, waiting for someone to take them home.”

What’s great about this event is that adult cats tend to get passed over during the summer months when animal shelters are overflowing with kittens. Many people never even look at the cages of adult cats when kittens are at the shelter. The current adult population at ASAP is 232 cats, which is 25% higher than normal for this time of year.

Although many people think about kittens this time of year, there are many benefits of adopting an adult cat. If you adopt an adult cat, you know exactly what you’re getting. Body type, coat, and eye color are set. Most importantly, you’ll know your cat’s personality. You’ll know whether your cat is going to be laid-back or active, quiet or vocal, cuddly or demanding, since adult cats have already settled into their own personalities.

Of course, if you have your heart set on a kitten, the shelters have kittens too. Kittens can be adopted at the special rate of two for $75. If you are serious about adopting a kitten, I would highly recommend adopting two kittens together. When you adopt two kittens, they are able to learn from each other. Kittens are able to gain knowledge of social skills, play skills and other important behavioral traits when they play together. And best of all, when you are away from the house, two kittens have each other to play with and keep each other company.

As a result of this free adoption weekend, which ASAP started five years ago, an average of 80 cats have found new homes in a single weekend. That’s 400 cats that are now sleeping in warm beds, rather than in cages. The excitement these events generated brought ten times the usual number of people to the Santa Barbara shelter, and drew attention to the problem of cat overpopulation and the need for responsible cat lovers to bring a shelter cat or kitten into their lives. Some adopters came to “shop” in advance and were so taken with a cat that they chose to adopt in advance and pay the full fee, rather than miss out on their dream companion. And several of ASAP’s long-term resident cats – who had been at the shelter a year or longer – at last found homes and life outside a cage.

All potential adopters must meet ASAP’s standard adoption criteria, including homeownership verification or landlord approval. A driver’s license or other valid identification is required for all adoptions. Potential adopters are encouraged to visit ASAP prior to the event to check out the wide array of cats and kittens. Adopters can also expedite the adoption process by completing the homeowner verification and/or landlord approval process in advance.

ASAP’s Free Adoption Event is Saturday, August 15 from 10am-4pm and Sunday, August 16 from 10am-2pm. Here is a list of all the shelters that are participating in this FREE adoption event:

  • ASAP, 5473 Overpass Rd., Goleta, 805-683-3368

  • Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Rd., Goleta, 805-964-4777

  • La Paws, (Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, Lompoc), 1501 W. Central Ave., Lompoc, 805-737-7755

  • Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, ,111 Commerce St. Buellton, 805-688-8224

  • Santa Maria Animal Center, 548 W. Foster Rd., Santa Maria, 805-934-6119

  • Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, , 1687 W. Stowell Rd., Santa Maria, 805-349-3435

For more information, please call 805-794-9574 or email For information about each participating shelter, please call the number associated with the shelter listed above.


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