Santa Barbara County Animal Services released its annual report for 2022, and in it the department highlighted the impact that SBCAS played in reuniting a pair of 29-year-old macaws, Heckle and Jeckle, with Charlotte after she was involved in a traffic collision while vacationing in Solvang.
In 2022, Santa Barbara County Animal Services reported that animal control officers responded to 9,476 calls for service. This graphic provides a breakdown of the most prominent call types animal control officers were called to through the year.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services released its annual report this week and included a breakdown of services that the department provided as well as a community story that highlighted the organization's growing foster program.
According to the SBCAS report, in 2022 animal services provided care for 4,601 animals, which was a near 3% increase in animals compared to 2021. The year also saw a significant increase of placements of pets to families, resulting in 1,934 adoptions and 1,246 foster matches for the year.
Animal Services Director Sarah Aguilar said in the report that the work SBCAS is doing to build the largest foster network on the Central Coast is creating more flexibility to adapt to the community’s needs, and resulting in fewer animals living isolated in kennels.
Staff, volunteers and that developing foster care network are working to alleviate an overall increase in animals entering Santa Barbara County area shelters, the department said.
Animal Services reported that starting in November, the Santa Maria and the Santa Barbara shelters received a daily average of 14 animals entering their facilities.
Additional statistics highlighted in the report include:
9,476 service activities by Animal Control Officers
13,879 donated volunteer hours
969 pets returned to their homes
2,399 spay and neuter surgeries
65 wild animals safely relocated
28% of lost/stray pets were reunited with families
Along with a collection of statistics, animal services also released a few "fun facts" for the year that included the finding that the five most common pet names that were encountered by SBCAS in 2022 were; Luna, Coco, Bella, Max and Blue.
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In its report, SBCAS also shared a story that personalized the impact that the department's work and fostering program has had on its ability to quickly accept and provide longer term care for animals before placing them in new homes, or reuniting them with their families.
A pair of 29-year-old macaws, named Heckle and Jeckle, were recently reunited with their lifelong caregiver Charlotte, who was involved in a traffic collision during a vacation in Solvang.
Charlotte, and her friend Linda, were rushed to the hospital where Charlotte received emergency medical care. Linda passed away from her injuries.
While Charlotte was recovering from her injuries, Heckle and Jeckle were under the care of SBCAS for nearly three months before the trio were recently reunited.
“We are reconnecting with our community members as we encourage them to visit us and help care for pets who are temporarily without families,” Aguilar said. “County residents are reaching out to volunteer, foster, donate and adopt in numbers that we haven’t seen since before the pandemic. The enthusiasm is propelling us forward as we continue to expand services and accessibility to all areas of the county.”
SBCAS is asking anyone interested in adopting a pet, who wants to find out how they can volunteer or become involved in the foster program to go to its website, linktr.ee/sbcanimalservices.