The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society will offer no-fee adoptions on all dogs and cats through Sunday as part of its “Black Friday" sale.
The sale comes just days after the shelter accepted 18 dogs from Santa Barbara County Animal Services to free up space for animals belonging to evacuees of the Cave fire, which burned over 3,000 acres near Santa Barbara and Goleta since Monday, said Sean Hawkins, executive director of the Humane Society.
The three-day fee waivers are the kick-off of the Humane Society’s “Home for the Holidays” campaign.
“We want every pet in a home on a warm bed under somebody’s covers for the holidays,” Hawkins said. “It’s a nice time to adopt a new family member because people often have time off work, off school. So when they bring their pet home, they have time to spend with the animal as it adjusts to their new life.”
Adoptions fees at the shelter, which usually cost $65 to $250 depending on the age and type of animal, are all being covered by an anonymous donor for the duration of the promotion, Hawkins said.
The shelter currently has around 70 dogs and cats and the goal is to have an empty shelter by Sunday night.
“We don’t want animals sitting in the shelter too long,” Hawkins said. “Even though this is an amazing shelter — we have awesome staff and dedicated volunteers — shelters are a really stressful place for dogs and cats, especially those that have been in homes before.
“The quicker we can get an animal medically sound, and behaviorally sound and out the door to a new family, it’s better for the pet,” he said.
Around 60% of the animals at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society are transfers from shelters in the Central Valley or Southern California where they would be at risk of being euthanized due to lack of space, Hawkins said.
“The more animals we can get into homes, the more we can bring in animals from places where they would be put down due to time or space,” he said.
Matt Chan, director of community engagement at the Humane Society, said the shelter wants to ask community members to participate in the organization’s mission to save the lives of as many dogs and cats as possible.
“We can’t do it without community members that want to accept homeless dogs and cats into their homes,” he said.
For those interested in adopting a cat or dog, contact the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society at 805-349-3435. Adoptable pets can be seen online at smvhs.org/adopt. The shelter will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Razi Syed covers Santa Maria City Government for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @razisyed
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