The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society was established in the early 1970s as
an informal group of dedicated men and women who were concerned about the
care and protection of animals in their local community. In the early
years they served as independent individuals without an official entity or
organization. Their objective was to rescue lost and unwanted animals and
to find homes for them. This was largely accomplished with little or no
outside financial support and by using their own homes to care for pets
while they networked throughout the community to find homes for as many as
possible. They served without any thought of personal gain or reward,
motivated simply by their shared love of animals and a desire to serve
their dependent friends and their community.
Recognizing the overpopulation of dogs and cats needed proactive
solutions, they began picking up pets from Valley residents once a week
and making the 100 mile round trip to the Santa Barbara Humane Society
facility to have the animals spayed and neutered. The following day, they
repeated the 100 mile drive to pick them up and return them to their
homes. Later, they found a local veterinarian, in Los Olivos, to do the
surgery, but these dedicated ladies continued to pick the animals up and
return them to their owners.
By 1979 they had reached the point where they were able to establish a
formal organization, and a non-profit corporation was formed in December
of that year. They hoped this entity would provide continuity to carry out
their mission and enable them to obtain financial support from the
Operating as the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Inc., a private,
non-profit California corporation, they continued their established method
of using their own homes as havens to house and care for local pets and
making regular trips to pick up and deliver animals for their spay and
In 1984, the volunteers mounted a fund raising effort and, with the
generosity of two major donors, a parcel of industrial land was purchased
in Buellton. The following year they completed construction of a 3,805
square foot building debt-free. This building continues to this day as the
home of our small organization that had such humble beginnings in the
homes of its directors and their friends.
The facility was expanded in 1998 adding an isolation and recovery area,
in 1999 with the addition of a mobile caretaker's residence, and again in
2002 with the addition of 10 dog kennels. The facility has grown to total
of 27 dog kennels and 14 cat cages, along with an outside covered area for
cats. In addition to the kennels and cat cages, the shelter has a fully
equipped veterinarian surgery and isolation rooms.
The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit
organization governed by a Board of Directors composed of volunteers from
the community who are dedicated to animal welfare. We are a local
organization and do not receive state or federal government funds to run
our programs. Donations to the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society directly
benefit the animals living in our community and are tax deductible to the
extent allowed by law.
As with most charities, the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society cannot
continue to operate on operational income alone and relies on financial
support from fundraising events and donations from the community to keep
our doors open. No funding is received from taxes or the government.
Mission and Vision
Mission of the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Inc. is to serve our
community by providing and promoting humane, compassionate, and
conscientious care of companion animals and preventing their
overpopulation, and to further the prevention of cruelty to animals and
the enforcement of the laws of the State of California pertaining to the
prevention of cruelty to animals.
The Vision of the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society is to be the companion
animal resource in the Santa Ynez Valley by:
providing people with the information and resources they need to raise
happy, healthy, safe and socialized companion animals,
providing our community with information and resources to successfully
control the population of and improve the lives of feral and domestic animals,
providing companion animals with the chance for a brighter future.