Use these steps to protect your pet from being lost during your move.
- Keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times with your current phone number on it.
- Microchip your pets, especially if they are good at slipping their collars. It’s important to keep your contact information up to date so the chip can reconnect your pet to you. All animal shelters and vet clinics can scan for microchips.
- Have a current license on your dog. It is the ID given to an animal by a city or county and can be another way your dog can be returned to you.
- Keep cats indoors; it’s much safer for them. Cats are domestic animals and don’t need to be outside where there are coyotes, owls and other predators. Give cats a post to scratch on, a window to perch in and plenty of toys, and they will love the great indoors.
Your pet faces many new outside dangers. Many people assume that coyotes don’t live in the area because they don’t see them. That assumption can be dangerous to your pet. Coyotes generally hunt small mammals such as mice and rabbits but will attack cats or small dogs if given the opportunity. Mountain lions have typically hunted deer but as more people are moving into mountain lion territory, mountain lions have started hunting other animals. The best way to protect your pet is to only let them outside at night when you are with them and to keep their food and water inside. Another preventive measure is to install outdoor lighting so animals cannot approach the area unseen. Rattlesnakes are generally 2.5 to 4.5 feet long, have triangular-shaped heads and rattle if they feel threatened. So keep your dog on a short leash outside and stick to walking in cleared areas.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Education and Outreach 916-322-8911
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife manages and ensures the long-term well-being of fish and wildlife, especially as humans encroach on wildlife habitats. The website offers tips about living with wildlife and how to report a wildlife incident or an injured or orphaned wild animal. The department promotes its Keep Me Wild campaign aimed at educating residents about safeguarding garbage and pet food so they don’t attract wildlife. If wild animals have access to human food and garbage, they will lose their natural fear of humans and could become aggressive. They might have to be killed. Whether you live in a city or a rural part of California, wild animals are your neighbors, and most will not bother you. They naturally fear humans and keep their distance as long as they remain fully wild.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services
Lompoc Animal Shelter
1501 W. Central Ave.
Lompoc, CA 93436
Santa Barbara Animal Shelter
5473 Overpass Road
Goleta, CA 93111
Santa Maria Animal Center
548 W. Foster Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Veterinary services in Santa Barbara County are plentiful; see the Advertiser Directory of this guide to connect with local providers. Another place to start looking is the Santa Barbara Ventura Veterinary Medical Association at www.sbvvma.org.