Moves are stressful for everyone — including the family pet. Pets can sense stress and a change in routine can be difficult for them. If possible, keep your pets in a quiet, secure area while movers pack up or unload your belongings. Movers will have your door open while they move boxes and furniture, and a pet may slip out the door undetected. Make sure you keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times. Ensure the tag has your current phone number on it. It is also a good idea to microchip your pets. Remember to keep the microchip’s contact information up-to-date. If your pet escapes during any part of your move, you want the animal shelter that scans the chip to be able to contact you.
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 805-737-7755
Santa Barbara Animal Shelter
5473 Overpass Road
Goleta, CA 93111 805-681-5285
Santa Maria Animal Center
548 W. Foster Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455 805-934-6119
Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots’ vision is to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet. It makes this happen through its nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, military and veteran organizations, and a public that values the lives of both the vulnerable and heroic among us.
To learn more about adopting a pet, visit https://petsforpatriots.org/adopt-a-pet/how-it-works.
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.