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Local animal welfare organizations team up to improve the lives of shelter pets

For Immediate Release
Contact SYVHS:
Bob Jennings, SYVHS Board President

Contact DAWG:
Onalisa Hoodes, DAWG Board President

SANTA BARBARA, CA – September 18, 2019 – The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society (SYVHS) and Dog Adoption & Welfare Group (DAWG) have announced that the two organizations will merge in early 2020 to better serve companion animals in Santa Barbara County. The organizations have been in discussions for several months and have determined that by combining their unique strengths, assets and experience, they will have a greater reach and more resources to help even more animals throughout Santa Barbara County. The two organizations are similar in size, animal welfare philosophy, adoptions, vet care and programs. By merging, the two organizations will be more efficient, allowing them to save more animals and continue to provide valued community support to both companion animals and their owners. The merger is consistent with a nationwide trend of mergers among small and mid-sized non-profit organizations to share resources, expand services and reduce administrative costs. DAWG, since its inception, has been located on leased Santa Barbara County property. DAWG’S lease agreement terminates in March of 2020. Earlier this year, Santa Barbara County opted to not enter discussions in negotiating a new lease. Anticipating this upcoming change, DAWG has been exploring their options and evaluating their long-term mission. “DAWG’S Board of Directors feels the time is right to make this positive step forward,” says DAWG Board President Onalisa Hoodes. DAWG’S current location in Goleta will remain open until March of 2020, when it will move to the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society campus at 111 Commerce Drive in Buellton. SYVHS President Bob Jennings stated, “We’re very excited about the possibilities and new opportunities for the merged organization. Together, we have the ability to expand our mission in ways that wouldn’t have been possible separately.” The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society was founded in 1979 and is the oldest animal welfare organization in northern Santa Barbara County. The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society and DAWG as a merged organization look forward to remaining a rescue partner with Santa Barbara County Animal Services and other local animal welfare organizations. The new organization, with its central location in Buellton will serve all of Santa Barbara County and will continue to remain active in southern Santa Barbara County.


DAWG provides a safe and loving environment for dogs awaiting permanent adoption, and promotes their adoption through outreach programs in the Santa Barbara community.

Since DAWG’s inception in 1991, we have worked hard to bring out the best in our dogs, improving their quality of life during their stay at the shelter, and placing healthy, well-behaved dogs back into the community.



Our primary goal is to reduce the rate of euthanasia in Santa Barbara County shelters by providing the medical care and training many dogs need for a second chance at life. DAWG strives to represent the population of all homeless dogs regardless of breed, age, gender, or disability.



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