Our History


Keeping our promise to give each dog the loving care he needs until he finds the home he deserves.

2019 marks DAWG’s 28th year of service to the dogs and families of Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas. Through the hard work, dedication, and generosity of wonderful volunteers and community members we have grown from literally nothing, to an amazing facility that has placed over 2,000 dogs into forever homes over the past ten years and placed 500 dogs in 2013 alone. We save lives every day. Without DAWG, hundreds, even thousands, of adoptable dogs would have died unnecessarily.

Over the last 20 years we have built kennels, an office, bathing station, isolation and quarantine areas, Little Dog Land, Happy Sutherlin’s Meet & Greet Garden, exercise yards, surgical rooms and a state of the art veterinary facility to help us care for our dogs and give them love and shelter while we find them their forever homes. All of these were built from the ground up thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, and the tireless hard work of our staff, volunteers, board of directors and founders.

We are very grateful to everyone who has made DAWG possible, and to those who continue to help us in our life-saving work. We cannot forget to mention our volunteer community and dedicated staff that enables us to continue to realize our success. In addition to some specific needs, we always welcome funds for our day-to-day operations (please see our donation page for areas where you can help).

DAWG is always looking for volunteers to help both monetarily and with their time. With your continued support we will be able to realize some, if not all, of the improvements that are much needed at the shelter. And as you know, there are still many tails that need to wag, treats to be eaten, toys to be fetched, walks to be taken and lives that need to be saved!

From all of us at DAWG, we thank you for your support and dedication to our amazing cause.