Loose or Stray Animals

Lost Dog

If your pet went missing, you would want it back.  Your local shelter is the best place for a stray animal to be reunited with their owner.  If the animal is not claimed by its owner, the finder has the first option to adopt.  

By law, anyone taking possession of a loose or stray animal in Santa Barbara County may only hold the animal(s) for up to 24 hours before turning it over to the local Animal Services facility.   Click here to view Municipal Code .

Stray (otherwise known as loose) animals can create a safety issue for the animal as well as the public. When animals are permitted to roam they face a variety of challenges including getting lost, attacked by another animal, stolen, or even hit by a car.  It is your responsibility, as the custodian, to keep you animal safely confined to your property, approved off leash locations, and under appropriate restraint while walking on public areas (sidewalks, trails, etc). 

To provide for the safety of humans and animals in Santa Barbara County, it is unlawful for any person owning or having custody and control of any animal to fail to keep such animal under restraint when such animal is in or upon any public or private property or area without the express permission of the owner or custodian of such property or area. Animals not properly contained or entering a property without permission may be subject to citation, fees, and/or impoundment of said animal. 

The owners of a loose or stray animal(s) that causes damage to the property, another animal, or person, may be subject to financial responsibility, loss of animal, and even legal consequences. See Vicious and Restricted Ordinance

To report Loose or Stray Animals, please email SBCAS .  Provide as much detail as needed to determine where and what animal is loose and/or stray.