Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS) advocates peaceful co-existence with our native wildlife population. Understanding the normal habits of your wild neighbors and the reasons they are attracted to your property is the key to avoiding property damage. Most wildlife species are active at night when they are looking for food and water, since many are nocturnal animals. Without realizing it, you may be encouraging them to inhabit your property. In Santa Barbara County we are lucky to have a volunteer group, The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, committed to giving advice on co-existing with wildlife that may be able to assist you.
We recommend the following ways to discourage wildlife from inhabiting your property:
- Don't leave pet food or water dishes out after dusk
- Secure trash cans with tight fitting lids, tied closed if necessary
- Keep garage doors and pet doors closed and secured after dusk
- Remove debris piles that provide shelter for wild animals
- Trim vegetation and tree branches that allow easy access to your roof and attic
- Pick up all fallen fruit from fruit trees
- Secure small domestic pets indoors and poultry in adequate outdoor caging
- Seal entry holes in fences, under buildings, eaves, air ducts and decks after taking precautions not to enclose adult animals or their offspring inside
- Don't feed wildlife
Sound, water, lights, motion sensor devices, and non-lethal deterrents, often keep animals from feeling at home.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not provide traps for capturing wildlife. SBCAS encourages finding ways to peacefully coexist with our native wildlife without trapping. Prior to trapping, familiarize yourself with the State of California-Department of Fish and Wildlife Trapping Laws and Regulations. We recommend contacting a permitted trapping agency to assist you. If you decide to trap on your own, familiarize yourself with how to operate your trap and safely release animals from it. Animal must be released in the immediate area from which they were trapped. SBCAS is not responsible for releasing or relocating trapped wildlife. Please review the Trapping Law and Regulation below:
[ CA- Department of Fish and Wildlife Trapping laws and Regulations §4152(b) Taking of Nongame Mammals Found Injuring Crops or Property]:
Traps used pursuant to this section shall be inspected and all animals in the trap shall be removed at least once daily. The inspection and removal shall be done by the person who sets the trap or the owner of the land where the trap is set or an agent of either.
Visit the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife for additional information and resources.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services will assist with the removal of sick/inured wildlife when the animal is predominantly immobile and/or inside of a residence.
To report sick/injured wildlife or if you have a related question, submit your request here.
Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not respond to calls for marine wildlife. According to CA Department of Fish and Wildlife's website, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) should be contacted to report dead, injured, sick, entangled or stranded marine mammals at (866) 767-6114.