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City Animal ControlPolice Department SBPD

Animal Control Our hours of operation and contact number are:

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
805-963-1513 - Non-Emergency Only

For emergencies - after hours, call the Santa Barbara Police Department Dispatch Center at 805-882-8900

Animal Control Supervisor: Sgt. K. Corbett, 805-897-2332

For animal control issues outside of the City limit, contact the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter at 805-681-5285. They are located at 5473 Overpass Road (next door to Humane Society).

Animal Emergencies

Please call if:

  • You are bitten by an animal or have an animal that bit someone else. We will require the following information:
    • Type of animal
    • Description of animal
    • Address where animal lives
    • Animal owner's name and phone number
    • Day and time of bite
    • Place where you were bit
    • Animal's name and license tag number
    • License plate of vehicle associated with owner
  • Your pet has bitten or been bitten by wildlife
  • You see an injured animal. If the owner of the animal is present, it is their responsibility to transport the animal to a veterinarian.
  • You see loose livestock.
  • You see an animal; dead, alive or injured - creating a traffic hazard or involved in a situation that is dangerous to human safety.

Animal Complaints / Nuisances

Please call our office at 805-963-1513 to report any animal disturbances, noise complaints, sanitation problems, mistreatment or abuse to animals, neglect or any other animal related problems.

Humane / Live Cat Traps

Call our office during our daytime business hours to reserve a trap for removing cats. A deposit is required and instructions will be given when you pick the trap up.

Traps must be checked twice daily, preferably in the morning and again in the afternoon. If you have an animal confined in the trap, call our office immediately. Our hours for animal pickups are:

Monday - Friday
8:00 AM until 3:30 PM


Dog & Cat Licensing

  • All DOGS must be rabies vaccinated and licensed when they reach four (4) months of age.
  • All unaltered CATS must be licensed when they reach four (4) months of age.
  • Pet licenses can be purchased online at If you wish to license your pet via mail, applications are available at the following locations: City Hall on the corner of Anacapa and De La Guerra streets, at local veterinarians, at the Santa Barbara county animal shelter, at the Santa Barbara Humane Society, or by mail. Contact our office at 963-1513 for an application.

For the Safety of You & Your Pet

  • Don't leave your pet in a warm vehicle.
  • Always provide adequate shelter and water for your pet.
  • Be considerate of others: keep your pet on a leash - it's the law.
  • Clean up after your pet.
  • Vaccinate your pet.
  • Microchip your pet.
  • License your pet. It's the law.

Lost / Found Animals

Call daily to leave a lost or found report at both the City Animal Control dispatch office and the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter. If you have lost or found an animal after hours or on the weekend, call the lost and found pet hotline: 805-564-6862 Stray animals are held for 72 hours for owner redemption and then are placed up for adoption. If you have lost your pet, it is your responsibility to check for it, in person, at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter. Your animal may be waiting there for you.

Animal Regulations

The following animal regulations are taken in part from the Santa Barbara City Municipal Code and are presented for reference only.

6.04.040 Interference with Animal Control Duties

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully resist, delay or obstruct any animal control officer or peace officer of the City of Santa Barbara in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty imposed upon such officer pursuant to this Title or other provisions of the Municipal Code.

6.08.010 Raising Rabbits, Chickens and Fowl

B. ROOSTERS. It shall be unlawful to keep or maintain a rooster.

6.08.020 Animals Running at Large and Grazing Prohibited-Exception-Nuisance

A. ANIMALS AT LARGE. It is unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal, to cause or permit or allow the same to stray or run, or in any other manner to be at large in or upon any unenclosed lot or place. Whenever an animal is found running at large, the same shall constitute prima facie evidence that the owner permitted it to run at large. It shall likewise be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal to cause or permit or allow the same to be staked out, or to herd or graze any animal upon any unenclosed private lot or land in such a manner that the rope or other attachment by which such animal is tethered may permit such animal to be or to go beyond the boundaries of the unenclosed private lot or land. Any animal, suffered or permitted to be at large, or otherwise to be within the City in violation of the provisions of this Title, is declared to be a public nuisance.

B. DOGS IN PUBLIC. No dog is permitted upon a street or other public place unless on a leash not in excess of six (6) feet in length and under the immediate care and control of the owner or other person having the care and custody thereof, except during supervised dog training classes, shows or exhibitions held in City Parks when authorized by a Park Use Permit issued by the Parks and Recreation Department.

C. OFF LEASH DOG AREAS IN CITY PARKS AND BEACH. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, properly licensed and tagged dogs without vicious, dangerous or aggressive propensities and are healthy and not in heat may be exercised off-leash within the areas designated in paragraph C (2) if under the care, custody or control of a person responsible for the off-leash dog.

  1. Responsible Person. A person having possession, charge, custody or control of the off-leash dog must remain present with the off-leash dog at all times, must carry a leash, must leash the dog at the first sign of aggression, must clean up dog feces created by the dog, and bears full responsibility for filling any holes and repairing any damage created by the dog. The person responsible for the off-leash dog must comply with rules and regulations regarding the park, and must remove the dog when the off-leash dog park is closed.
  2. Off Leash Dog Areas. Dogs may be exercised off-leash in the following areas: · Douglas Family Preserve, within the area posted by the Parks and Recreation Director in accordance with the resolution adopted by the City Council. · Elings Park, subject to the rules and regulations of the operator of the park. · Hale Park. · On the beach from the Shoreline Park Staircase west to the eastern edge of the Arroyo Burro Estuary.

D. PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION. Any violation of this section will be charged and prosecuted as an infraction. If the person charged hereunder has been previously convicted of violating this Section and the animal at large bites, attacks or causes injury to any person or other animal, the violation of this Section may be charged and prosecuted as an infraction or a misdemeanor in accordance with Section 1.28.010 of this Code. The Animal Control Supervisor and all animal control officers, park rangers and police officers shall have the duty and the authority to enforce this Section.
(Ord. 5323, 2004; Ord. 5218, 2002; Ord. 5049, 1988; Ord. 4621, 1990; Ord. 4460, 1987; Ord. 4346, 1985; Ord. 3744, 1975.)

6.08.025 Sanitation of Quarters

It shall be unlawful for any person to won or maintain any cage, hutch, aviary, place, property or area in which any animal is kept in an unsanitary manner due to the accumulation of feces, urine, uneaten food or other matter that is harmful to the health, safety or welfare of the animal, other animals, or any human being. Any feces, uneaten food, or other matter that emits an offensive odor or encourages the breeding of flies or other insects shall be collected daily and not allowed to accumulate.

6.08.030 Disturbing the Peace

It is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or permit upon any lot or parcel of land under her or his control, any animal which, by any loud, unnecessary or repeated barking, sound, cry or other noise, shall unreasonably disturb the peace and comfort of any neighborhood.

6.08.040 Public Nuisance

Any animal, domesticated or otherwise, which in the opinion of the Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer has a propensity towards viciousness or ferocity, and has shown a capacity for attacking persons, animals or property, may be declared a public nuisance by the Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer.

The City, or any resident thereof, in his or her own name, may maintain an action in equity to abate such nuisance and to enjoin the owner of such animal from permitting it to remain a menace to the public. Upon the granting of equitable relief, in whole or in part, by a court of competent jurisdiction, the owner of an animal determined to be a public nuisance shall be liable for the reasonable attorney fees and costs, as may be determined by the court, incurred by the party bringing the action.

6.08.060 Keeping Livestock

Except as otherwise provided in Title 28 of this Code relating to the permitted uses in one-family residential zones, it shall be unlawful for any person to keep any cow, calf, hog, sheep, goat or any other cloven-footed animal on any lot less than one and one-haft (1 1/2) acres in size. In addition, no such animals, nor any pen, stable, barn or corral shall be kept or maintained within thirty-five feet (35') of any property line, dwelling or other building used for human habitation.

6.08.070 Animals - Public Beaches and Harbor

A. PROHIBITION. It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal to cause or permit or allow the same, whether or not on leash or restraint, to be upon a beach or within the Santa Barbara Harbor except that dogs and horses are permitted on the beach at any point between Shoreline Park Staircase and the westerly City limits if restrained in conformance with the provisions of Section 6.08.020.

6.12.020 Dogs Creating Nuisance in Public Parks and on Sidewalks

No person owning or having custody or control of any dog shall knowingly or through failure to exercise due care or control permit such dog to defecate or commit any other nuisance and allow such nuisance to thereafter remain in any public park, upon the sidewalk or parkway of any street, or upon any private property which is improved or occupied, without the consent of the owner or person in lawful occupation thereof. A person shall not be considered in violation of this Section if the person has necessary equipment, i.e., shovel, bag, etc., readily available and does take immediate and necessary action to accomplish the removal of such nuisance.

6.12.030 Vicious Dog - Defined

The Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer is authorized to determine whether a dog is vicious, and shall be guided by the following criteria:
(1) whether or not the dog has bitten any person at any other time;
(2) the circumstances surrounding the occasion indicating the temper or ferocity of the dog;
(3) the reputation of the dog in the community with regard to its temper and ferocity;
(4) its propensity to bite persons or animals without provocation or
(5) its general menace to the public. The Animal Control officer need not consider whether the dog in question has been vaccinated and licensed as required by this Title.

6.12.050 License Required

A. Any person owning or having custody or control of one or more dogs in the City shall obtain a license and pay the license fee for custody or control of each such dog over the age of four (4) months. The license fees authorized by this Chapter shall be established by resolution of the City Council. In the event the animal to be licensed has been spayed or neutered, a written statement from a licensed veterinarian must be presented at the time the license is obtained in order to qualify for a reduced fee. The license period shall not extend beyond the remaining period of validity for the current rabies vaccination. A license shall only be issued if the rabies vaccine is current through the entire licensing period. A license shall be purchased for either a six (6) month period or twelve (12) month period. A license shall expire either six (6) months or twelve (12) months from the exact date the license was issued. The license fee shall not apply to any dog kept or maintained exclusively in any dog kennel in the City. No dog license required by this Section shall be transferable. B. Within thirty (30) days of the transfer of ownership of any licensed dog, the person receiving ownership shall obtain a license as set forth in Subsection A of this Section. C. Failure to comply with the provisions of Subsections A and B of this Section may result in the impoundment of the dog or a fine or both.

6.12.130 Absence of Official Tag - Presumption

If any dog is found in or upon any place in the City without having an official tag attached to her or his collar or harness as required by this Chapter, the dog shall be presumed to be an unlicensed dog and not to have been vaccinated or licensed as required by law.

6.12.170 Dogs in Vehicles

A. No person shall transport or carry on any public street any dog in any unenclosed portion of a motor vehicle unless the dog is protected by a cage, pen or crosstie which will prevent the dog from falling from, being thrown from, or jumping from the motor vehicle.

B. No person shall leave a dog in an unattended motor vehicle without adequate ventilation or in such a manner as to subject the animal to extreme temperatures which adversely affect the dog's health or welfare. C. No person shall leave a dog in an unattended motor vehicle without assuring that the dog cannot escape or bite persons passing by the vehicle.

6.16.050 Report of Animal Biting - Isolation - Release - Cost

Any person owning, possessing or harboring any animal that bites any person, and any person bitten by such animal, shall report the same to the Police Department. The Police Department upon the receipt of such report shall investigate and inform the Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer and the County Health Officer of the available information concerning such bite. The Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer shall take custody of and isolate all such biting animals. Currently licensed and vaccinated dogs shall be isolated for up to ten (10) days in a manner prescribed by the County Health Officer.
All other biting animals shall be isolated in an animal control facility or veterinary hospital for up to ten (10) days after infliction of bite. A biting dog may be released by the veterinarian after five (5) or more days of isolation, if the observing veterinarian certifies that there are no clinical signs or symptoms of any disease. All dogs shall be vaccinated and licensed before release. All costs incurred shall be paid by the owner of the animal.

6.16.055 Failure to Isolate or Surrender a Biting Animal

It shall be unlawful for an owner or person having the custody or possession of an animal to fail to isolate an animal in the manner required by the Animal Control Supervisor, designated animal control officer, or County Health Officer pursuant to Section 6.16.050. It shall be unlawful for an owner or person having the custody or possession of an animal to fail to surrender to the Animal Control Supervisor, designated animal control officer, or County Health Officer any animal required to be taken up and isolated by the Animal Control Supervisor, designated animal control officer, or County Health Officer pursuant to Section 6.16.050.

6.20.050 Notification of Owner of Impounded Dogs

The Animal Control Supervisor, all animal control officers, or other person capturing and holding a dog under the provisions of this Chapter shall make reasonable effort to locate and notify the owner that the animal is being held at the animal control facility and may be reclaimed within a period of three (3) days from the date of seizure as provided in this Chapter. No dog shall be released without payment of all impound fees, outstanding animal control citations more than thirty (30) days old, and evidence of a proper certificate of vaccination and license.

6.24.020 Public Places

It is unlawful for any owner or person who, having had the possession or control of any animal while alive, to place the body of such animal or to knowingly permit the body of such animal to remain in or upon any public street, alley, sidewalk, lane or other public place.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer, whenever it comes to her or his knowledge that any dead animal is upon any of the public streets, alleys, sidewalks, lanes or any other public place within the City, to promptly dispose of the dead animal.
The Animal Control Supervisor or designated animal control officer may charge and collect the fee set by resolution of the City Council from the owner or person formerly having possession or control of the animal, if his or her identify can be ascertained.

Last Updated: Sep 7, 2021
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