Star Report

As the holidays approach, there are over 200 dogs in the Santa Barbara County animal shelters that are looking for homes. Traditionally, not every dog has the opportunity to spend Christmas with a family. This year, the staff at all three county shelters want to change that – even if it’s just for a few days.

Santa Barbara County shelters are seeking three-day foster homes for all adoptable dogs at each county shelter for their second annual “Santa’s Slumber Party.” Foster homes will be given all necessary supplies to make their temporary houseguests comfortable. Santa’s Slumber Party foster families will be matched with a dog of appropriate size and temperament for their household. The dogs will be picked up from the shelter on December 24th and returned to the shelter on December 27.

“We tried this for the first time last year at our Santa Barbara shelter and it was so successful and so much fun, we rolled it out for all three shelters this year,” said Animal Services Director Jan Glick.

“This program not only allows a shelter dog some time away from an often chaotic kennel environment, but we found that it also gives us a lot of great information on how a dog behaves in a home environment as opposed to a noisy, stressful shelter,” she said.

Glick explained that the program had far-reaching benefits they didn’t even expect. “The dogs were exposed to more people and potential adopters that weren’t visiting the shelter and some of the dogs even found new families because of the Slumber Party program.”

If you would like to help foster a shelter dog for two to three days over Christmas, contact Jeanne Saadi at the Santa Barbara shelter at 805-681-4332 to be matched with a Santa’s Slumber Party dog.