Staff Report

After several months of discussion, The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society and Dog Adoption & Welfare Group (DAWG) have announced that they will merge in early 2020 to better serve companion animals in Santa Barbara County.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities and new opportunities for the merged organization. Together, we have the ability to expand our mission in ways that wouldn’t have been possible separately,” said SYV Humane Society President Bob Jennings.

The two organizations are similar in size, animal welfare philosophy, adoptions, vet care and programs. By merging, they expect to be more efficient, allowing them to save more animals and continue to provide support to both companion animals and their owners.

The merger is consistent with a nationwide trend of mergers among small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations to share resources, expand services and reduce administrative costs.

DAWG, since its inception, has been located on leased Santa Barbara County property, but its lease agreement ends in March 2020. Earlier this year, Santa Barbara County opted to not enter discussions in negotiating a new lease. 

“DAWG’S board of directors feels the time is right to make this positive step forward,” said DAWG Board President Onalisa Hoodes. 

DAWG’S location in Goleta will remain open until March 2020, when it will move to the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society campus at 111 Commerce Drive in Buellton. 

The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, founded in 1979, is the oldest animal welfare organization in northern Santa Barbara County.

The new organization, with its central location in Buellton, will serve all of Santa Barbara County and will continue to remain active in southern Santa Barbara County, officials said.