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Socially Conscious Sheltering

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County Policies

If you lose a cat

Where to Start Looking for Your Lost Cat

All stray/lost cats in the southern part of Santa Barbara County (except for the city of Carpinteria) are brought to County Animal Services at 5473 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara (805-681-5285). Once registered with Animal Services, the cat will then be placed with ASAP for shelter and care. Please contact ASAP (805-683-3368) if your cat was lost in the city of Santa Barbara or Goleta, or in the County areas of Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, or the Gaviota Coast.

Cats found in the city of Carpinteria are under the jurisdiction of Carpinteria Animal Control (805-684-5405). Cats found in other areas of Santa Barbara County (Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang, Santa Maria) are taken to the nearest Animal Services division, either Lompoc (805-737-7755) or Santa Maria (805) 934-6119. The Humane Society takes only owner-turn-in cats and does not accept stray cats.

Holding Period

By California law, a cat is neither adoptable nor available for viewing by the general public until after a designated holding period to allow time for reclamation by the owner. A cat with no identification/microchip is held for three (3) full business days, becoming adoptable on the fifth business day after arrival. The day the cat arrives at the shelter, Sundays, and holidays are not counted. A cat with a microchip or has other identification (such as a collar with tag), must be held for ten (10) business days before being designated as adoptable.

If the owner does not redeem the cat within the legal holding periods, the cat is considered "relinquished" by the owner and becomes available for adoption. Therefore, it is very important to quickly and frequently visit ASAP if you have lost your cat.

Every stray cat is scanned for a microchip upon arrival. If a microchip is found AS and/or ASAP will try to contact the registered owner. The same procedure occurs if the cat has a collar and tag. It is imperative that the owner keep the cat's microchip or tag contact information up-to-date. All cats and kittens at ASAP are microchipped to facilitate a reunion between cat and owner if ever lost.