News & Events

Sean Hawkins Steps Down as Humane Society Chief

The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today that its Executive Director, Sean Hawkins, CAWA, is stepping down from the post that he has held for just under three years to accept the position of Chief Advancement Officer at Charleston Animal Society in Charleston, South Carolina.  Hawkins’ last day at the Central Coast shelter will be …

Clear the Shelters Event at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society has joined forces with animal shelters across the United States to find every pet a home on Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, August 18th during the National Clear the Shelters Event.

Long Time No Fee: Free Pet Adoptions All Month Long (July 2019)

Long Time No Fee! SMVHS has waived the adoption fees for all animals who have been at the SMVHS Adoption Center over 30 days have been waived for the month of July. That means free adoptions all month long!

Paws & Claws Go to the Circus Sets Record

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society’s Paws & Claws Go To the Circus event on May 18th raised $174,599, a record fundraising event for our organization.

Free Adult Cat Adoptions for the Entire Month of June

To celebrate National Adopt-a-Cat Month®, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society along with partnering locations have announced today that we are waiving all fees to adopt any adult cat during the month of June…

Paws & Claws Go to the Circus on May 18th

Santa Barbara County, CA – Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today that Levity Aerial Arts, an aerial acrobatics troupe from San Luis Obispo, will be joined by Santa Barbara’s contortionist, Lila Woodard…

Cats in Your Neighborhood? We Can Help!

Community cats are animals who make their home outdoors, and are provided happy, healthy lives by volunteers in the neighborhood where they live. We want to provide you with important…

Matt Chan, CAWA Named Director of Community Engagement at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today that it has named Matt Chan, CAWA as its new Director of Community Engagement. This role is responsible for public-facing programs…

Is Your Dog Reactive? We’ve Got a New Class for That!

Do you hate walking your dog? Get nervous when you see another dog approaching? Feel embarrassed every time you get ready to take your dog in public? Walk your dog in the middle of the night to avoid other people? You are not alone…

The Psychology of Dog Misbehavior and the Perils of “No”

Modern dog training focuses on reinforcing good behavior and removing reinforcement for undesirable behavior. Whenever I’m faced with a dog behavior problem, I ask myself what is reinforcing and maintaining that behavior…

It Takes a Village…

When I started as the Executive Director of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society in April 2017, the organization was adopting about 400 dogs and cats into new homes yearly…

Veterinarian Dr. Tom Thompson Receives 2018 Humane Heroes Award

2018 Humane Heroes Luncheon Celebrates Animals and People Veterinarian Tom Thompson 2018 Award Recipient The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society 2018 Humane Heroes luncheon on Thursday, December 6, 2018, was a smashing success. There were 260 friends in the packed ballroom at the Santa Maria Radisson who gathered to recognize the powerful relationships between people …

Santa Maria Times Supports Run for the Rescues

Santa Maria Times Supports Central Coast’s Only Run for the Rescues Newspaper Sponsoring First 20 Registrations to Benefit Humane Society The Santa Maria Times announced today that it is sponsoring the first 20 registrations for the Presqu’ile 5K9 Run and Walk received through it’s website at https://santamariatimes.com/contests.  Lace up your sneakers and bring your dog …

Presqu’ile 5K9 Run and Walk Benefits SMVHS

  Central Coast’s Only Run for the Rescues October 6, 2018 Presqu’ile 5K9 Run and Walk Benefits Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Lace up your sneakers and bring your dog for the Presqu’ile 5K9 Run & Walk benefiting the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society on October 6, 2018. The most beautiful run and walk event …

Beat the Heat Free Spay / Neuter Promotion for Cats

Beat the Heat Free Spay / Neuter Promotion for Cats Western Vet Students Assist Surgeons at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society will provide free spaying or neutering and a rabies vaccination for up to 100 cats on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at its Gary & Lyn Hock Spay & Neuter …

Presqu’ile 5K9 Run & Walk

Presqu’ile 5K9 Run & Walk is October 6th Run with your Dog, Drink Wine, Win Prizes The Presqu’ile Winery Second Annual 5K9 Run & Walk benefits the awesome work of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society and takes place Saturday, October 6, 2018. The most beautiful run and walk event with your dog in the …

Stephanie Snow Radiology Suite Dedication

Stephanie Snow Radiology Suite Dedication to Help Homeless Pets The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced the completion of the Stephanie Snow Memorial Gift Challenge and the dedication of the Stephanie Snow Radiology Suite.  Over $70,000 was raised to purchase new x-ray equipment for the veterinary department at the animal shelter.  Stephanie Snow was a …

Running Buddy with the YMCA

YMCA and Humane Society Save Lives with Running Buddy Healing and Helping at Both Ends of the Leash Santa Maria Valley Humane Society (SMVHS) and Santa Maria Valley YMCA (SMVYMCA) announced today a new partnership that supports local healthy living and life-saving with a program called ‘Running Buddy’ that connects Y members with homeless dogs …

Dog Days of August

“Dog Days of August” Brings Affordable Pet Care for Dog  Owners in Santa Barbara County. “Dog Days of August” is a month-long spay/neuter promotion being offered by the Responsible Pet Ownership Alliance. The promotion provides Santa Barbara County dog owners an opportunity to have their dog(s) spayed or neutered, rabies vaccinated, microchipped, AND licensed for …

Pay It Forward This 4th of July

Pay It Forward to Help Pets at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Find Homes This July 4th If you can’t adopt, pet lovers are invited to donate the adoption fees for homeless pets to increase adoptions during the most critical time of year at US shelters. Pay It Forward Today Do you want to be …

Critter Camp Teaches Kids & Pets

Critter Camp Teaches Kids & Pets By Sean Hawkins The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society have joined forces to launch a Critter Camp for youth members ages 6 to 18 every Monday and Tuesday now through the end of August 2018.  Kids will participate in activities …

2018 Rescue Pet Wine Label Photo Contest

2018 Rescue Pet Wine Label Photo Contest Santa Maria Times, Presqu’ile Winery and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Pet Star Search June 18, 2018 – Is your pooch your faithful companion? Is your kitty the cat’s meow? Whether your dog is a champion couch potato, or you simply think your feline is the cat’s pajamas, …

Fees Waived on All Adult Cats During June

No Fees to Adopt Any Adult Cat During National Adopt-a-Cat Month® at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society and Partner Locations. Celebrating National Adopt-a-Cat Month®, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today that it is waiving all fees to adopt any adult cat during the month of June. This promotion includes all adult cats at the …

Inmate Dog & Cat Training Program

Santa Barbara County Sheriff and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Partner With New Inmate Dog Training and Cat Socialization Programs Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Executive Director Sean Hawkins announced an agreement today (May 30, 2018) creating the first inmate dog training and cat socialization program to follow the …

Paws & Claws Go To the Circus

Levity Arts Takes Humane Society to New Heights for Annual Fundraiser. Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today that Levity Arts, an aerial acrobatics troupe from San Luis Obispo, will be center stage for the first Paws & Claws Go to the Circus fundraising event on Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 …

Fantastic Felines

Fantastic Felines Focus for Be Kind to Animals Week. Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Welcomes Cat Experts Steve Dale, CABC and Glenn Olah, DVM. Santa Maria Valley Humane Society celebrates the start of Be Kind to Animals Week, the oldest celebratory week in American history, with two days of “Fantastic Felines” education events for area …

Stephanie Snow Memorial Gift Challenge

Stephanie Snow Family Announces Challenge Gift.  Snow Memorial Fund to Purchase X-ray Equipment for Homeless Pets. Stephanie Snow’s family announced this week that the Stephanie Snow Memorial Fund will be matching, dollar-for-dollar up to $35,000, every gift made to the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society toward the $70,000 purchase price of new x-ray equipment for …

Area Vets Help Homeless Pets

Area Veterinarians Help Newly Adopted Pets Stay in Their Homes with Health Exam Program By Sean Hawkins, CAWA Executive Director | Santa Maria Valley Humane Society The problem of dog and cat homelessness in our community is greater than the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society can solve on its own.  We know that city and county …

Bark University Classes

Bark University Classes Work to Keep Dogs Safe and in Their Homes By Sean Hawkins, CAWA Executive Director | Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Bad behavior is the number one reason that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters.  Part of our Safety Net programs, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society has launched it’s new “Bark University” …

SMVHS at the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend

Humane Society and PetSmart Partner for National Pet Adoption Weekend. Every Pet Adoption Just $50 Friday, Saturday and Sunday Santa Maria, CA – Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced today its partnership with PetSmart for the National Pet Adoption Weekend where every dog or cat is just $50 to adopt now through Sunday. Pets are …

Achieving CAWA Accreditation

Achieving CAWA Professional Accreditation in Animal Welfare By Sean Hawkins, CAWA Executive Director | Santa Maria Valley Humane Society When I was just out of high school, I started the first free spay / neuter clinic in Houston, Texas to prevent homeless puppies and kittens from ending up in area animal shelters. That program became …

Humane Society Responds to Dog Flu Outbreak

Humane Society Hosting Seminar for Area Veterinarians in Response to California Dog Flu Outbreak By Sean Hawkins, CAWA Executive Director | Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Canine Influenza Virus (dog flu) has been confirmed in 6 dogs in the Bay Area in the first days of the New Year, according to Cornell University College of …

CoastHills Bank Joins Forces with Humane Societies to Help Animals in Need

Shelters Need Supplies to Help with Fire Emergency Fires raging across the Central Coast and area Humane Societies at capacity caring for displaced and homeless animal victims.  CoastHills Credit Union is making it easier than ever for folks to donate needed supplies to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society and Woods Humane Society this holiday season. …

Free Spay / Neuter and Medical Care for Pets in Qualified Families

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced expansion of the “The Big Fix” program today by now providing free general medical care for sick or injured big dogs, in addition to free spaying or neutering, for pets in income-qualified families.

Partnering with District Attorney’s Office

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, one of the oldest animal welfare organizations serving the Central Coast, announced today the creation of the “DA Dogs”

Purina Shelter Champions Program

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society – one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in California’s Central Coast – has accepted an invitation to join the prestigious Purina® Shelter Champions® program

New Hours at SMVHS

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Increases Hours and
Expands Services to Save More Animal Lives

The Big Fix

          Free Spay / Neuter Program for Pets in Qualified Families “The Bix Fix” at Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Santa Maria Valley Humane Society announced “The Big Fix” today, a new program that provides free spaying or neutering and rabies vaccinations for pets in income-qualified families. Free services are provided …