sad puppy caught in an emergency floodWe help animals when disaster strikes.

The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society (SMVHS) is actively involved in emergency response efforts to natural and man-made disasters when animals are in distress.

Natural disasters include fires, floods, severe storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes. SMVHS emergency sheltering and animal medical teams are also available to respond to man-made disasters like animal cruelty, puppy mills and hoarding cases.

While many natural disasters cause great financial hardship and can tragically result in loss of human life, animals are often forgotten in the chaos. Dogs and cats, dependent on human caretakers for survival, are especially vulnerable and often left to perish.

Teaming Up to Save Lives

In 2017, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, ASAP Animal Shelter Assistance Program, Woods Humane Society and Santa Barbara County Animal Services teamed up to help Hurricane Harvey dog and cat evacuees from Texas. We accept 187 animals (who were already in Houston’s animal shelters before the storm) to make room for animal flood victims in Houston. The first dogs arrived by air, organized by Houston Pet Set volunteers Tena Lundquist Faust and Jana Fant. The second wave of animal evacuees arrived by two Rescue Express buses. Our veterinarians and animal care teams worked late into many nights making sure the precious cargo was safe, healthy and ready for adoption.

As the Thomas Fire raged into Santa Barbara County, also in 2017, the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society was again activated as part of the Santa Barbara County emergency response. With our partner shelters Santa Barbara Humane Society and Santa Barbara County Animal Services filled to capacity, adoptable dogs from those shelters were transferred to SMVHS where they were examined by the shelter veterinarians, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered to ready them for adoption. A community call-to-action and an anonymous donor who paid for all adoption fees resulted in more than 100 pet adoptions in one week to keep pets safe and move them into new homes.

Rescue Express buses saving puppies during Hurrican Harvey

In 2017, SMVHS partnered with Rescue Express to bring in animals rescued from Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Three Ways You Can Partner With Us

Here’s how you can respond with us to natural and man-made disasters when animals are in distress:

1. Download our animal evacuation checklist
Make sure you and your pet are prepared in case of an emergency. Download the animal evacuation checklist (PDF).

2. Meet one of the needs on our Wish List
You can either:

A) visit our Wish List on Amazon

B) download our Wish List (PDF) to donate needed supplies to the shelter.

3. Donate today to help us save lives
Our programs are supported entirely by donations from the communities that we serve. Your donation enables us to continue caring for animals in need.

Donate today at