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Dogs transferred to Santa Maria to make room for Texas refugees in Santa Barbara
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Dogs transferred to Santa Maria to make room for Texas refugees in Santa Barbara

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As 22 dogs make their way from Texas to Santa Barbara, the same number of canines have been transferred to Santa Barbara County’s Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria, where the staff hopes they’ll be adopted by North County residents.

When Winter Storm Uri blasted Texas with subfreezing temperatures and snow, many pet owners were stranded with no electricity, heat or food, resulting in a flood of pets entering area animal shelters.

Texas shelters asked for help, and Santa Barbara County Animal Services agreed to take in 22 El Paso dogs, which are scheduled to arrive Saturday evening.

But to make room and to give staff time to sanitize the kennels, 22 dogs — and one cat — were transferred to the Santa Maria shelter Thursday.

Animal Services Director Angela Yates said the Texas dogs have been drawing interest from all over the county.

“People are really excited about the dogs, which is wonderful,” Yates said. “We all need something to be excited about right now. … But we have a lot of dogs in Santa Maria who need homes, and now we have Santa Barbara dogs there who need homes.”

Yates said she hopes North County residents will adopt those dogs and give them good homes.

“That’s really what makes this all worthwhile, when we can provide shelter and find good homes for these animals,” she added.

The lone cat who rode from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria with 22 dogs also needs a home but isn’t at the local shelter but is being cared for by Animal Shelter Assistance Program, known as ASAP Cats.

Yates said Ariel is a little gray special-needs kitty who is very “sweet, social and gentle,” but her hind legs are paralyzed, so she’s going to need a “kitty cart” for her hind quarters and special care.

But she said she’s certain Ariel will capture someone’s heart and be adopted.

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The following is taken from the Lompoc Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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