Lompoc's animal shelter on Friday officially reopened to pets — and people — after nearly three years of closure due to a faltering volunteer program catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

While the shelter is not back to a full-service operation, Santa Barbara County Animal Services Director Sarah Aguilar said it's off to a great start.

"We're trying to pilot and figure out the benefit of this new program to the community, being open both afternoon and evening hours," she said. "So we figured, 'let's open and see what happens.'" 

010622 Lompoc Animal Shelter 2

Lompoc's animal shelter reopened to the public Friday after three years of closure. The facility now offers limited services including cat and rabbit adoptions.

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.