The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society was established in the early 1970s as an informal group of dedicated men and women who were concerned about the care and protection of animals in their local community. In the early years they served as independent individuals without an official entity or organization. Their objective was to rescue lost and unwanted animals and to find homes for them. This was largely accomplished with little or no outside financial support and by using their own homes to care for pets while they networked throughout the community to find homes for as many as possible. They served without any thought of personal gain or reward, motivated simply by their shared love of animals and a desire to serve their dependent friends and their community.
Recognizing the overpopulation of dogs and cats needed proactive solutions, they began picking up pets from Valley residents once a week and making the 100 mile round trip to the Santa Barbara Humane Society facility to have the animals spayed and neutered. The following day, they repeated the 100 mile drive to pick them up and return them to their homes. Later, they found a local veterinarian, in Los Olivos, to do the surgery, but these dedicated ladies continued to pick the animals up and return them to their owners.
By 1979 they had reached the point where they were able to establish a formal organization, and a non-profit corporation was formed in December of that year. They hoped this entity would provide continuity to carry out their mission and enable them to obtain financial support from the community.
Operating as the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Inc., a private, non-profit California corporation, they continued their established method of using their own homes as havens to house and care for local pets and making regular trips to pick up and deliver animals for their spay and neuter program.