Our Team & Services

Serving Santa Barbara County since 1995

Saving Animals for Over 30 Years

Our Mission

The Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. SB Equine Evac assists all Santa Barbara County emergency responding agencies and large animal owners in the evacuation, temporary care and sheltering of large animals in time of fire, flood, earthquake and other disasters or accidents. Volunteers are trained and registered Disaster Service Workers under the Office of Emergency Services in California. SB Equine Evac provides education and demonstrations for many local public events, agencies and organizations.

Over 5,000 Animals Saved

The Santa Barbara Equine Assistance and Evacuation Team, Inc. (Equine Evac)  is a volunteer group whose members are registered by the Office of Emergency Services as Disaster Service Workers. We are also a registered Non-Profit organization with a 501c3 designation. The Equine Evac Team has equipment and personnel available for large animal evacuation, billeting and rescue. Members of the Team have also completed the Incident Command System (ICS) course and have received the Standardized Emergency Management System certificate.

We conduct periodic training sessions on the transporting and housing of animals during emergencies. All requests for emergency assistance are channeled through the Sheriff’s Dispatch (911), who notify County Animal Services and then determine the extent of Team activation.

On the scene, the Equine Evac Team Agency Representative reports to and operates under the direction of the Liaison Officer or the Incident Command and our Animal Services Representative. All animals are sheltered free of charge and there are no paid staff.

We also sponsor clinics and provide in-service training for interested community groups and volunteers on such topics as barn safety, trailering, and animal safety and evacuation.

View more information and a list of our event history:

In addition to emergency assistance & evacuation, we also offer the following services to our community:

Site Visits

Call us to schedule a site visit for your barn or large animal boarding facility. Preparing in advance is the best way to ensure safe transport and sheltering of large animals displaced by disaster. You’ll be provided with stall cards for accurate identification of animals and advice on how to minimize risk of harm to humans, animal and property.

Volunteer training

Several times per year, we conduct in-depth training and orientation for volunteers who are available to assist in times of disaster. Our training is generally held at Earl Warren Showgrounds, which is most often the designated sheltering site for large animals during a disaster.

Volunteers are taught how to inspect and prepare barn stalls for sheltering, basic safety standards for handling large animals, and trailering demonstrations using live horses. If you’re interested in volunteering you can download our Volunteer Packet.

Preparedness Training

Fire season is here! Check back for updates on the next scheduled emergency/disaster preparedness training.

You can also download our Barn Fire Prevention Checklist and Disaster Preparedness Tips.

FEATURED program

loops rescue system

Instructor: Dr. John Madigan, DVM, Distinguished Professor – Emeritus Founder of UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team

The Loops Rescue System is a simplified system that fits in a duffel bag and is readily available to provide critical timely rescue. This training will introduce participants to the Loops Rescue System as well as valuable information such as:

  • Components of equine technical rescue
  • Use of the Incident Command System
  • Medical issues associated with trapped or downed horses
  • The roles of veterinarians, first responders, and volunteers in technical rescue situations

This training involves a 1.5 hour lecture with PowerPoint and video, followed by 3 hours of hands on training with manikins.

Proper use of the tail tie, use of loops as an emergency halter and loops to assist loading a reluctant horse in a trailer will be demonstrated.

Contact us if you’re interested in attending one of our training sessions. 

Our 2021 Board of Directors

President  –  Kathy O’Connor

Vice President  –  Ronda Hathaway

Treasurer  –  Tammy Thompsen

Secretary  –  JoAnne Ryan

Officers  – Kristin Jepson, Barbara Essex, Barbara Wolf, Bruce Bennett,

Marty Nokes, Patrick Lennon, Karen Christensen

The services provided by SB Equine Evac are free of charge. Our organization is funded entirely by private donors. Funds and supplies donated to SB Equine Evac are tax deductible and go toward the procurement of feed for animals sheltered during disaster, as well as bedding, supplies, and safety equipment necessary to carry out our mission.

Get in Touch

(805) 892-4484

Mailing address

P.O Box 60535
Santa Barbara, CA 93160

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Volunteer With Us!

To become a volunteer with SB Equine Evac you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age
  2. Get sworn in by an officiate of State of CA as service disaster worker
  3. Complete our Volunteer Application and Waiver forms
  4. Attend one of our Volunteer Training Sessions