By Mike Hodgson

Santa Barbara County nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws launched a new mobile clinic April 1 and expanded some of its programs to assist low-income, senior and disabled residents and their pets.

The new mobile clinic, which replaced C.A.R.E.4Paws’ aging and lower-capacity Spay Mobile, will allow the organization to perform more mobile spay and neuter procedures each year, a spokeswoman said.

It will also let the organization treat a majority of pets in need of veterinary assistance “in-house” instead of sending them to a partner veterinarian.

Pets suffering from treatable medical conditions, like skin infections and dental disease, are often relinquished to animal shelters by owners who can’t afford the cost of veterinary care, said Isabelle Gullo, executive director, who cofounded C.A.R.E.4Paws in 2009 to prevent animals from becoming homeless.

But with financial assistance, the animals could have stayed with their families, Gullo said.

With the help of grants and private donations, C.A.R.E.4Paws is able to support the county’s most underserved communities, where many families live at or below the poverty line and have limited access to pet care of any kind, she said.

On Fridays, the mobile veterinary staff helps pets in their homes or at a central location, including senior care facilities and assisted living communities, providing services ranging from vaccinations and wound treatment to dental cleanings and mass removals.

Mobile medical services are offered at a low cost or free of charge if clients fill out a request for help and show proof of financial need, Gullo said.

For more information, to make a donation or to apply for assistance, visit or call 968-CARE.

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