Santa Barbara Co. Animal Services opens Pet Resource Center in Lompoc

Santa Barbara Co. Animal Services opens Pet Resource Center in Lompoc

Posted at 7:57 PM, May 26, 2021


and last updated 9:39 PM, May 26, 2021

Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS) along with a handful of local non-profits have opened up a pet resource center in Lompoc to offer assistance with pet food, supplies, and veterinary services.

Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne, along with non-profits like C.A.R.E. 4 Paws and many others, came together Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the center which aims to help those who are finding it difficult to provide for their animals.

“We’ve gone from helping about 7,000 pet owners in 2019 to helping more than 20,000 in 2020,” C.A.R.E. 4 Paws co-founder Isabelle Gullo said.

It’s a big increase that organizations say has to do with economic hardships because of the pandemic.

“Community members whether you are a senior, whether you are in a low-income household, whether you lost your job, to feel like you have to give up that friend or family member because of a resource that is expensive,” Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne said.

According to C.A.R.E. 4 Paws, in addition to the increase in pet owners coming in for assistance, pet food distribution has seen a huge jump from four tons yearly to four tons on a weekly basis.

Mobile clinics have also increased the number of services provided by 50 percent. They say they expect to do even more this year.

With the recent increase of new pet owners during the pandemic, they want to ensure people can keep up with the health and care of their animals.

“The resource center will have food for anyone who needs pet food assistance but also spay-neuter resources, low-cost medical care, free microchip, dog leashes, cat leashes, beds,” SBCA’S programs manager Jessica Wiebe said.

A new pet resource center also opened at the county animal shelter in Santa Barbara on Wednesday. There is also one at the Santa Maria Shelter.

“Everything here is free. This is basically for the public. The idea is again we don’t want anyone to have to make the decision of surrendering a pet and basically leaving a family member,” C.A.R.E. 4 Paws Board President Christopher Harris said.

For more information on the different Pet Resource Centers, click here.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services, nonprofit groups opening Lompoc, SB Pet Resource Centers

Santa Barbara County Animal Services, nonprofit groups opening Lompoc, SB Pet Resource Centers


Santa Barbara County pet owners struggling to hang onto and care for their pets amid the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic now have two new places to get assistance with pet food and supplies and access to veterinary services.


The County Division of Animal Services and nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws have joined forces with five other nonprofit groups to open Pet Resource Centers at the Lompoc and Santa Barbara animal shelters.


Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne cut a ribbon on May 26, opening the resource center at the Lompoc shelter, 1501 W. Central Ave., while Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte cut the opening ribbon at the Santa Barbara shelter, 5473 Overpass Road.

The two pet resource centers join one that opened in January 2020 at the Santa Maria Animal Shelter at 548 W. Foster Road as well as 10 C.A.R.E.4Paws assistance centers that opened in 2019 at partner organizations throughout the county.


“We strongly feel that no pet owner should have to make a decision between paying a household bill and buying food for their pet,” said Isabelle Gullo, co-founder and executive director of C.A.R.E.4Paws.


“We’re continuing to expand support for pet owners in need so their animals can stay with their homes rather than being surrendered,” she said.


Other groups joining the effort are Companion Animal Placement Assistance, or CAPA; Animal Care Foundation of Santa Barbara County; Animal Shelter Assistance Program, or ASAP Cats; K-9 Placement and Assistance League, or K-9 PALS; and Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter, or BUNS.


CAPA has sponsored a pet food bank at the Lompoc shelter since 1997.

Pet owners finding it difficult to care for their animals can visit a Pet Resource Center to pick up dog and cat food and other supplies. They also can sign up to receive pet wellness services and veterinary care in C.A.R.E.4Paws’ mobile clinic and the County Animal Services clinic at the Santa Maria Animal Center.

Collaborating with community organizations to provide services to pet owners and animals is part of the “new vision” outlined May 18 for the County Board of Supervisors by new Animal Services Director Angela Yates.


“These Pet Resource Centers are a perfect example of how we can provide greater service to the community through partnership,” Yates said. “Alone, none of our organizations could provide all the support and services needed in our county, but together we can form a strong safety net that keeps animals together with their families, in homes rather than shelters.”

Gullo said the Pet Resource Centers are really an expansion of previous cooperation between Animal Services and C.A.R.E.4Paws.

“We’ve always collaborated, and over the years we’ve only strengthened that collaboration with projects such as spay and neuter clinics and promotions for pets that need homes,” Gullo said.


Animal Services and C.A.R.E.4Paws began collaborating even more closely during the pandemic to prevent animals from being relinquished at the three county shelters.


When pet owners inquired about relinquishing their animals, a joint staff member helped provide access to services and support they needed so they wouldn’t have to give up their pets.


The need for Pet Resource Centers is evidenced in the increase in pet food distributed by C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Companion Pet Assistance program during the pandemic.


Gullo said prior to the pandemic, the organization distributed a total of about 4,000 pounds of dog and cat food a year to needy pet owners.


“Since the pandemic started, we’ve distributed 400,000 pounds of pet food,” she said. “That’s 4 tons of pet food every week, or 100 times what we did in a year before COVID.”