Q: What types of animals does your business cater to?
A: Dogs and cats.
Q: Can you describe the services or products your business offers?
A: Our largest program is our Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach, which provides critical pet wellness services, including free and low-cost spays/neuters, veterinary care and vaccine clinics, in our two 26-foot mobile veterinary units, the only ones of their kind on California’s Central Coast.
C.A.R.E.4Paws’ other service components include our Companion Pet Assistance program, which provides free pet food and supplies to pet owners in need at every mobile clinic event and at several Pet Resource Centers countywide; and Safe Haven, a program that assists domestic violence survivors with temporary shelter for their companion animals.
We launched Safe Haven in 2020 in partnership with DomesticViolence Solutions for Santa Barbara County as we realized that so many domestic violence survivors either stay in an abusive relationship because of a beloved family pet, or they are forced to leave their pets behind, which leads to more suffering for the animals. Our program allows survivors to seek safety from abuse without having to fear for the well-being of their four-legged family members.
We also provide humane education through Paws Up For Pets, teaching middle-school aged children to be accountable for their pets and compassionate towards animals and all living beings.
Q: What makes your organization unique?
A: C.A.R.E.4Paws is the only animal welfare organization on the Central Coast that works directly in the community to provide critical wellness services to the pet families that need it the most.
Since our founding in 2009, we have concentrated our efforts on Santa Barbara County’s most resource-deprived neighborhoods, serving low-income, senior, disabled and unhoused community members. In 2022, we have broadened our reach into San Luis Obispo (SLO) County through a program called Snip & Chip SLO.
Every year, C.A.R.E.4Paws evolves to make sure we’re meeting the community’s needs. For example, when the pandemic started, we began distributing several tons of pet food weekly, compared to two tons distributed (total) in a typical pre-pandemic year. Between March 2020 and March 2022, we provided more than 850,000 pounds of free pet food to prevent suffering and pet homelessness.
We have also increased the number of mobile clinic services provided annually by 50%, assisting more than 10,000 dogs and cats per year with vaccines, spays/neuters and medical care. Overall, we have tripled the number of pet families we help annually to ensure that animals stay healthy and with the people who love them.
C.A.R.E.4Paws is also unique in that we collaborate with dozens of other agencies and organizations to make sure we can help as many pet families in need as possible. Apart from our partnership with Animal Services in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties as well as all local animal shelters and rescue groups, we work closely with human welfare agencies, pet services providers and other businesses.
Q: What training, education and experience do you and your staff have? Do you hold any professional certifications?
A: We have a highly trained veterinary team that runs our Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach operations, including a veterinarian who’s worked in the field for more than 40 years. Having operated C.A.R.E.4Paws for 13 years, myself and my team have all gained tremendous experience in the animal welfare industry and when it comes to working with pet families in need.
Q: What is your level of expertise regarding pet health and behavior?
A: Our team has worked in the community since 2009 to help thousands of animals with a variety of services, including vaccine clinics, spaying and neutering, medical care, grooming (for dogs of the unsheltered) and behavioral training.
Q: How do you manage behavioral problems?
A: As part of our Companion Pet Assistance program, as funds allow, we offer free dog behavioral training for low-income pet families to make sure dogs don’t end up in a shelter due to behavioral issues that the owners cannot manage on their own.