Event raises record-breaking $170,000 for C.A.R.E.4Paws

By: Santa Barbara New-Press, Annika Bahnsen

Photos by Kenneth Song / News-Press Photos

Published May 23, 2023

C.A.R.E.4Paws — a Santa Barbara County nonprofit that keeps animals out of shelters and improves quality of life for pet families in need — hosted its Happy Tails Celebration and Fundraiser Sunday at the Music Academy of the West.

The Montecito event highlighted the work that the organization has been doing in the community and features personal stories and memories from some of the pet owners they help.

The event featured guitarist Michael Holland, who provided background music for the crowd to enjoy. Additionally, there were lots of food and drink to partake in, including local wine from La Lieff Wines, craft beer by Rincon Brewery, as well as C.A.R.E.4Paws’ featured “meowgaritas.”

The main fundraising portion of the night was a live auction where attendees could bid for various baskets, experiences and fun animal-related items. Specifically, some items offered were animal portraits, a VIP tour with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation or a flight on a search mission finding lost dogs. Donations were often tripled, which gave multiple buyers the opportunity to experience something they wanted.

The fundraiser raised close to $170,000, a new event record, according to Isabelle Gullö, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ co-founder and executive director. She told the News-Press that $100,000 was raised directly at the event and the rest was raised through sponsorships.

There also was a matching grant from the Sparacio Foundation, and the organization matched $50,000 during the auction event. This helped encourage those at the event to donate and bid.

According to Ms. Gullö, the money will go directly back to the organization, “helping thousands of pet families in need in the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo areas.”

Recently, C.A.R.E.4Paws expanded to San Luis Obispo with its Mobile Clinic, which allows more families to be assisted on-the-go with whatever pet needs they may have. The money raised will help support this area of the organization.

“Thanks to the wonderful support for C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Happy Tails event, we will be able to help thousands of pet families in need, keeping animals healthy and with the people who love them!” exclaimed Ms. Gullö.

The event also featured multiple people talking about their “Happy Tails,” sharing how the organization has positively impacted their lives. “It is really heartwarming,” said Ms. Gullö.

The event was a success, and Ms. Gullö alongside the entire organization is thankful for the support.

If you would like more information on C.A.R.E.4Paws, visit care4paws.org.

email: abahnsen@newspress.com