The nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws is seeking donations of dog and cat food, cat litter, pet jackets, fleece blankets and cash to support its Companion Pet Assistance Program, which helps low-income, senior, disabled and homeless people keep their animals rather than abandoning them or surrendering them to shelters.
“Thousands of pet owners in our community live in poverty and struggle to provide basic care for themselves and their pets,” said the organization’s cofounder and executive director, Isabelle Gullo. “For the past 10 years, C.A.R.E.4Paws has offered a safety net of services to ensure animals don’t suffer or get relinquished to a shelter due to lack of resources. Keeping pets and owners together is not only the compassionate thing to do, but it’s considerably less costly to help owned animals than to care for them once they end up in a shelter.”
The program offers a range of critical services, including delivery of pet food, cat litter, flea medication, pet jackets and blankets. It also provides affordable veterinary care, vaccines and free spays and neuters in C.A.R.E.4Paws’ own mobile veterinary clinic. The goal is to keep animals happy, healthy and with their families for life.
For many community members, especially seniors and homeless owners, pets are a lifeline and in some cases, their sole companionship. This is why C.A.R.E.4Paws collaborates with several senior centers and low-income housing facilities for the elderly, bringing services directly to people in the mobile clinic.
“Every year, C.A.R.E.4Paws assists more than 6,000 animals countywide, and we’ve altered 10,000 dogs and cats since our inception in 2009, for free,” Gullo said, adding that this year alone, the nonprofit will perform 1,400 spay/neuter surgeries. “As a result, you see significantly fewer animals in our shelters and overall, a greater awareness around what compassionate pet care entails.”
C.A.R.E.4Paws is partnering with several businesses in the campaign, including Zoom, FastSpring, Montecito Pet Shop, La Cumbre Feed, Buellton Veterinary Clinic, Orcutt Veterinary Hospital and Advanced Veterinary Specialists, to bring in food, supplies and monetary donations.
“Pets don’t ask for much, while giving us unconditional love, and this is a way for us to give back to our four-legged friends,” said Account Executive Suzana Vuk at Zoom. “Sometimes providing a loving home for a pet requires a little help from the community, and we want to be a part of the solution.”
For supply drop-offs, pickups, or other information about participating in the drive, contact [email protected] or 805-968-CARE. For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws or to make a donation, visit care4paws.org.