This week, nonprofit organization C.A.R.E.4Paws, care4paws.org, launches a countywide Pet Food & Donation Drive to assist low-income, senior, disabled and homeless community members and their animals.
C.A.R.E.4Paws is partnering with several businesses including Zoom, FastSpring, Commission Junction, Montecito Pet Shop, La Cumbre Feed, Atlas Rehabilitation for Canines, Inklings Print, Buellton Veterinary Clinic, Orcutt Veterinary Hospital and Advanced Veterinary Specialists (AVS), to bring in food, supplies and monetary donations for the organization’s Companion Pet Assistance program. This program offers a range of critical services to those in need, 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: to keep animals happy, healthy and with their families for life.
“Thousands of pet-owners in our community live in poverty and struggle to provide basic care for themselves and their pets,” says 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.”
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. The organization also partners with human welfare agencies and homeless shelters, such as PATH, Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and Noah’s Anchorage. It has set up pet-food stations that allow clients to pick up food daily and delivers food and supplies directly to homeless clients at various locations.
“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 says, 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.”
Suzana Vuk, Account Executive at Zoom, says her team is excited to support animal and pet owners in need through the Pet Food & Donation Drive. “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.” She adds, “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.”
Over the next month, C.A.R.E.4Paws asks for contributions of dog and cat food, cat litter, pet jackets, fleece blankets and cash donations. For supply drop-offs, pickups or to participate in the drive, contact [email protected] or 805-968-CARE. For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws and to make a donation, please visit www.care4paws.org.