C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Donation Drive-Thru
Life was tough for thousands of pet families in Santa Barbara Country before COVID-19. Now, 20 months into the pandemic, countless more families face extreme challenges, including difficulty providing food and veterinary care for their beloved companion animals. At the same time, many of the pets who were adopted and placed in foster care when the pandemic started are being returned to shelters as people return to their workplaces. This is why C.A.R.E.4Paws will host a Donation Drive-Thru & Home for the Holidays Adoption Festival on Saturday, December 4, at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara and at the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both locations, raises resources for pet families in need to keep pets healthy and in their homes and also promotes adoptable animals from local shelters and rescue groups. Supporters can drive through and drop off dog and cat food and monetary donations with the C.A.R.E.4Paws team to support the organization’s intervention services. They can also park and visit with adoptable pets from groups such as Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP), Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society in Partnership with Dog Adoption Welfare Group (DAWG), Aussie Rescue Networking Group, Santa Barbara Humane, Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelters (BUNS) and Spark Rescue. Additionally, C.A.R.E.4Paws will offer family photos with Santa to benefit its programs and gives complimentary photos to anyone adopting a pet during the festival.
“Pets are family, and people should never be forced to choose between caring for their four-legged family members and caring for themselves,” says Isabelle Gullo, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ cofounder and executive director, who adds that at least 8,000 families in Santa Barbara County live in poverty and, on average, 65 percent of families own at least one pet. “When people live in poverty, so do their animals,” Gullo says. “The good news is that there are many resources available to ensure pets stay at home. Between C.A.R.E.4Paws, our animal and human welfare partners and generous community members, we create a powerful safety net that ensures people and pets stay together.”
Over the last 12 years, C.A.R.E.4Paws has worked to help families keep their pets by providing access to veterinary care, spays and neuters, pet food and supplies. In fact, since the pandemic started, the nonprofit has tripled the number of pet families it supports annually to more than 20,000.
In 2021 alone, the organization’s Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach team will alter and provide medical treatment to more than 4,000 pets, for free or at low cost. Its Companion Pet Assistance program continues to distribute several tons of pet food weekly countywide through the mobile clinic and distribution events with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and People Helping People. Pet food is also delivered directly to homebound seniors, senior centers and low-income housing facilities. Additionally, C.A.R.E.4Paws provides food and supplies at several Pet Resource Centers cohosted with agencies such as Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS), Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, People Helping People and Good Samaritan Shelters.
On December 4, in addition to Earl Warren Showgrounds and the Elks Lodge, pet food and monetary donations can be dropped off with several of C.A.R.E.4Paws’ business and animal welfare partners. This includes Plaza Deli, Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club, Montecito Pet Shop, La Cumbre Feed, Advanced Veterinary Specialists, George’s Pet Shop, SYVHS/DAWG in Santa Ynez, and Santa Barbara County Animal Services’ shelters in Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria. ASAP in Goleta not only collects pet food weekly for C.A.R.E.4Paws but is hosting a donation drive right now in support of C.A.R.E.4Paws’ December 4 event. All locations are listed at care4paws.org/holidaydrive, where supporters can also donate funds and contribute food through C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Amazon Wish List.
To learn more and support C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Donation Drive-Thru & Home for the Holidays Adoption Festival, go to care4paws.org/holidaydrive. For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws and its services, visit care4paws.org or reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-968-2273.