Life was tough for thousands of pet families in Santa Barbara County before COVID-19. Now, 20 months into the pandemic, more families are facing severe challenges, including difficulty providing food and veterinary care for accompanying animals.
Meanwhile, many pets that were adopted and placed in foster care when the pandemic began are being returned to shelters as people return to their workplaces. For this reason, CARE4Paws will be hosting a donation drive – through the home – for the Holiday Adoption Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 4 at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, and at Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.
This event increases resources for pet families in need to keep pets healthy and in their homes, and promotes animals that can be adopted from local shelters and rescue groups. Supporters can step through and drop dog and cat food and financial donations with the CARE4Paws team to support the organization’s intervention services.
They can also stand and visit with adoptable pets from groups such as the Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP), Santa Ynez Valley Humane Association in Partnership with Adopt Dog Care Group (DAWG), Aussie Rescue Networking, Santa Barbara Humane and Bunnies Needed Shelters (BUNS) The Spark Rescue.
In addition, CARE4Paws will offer family photos with Santa to take advantage of their programming and offer free photos to anyone who adopts a pet during the festival.
Says Isabel Jolo, Co-Founder and CEO of CARE4Paws
Jolo said 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,” she said. “The good news is that there are many resources available to ensure pets stay home. Between CARE4Paws, our animal and human care partners and generous community members, we are creating a strong safety net that ensures people and pets stay together.”
For the past 12 years, CARE4Paws has worked to help families keep their pets by providing access to veterinary care, spaying, pet food, and supplies. In fact, since the pandemic began, 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 and sterilization/neurocommunication team will transform and provide medical treatment to more than 4,000 pets, free or at low cost. Its Companion Pet Assistance program distributes several tons of pet food per week throughout the county through mobile clinic and distribution events with Santa Barbara County Foodbank and Helping People.
Pet food is also delivered directly to home seniors, senior centers, and low-income housing facilities. CARE4Paws provides food and supplies at several pet resource centers co-hosted by agencies such as Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS), Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Helping People, and Good Samaritan Shelters.
On December 4th, in addition to Earl Warren Showgrounds and Elks Lodge, pet food deliveries and financial donations can be made with several CARE4Paws business and animal care partners, including:
Plaza Deli, Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club, Montecito Pet Shop, La Cumbre Feed, Advanced Veterinarians, George’s Pet Shop, SYVHS/DAWG in Santa Ynez, and Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelters in Santa Barbara, Lombok and Santa Maria.
ASAP in Goleta collects pet food weekly for CARE4Paws and is currently hosting a fundraiser in support of the CARE4Paws event on December 4th. All locations are listed at care4paws.org/holidaydrive, where supporters can donate money and contribute food through CARE4Paws’ Amazon wishlist.
To learn more and support the CARE4Paws-Thru & Home donation drive for the Holiday Adoption Festival, visit care4paws.org/holidaydrive. For more information about CARE4Paws and its services, visit care4paws.org or contact via [email protected] or 805-968-2273.