Life was tough for thousands of pet families in Santa Barbara County before COVID-19. Now, 20 months into the pandemic, countless families are facing severe challenges, including difficulty providing food and veterinary care for their beloved pets. 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. That’s why CARE4Paws will host the donation drive – through the house – for the festive adoption festival on Saturday, December 4, at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara and at Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at both locations, increases 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 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.
At least 8,000 families in Santa Barbara County live in poverty, says Isabel Jolo, co-founder and CEO of CARE4Paws, and on average, 65 percent of families own at least one pet. “When people live in poverty, so do their animals,” Gulu says. “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. The Associated Pet Help Program continues to distribute several tons of pet food per week throughout the county through mobile clinic and distribution events with the Santa Barbara County Food Bank and People Helping People. Pet food is also delivered directly to seniors living in their homes, senior centers, and low-income housing facilities. In addition, CARE4Paws provides food and supplies at several pet resource centers shared with agencies such as Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS), Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Helping People, and Good Samaritan shelters.
On December 4, in addition to Earl Warren Showgrounds and Elks Lodge, pet food and donations can be delivered with CARE4Paws’ many business and animal care partners. This includes the Plaza Deli, Dewji’s K-9 Resort and Gym, Montecito Pet Shop, La Comber Feed, Advanced Veterinary Specialists, George’s Pet Shop, SYVHS/DAWG in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelters in Santa Barbara, Lombok and Santa Maria. ASAP in Goleta not only collects pet food weekly for CARE4Paws but is hosting a fundraiser now in support of the CARE4Paws event on December 4th. All locations are listed at care4paws.org/holidaydrive, where supporters can also 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, go to care4paws.org/holidaydrive. For more information about CARE4Paws and its services, visit care4paws.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-968-2273.