During the COVID-19 Crisis, C.A.R.E.4Paws Increases its Support to Community Members in Need to Reduce Suffering and Keep Pets with Their Families
Santa Barbara County, Calif., April 1, 2020 – Pets play a crucial role in people’s lives. During these uncertain times, nonprofit organization C.A.R.E.4Paws is increasing its support for low-income, senior, disabled and homeless community members in Santa Barbara County to prevent suffering and ensure that animals can stay with their owners. Services include distribution of pet food, help with affordable, critical veterinary care and assistance for victims of domestic violence.
Through its Companion Pet Assistance program, C.A.R.E.4Paws is providing more pet food than ever before. The organization’s Mobile Pet Meals team delivers dogs and cat food and cat litter directly to seniors in need countywide, many of them referred through an emergency hotline administered by the 211 Helpline and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. C.A.R.E.4Paws also delivers food to low-income housing facilities and senior centers with meals-on-wheels programs.
C.A.R.E.4Paws’ mobile veterinary clinic, which is still open for dogs and cats in need of critical medical treatment, serves as an access point for pet food three to four times per week. Plus, the organization participates in weekly emergency food distribution events, such as with the Foodbank and Santa Ynez’s People Helping People, helping dozens of pet-owning families each time.
Additionally, C.A.R.E.4Paws has several Pet Resource Centers set up countywide where pet owners can pick up food and supplies and sign up for critical veterinary care. Locations include Santa Barbara County Animal Services’ Santa Maria shelter on Foster Road and human welfare agencies such as Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, PATH Santa Barbara, Santa Maria’s Good Samaritan Shelter and Bridge House in Lompoc.
“For so many community members, and especially seniors, pets are a lifeline that provide much needed companionship and emotional support,” says Isabelle Gullo, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Executive Director and Cofounder. “When an animal does not receive the care it needs, whether due to lack of resources or because the owner is unable to leave the home, it’s hard on everyone in the family. By stepping in with easily accessible and affordable services, we prevent suffering and make sure animals don’t end up in our shelters.”
C.A.R.E.4Paws also provides assistance for victims of domestic violence through Safe Haven, a program launched February 1 in partnership with Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County. C.A.R.E.4Paws arranges for temporary fostering or boarding for pets so that victims of abuse don’t have to leave their family pets behind or stay in a violent relationship because of an animal. During the COVID-19 crisis, domestic violence is predicted to be even more prevalent and C.A.R.E.4Paws is prepared to help.
C.A.R.E.4Paws is thankful for the community’s support, including donations of money and pet food from private individuals, emergency foundation grants, and contributions from longtime business partners such as Lemos Feed & Supply, which has generously donated several tons of pet food to the Companion Pet Assistance program. Other businesses lending a helping hand include Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club, Montecito Pet Shop, Healthy Pet, La Cumbre Feed and PetSmart.
For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws’ services:
-Companion Pet Assistance (pet food and supplies), care4paws.org/petassistance
-Mobile Clinic, care4paws.org/clinicservices
-Safe Haven, care4paws.org/safehaven