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S.P.A.R.C. sparks joy by finding pets “fur-ever” homes, foster homes during pandemic

S.P.A.R.C. dog in need of a foster or fur-ever home
Tracy Lehr /NewsChannel 3-12

SANTA PAULA, Calif. - Some people are starting 2021 with new four-legged friends or making donations in memory of old ones.

That's what is happening at the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, better known as S.P.A.R.C.

It's located at 705 E. Santa Barbara St. in Santa Paula and many people drive there from out-of-town to find or foster a pet.

The staff worked through New Year's Eve and New Year's Day to place pets in "fur-ever" homes or foster homes.

Office Manager Aja Benninghoff said, "We've got plenty of animals to adopt, actually we are looking for fosters, if you are able to foster an animal we have a bunch of large dogs that really need to get out of the shelter and they would love to be in a home instead."

She said some foster parents fall in love with their new friend and end up adopting them.

S.P.A.R.C. also welcomes donations of all kinds.

Anna-Kate Levesque of Ventura dropped off a bag of dog food that was almost too big to carry on her own.

She also donated a large dog bed after her aging family dog died on Christmas.

She said giving to the nonprofit--and first no-kill shelter in Ventura County--makes the loss a little easier.

"I'm bringing our kibble, all our food and her dog bed to give to the foster animals so they have some things instead of throwing it away. It does make it a little better to help animals still in need," said Levesque.

Like many shelters, S.P.A.R.C. has been busier than ever during the pandemic.

The nonprofit also has a SPARC Second Chance Store. Proceeds from the thrift shop at 374 E. Main St. in Ventura help stray or abandoned animals get a second chance at life.

People interested in adopting, fostering or donating can find more information at

Article Topic Follows: Animals

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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