SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Local nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws is rallying community support for Santa Barbara County pet owners who are struggling to care for their furry friends during the pandemic.
According to an ASCPA study, across the nation, the number of pets living in poverty has increased by more than 20% compared to pre-COVID estimates.
In an effort to help, C.A.R.E.4Paws is hosting its first countywide pet food donation drive-thru event this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:
Saturday, April 24:
- Earl Warren Showgrounds at 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara
- Deckers Brands at 6601 Hollister Avenue, Goleta
- Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society/DAWG at 111 Commerce Drive, Buellton
Sunday, April 25:
- Ryon Park at Ocean Avenue and O Street, Lompoc
- Santa Maria Elks Event Center at 4040 Highway 101, Santa Maria
Contributions of dog and cat food (unopened products only) can be dropped off in bins to avoid person-to-person contact. The C.A.R.E.4Paws team will be on hand to help unload donations as needed.
Thanks to many longtime business and agency partners, residents can also leave their donations at dozens of other locations across the county both before and after the pet food drive event.
Additional drop-off locations include:
- ASAP (Animal Shelter Assistance Program), 5473 Overpass Rd, Santa Barbara
- Advanced Veterinary Specialists (AVS), 414 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara
- Animal Medical Clinic, 1037 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria
- C.A.R.E.4Paws' Mobile Clinic
- Dioji K-9 Resort & Athletic Club, 7340 Hollister Ave., Goleta, and 22 E. Yanonali St., Santa Barbara
- George's Pet Shop, 1026 Coast Village Road, Montecito
- Healthy Pet, 3018 State St, Santa Barbara
- La Cumbre Feed, 3652 Calle Real, Santa Barbara
- Montecito Pet Shop, 2020 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara
- Plaza Deli, La Cumbre Plaza, Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara County Animal Services' shelters in Santa Barbara (5473 Overpass Road), in Lompoc (1501 W Central Avenue) and Santa Maria (548 W. Foster Road)
In addition to donating pet food and money at one of these drop-off locations, community members can visit care4paws.org/drive to donate online and purchase food to be delivered from the organization’s Amazon Wish List.
“The more pet food and money we raise, the greater of a safety net we can provide for community members who are struggling,” said Gullo.
Since the start of COVID-19, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Companion Pet Assistance (CPA) program has distributed more than four tons of pet food per week, assisting pet owners in need Santa Barbara Countywide. This is equal to roughly 400,000 pounds of pet food. Prior to the pandemic, the organization typically distributed two tons of food total in a year.
“A majority of pet owners can’t imagine going through these tough times without their four-legged friends,” said Isabelle Gullo, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Executive Director and Cofounder. “Research shows it and we continue to hear it firsthand from clients, donors, social media followers and anyone in between.” But, Gullo said when money is tight or nonexistent, the stress of not being able to care for a pet can be overwhelming. “Poverty severely impacts both people and pets, and it’s critical that we, as a community, work together to provide a safety net for those in need to prevent suffering and ensure animals can stay with their owners.”
For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws and its services, visit care4paws.org, reach out by email at email@example.com or by phone at 805-968-2273.