On Saturday, Dec.4, local non-profit organization C.A.R.E.4Paws held their pet food donation drive-thru and adoption event with other local shelter animals.
Organizers say the due to the pandemic, many pet owners are struggling to pay their veterinary bills and feed their beloved pets. They say donation drive-thrus like this one really help bring awareness of the needs of pet families.
C.A.R.E.4Paws provides a range of critical pet wellness services to community members in Santa Barbara County's most under served areas.
The donation and adoption event took place at two different locations on Saturday, the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara and the Elks Lodge in Santa Maria.
The monetary donations go toward funding the organization's animal wellness services, which C.A.R.E.4Paws says are in high demand.
"In terms of how we're operating as an organization, we are still seeing the incredible demand for our mobile clinic needs," said C.A.R.E.4Paws Board President Christopher Harris. "Our veterinary services are still the greatest demand we've seen, and so we're running the mobile clinic usually 5 times a week."
In terms of the pet food donations, volunteers processed the food and broke it down into smaller bags for distribution. Organizers say the food is then distributed through pet resource centers that are set up at local county shelters.
"We're still distributing about 2 tons of pet food a week, you know sometimes 3 tons, its down a little bit from the pandemic highs but still a lot of food and there's still a lot of need in the community," says Harris.
According to C.A.R.E.4Paws, since the pandemic started, the nonprofit has tripled the number of pet families it supports annually to more than 20,000.
In addition to Saturday's event, pet food and monetary donations can also be dropped off with several C.A.R.E.4Paws business and animal welfare partners year-round.
"We've had amazing support throughout the pandemic and over the years, and we so appreciate it. We hope you continue to support us, there's so much work to be done and we're so grateful for our shelter partners as well," says Harris.
A full list of participating businesses can be found here.
For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws and its services, visit care4paws.org or reach out via email@example.com or 805-968-2273.