C.A.R.E.4Paws, Isla Vista Recreation & Park District and the Street Dog Coalition partner to bring pet wellness services directly to families in need in Isla Vista

Most pet families are experiencing it: Taking care of a companion animal is getting more and more expensive. Pet food and veterinary costs have gone up more than 20 percent since 2021. As many families struggle to keep their households afloat, a vet bill can be the reason a pet ends up homeless. The result? Overburdened shelters, animal suffering and heartbroken families. Central Coast nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws intervenes in this crisis by bringing affordable, mobile veterinary services directly to underserved communities. This includes Isla Vista, where C.A.R.E.4Paws cohosts an event this Sunday, March 24, with Isla Vista Recreation & Park District (IVRPD) and the Street Dog Coalition.

From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at IV’s People’s Park, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach team offers low-cost vaccines, flea treatment, deworming medication, microchips and nail trims for dogs and cats on a walk-in, first-come, first-served basis. C.A.R.E.4Paws will also perform low-cost spays/neuters and other pre-scheduled medical procedures inside its two mobile units, including a 37-foot clinic launched in August 2023. Thanks to the Central Coast chapter of the Street Dog Coalition, unhoused pet families can receive free wellness services as well as assistance with pet food. Additionally, Santa Barbara County Animal Services will sell dog licenses.

“For so many people, the companionship of an animal is everything,” says Isabelle Gullö, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ executive director and cofounder. “Pets are family, and we want to provide safety nets that prevent pet homelessness and enhance quality of life for animals and the people who love them.” She adds, “Our Central Coast community is wonderful in how everyone comes together to make a difference, like with this joint event in Isla Vista.”

While 70% of American homes have pets, access to basic veterinary services has not kept pace. This is particularly felt in communities that experience challenges beyond cost, including language barriers and a lack of vet clinics and pet stores nearby. Isla Vista, home to roughly 16,000 residents, is an unincorporated area with limited resources for pet families, and limited parking can also be a barrier to leaving and seeking out services elsewhere.

“IVRPD is proud to support this first-of-its-kind event that will help nurture the unbreakable bond people have for their pets by providing high-quality pet services right here in Isla Vista,” says IVRPD’s General Manager Kimberly Kiefer. “Pets play such an important emotional support role in people’s lives, and our vision and hope is that everyone will take this opportunity to give back to their furry loved ones.”

The goal is to host regular partnership events in Isla Vista and, in the future, also provide assistance with dog training and socialization and overall pet-care support, as many IV residents are young students and first-time pet owners.

“As a happy long-time dog mom, I couldn’t be more supportive of this pet wellness clinic,” says Laura Capps, County Supervisor for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, District 2. “My thanks to Isla Vista Recreation & Park District, C.A.R.E.4Paws and the Street Dog Coalition for hosting and making our furry friends’ lives that much happier and healthier.”

For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach and to make an appointment, visit care4paws.org/clinicservices. To learn more about C.A.R.E.4Paws in general and find out how to contribute to the organization, visit care4paws.org. For more information about IVRPD and the Street Dog Coalition, go to ivparks.org and thestreetdogcoalition.org.

Leave a Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top