Central Coast’s C.A.R.E.4Paws Rolls Out a Brand-New Mobile Clinic and Partners with PetSmart Charities to Improve Access to Vet Care in Oceano

Having access to veterinary care improves the lives of pets and their people. Yet, for many families, gaining that access is difficult, unless pet wellness services are brought directly to a family’s neighborhood—which is exactly what C.A.R.E.4Paws does in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo (SLO) counties through its Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach program. In fact, in August, the nonprofit not only rolls out its third mobile veterinary clinic, but an Access to Care initiative in the city of Oceano, made possible through grant funding from PetSmart Charities®.

C.A.R.E.4Paws launches the Access to Care project on Sunday, August 6, with a Pet Wellness Clinic for Oceano families in need at Oceano Community Services District (1655 Front Street). The organization will provide free spays/neuters, health exams and other medical care by appointment in its two 26-foot mobile clinics and the brand-new, 37-foot unit (apply through care4paws.org/oceano). Right outside, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., C.A.R.E.4Paws offers free vaccines, flea treatment, deworming medication, microchips and nail trims for dogs and cats on a walk-in, first-come, first-serve basis.

C.A.R.E.4Paws has provided free and low-cost mobile wellness services and other critical resources for pet families in need in Santa Barbara County since 2009. In 2022, it brought its mobile clinic services to SLO County. The organization is one of only 10 animal welfare organizations in the United States to receive this new, innovative Access to Care grant from PetSmart Charities. The grant provides $120,000 in funding for the first year and, if C.A.R.E.4Paws qualifies for consecutive years, the funding increases. The grant focuses on historically excluded communities, and Latino communities were selected to comprise the first group of grantee emphasis.

“Many small, remote communities on the Central Coast, like Oceano, have chronically lacked access to pet wellness services of any kind,” says Isabelle Gullö, C.A.R.E.4Paws’ executive director and cofounder, who notes that of Oceano’s roughly 7,200 community members, 42 percent are Hispanic and the per-capita income is less than $34,000 per year. “When people struggle to care for their companion animals, it affects everyone in the family. The PetSmart Charities funding allows us to provide free veterinary services in Oceano on a continued basis, which helps keep pets healthy, out of shelters and with the people who love them.”

“Most people today consider pets family, yet 50 million pets in the U.S. struggle to access even basic preventative care such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and annual exams,” says Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “While this issue affects families in nearly every community, those who have been historically excluded from human social services are most in need of pet services, too. We’re proud to support this innovative approach that meets the unique needs identified by those living in the communities themselves.”

C.A.R.E.4Paws’ new mobile clinic, the result of a three-year fundraising effort, will play an integral role in the organization’s work in Oceano as well as its work in other SLO and Santa Barbara County communities. With its double surgery suite, added equipment and ample kennel space to house animals, including more large dogs, the unit allows the organization to increase both the number of pets served annually and the geographical reach of its services.

“The human-animal bond is so powerful, and we want to do all that we can to help preserve that bond,” says Gullö. “Thanks to our mobile clinics, C.A.R.E.4Paws can have a steady presence in the community, assisting pet families right where they live!”

While the new clinic starts operating on August 6, C.A.R.E.4Paws hosts the official ribbon-cutting event on Sunday, August 20, at The Maker’s Son in Los Alamos, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the new vehicle and learn about the organization’s mobile clinic program, while also enjoying appetizers, beer and wine. To learn more and RSVP for this event, visit care4paws.org/events/friendraiser.

For more information about C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach, its Access to Care project and to make an appointment, visit care4paws.org/clinicservices and care4paws.org/oceano. To learn more about C.A.R.E.4Paws in general and find out how to contribute to the organization, visit care4paws.org.


About C.A.R.E.4Paws

C.A.R.E.4Paws—short for Community Awareness, Responsibility & Education—works to reduce pet overpopulation, keep animals out of shelters and improve quality of life for pet families in need. Its critical services include free and low-cost spays/neuters, veterinary care and vaccine events in C.A.R.E.4Paws’ own mobile veterinary clinics; distribution of pet food and supplies; support for pet families exposed to domestic violence through Safe Haven; Paws Up For Pets humane education; and Pet Emergency Training (P.E.T.) for First Responders. C.A.R.E.4Paws has worked in Santa Barbara County since 2009 and, in 2022, the nonprofit expanded its mobile clinic services to San Luis Obispo County. To learn more or to make a contribution, visit care4paws.org.

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 400,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and disaster response. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at PetSmartCharities.org, while shopping at PetSmart.com, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.


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