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$5 Vaccines Take Bite Out of Rabies

Nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws hoping to stem tide of pet overpopulation

Dogs wait with their keepers for vaccinations at Santa Maria vaccine clinic in August 2016.
Dogs wait with their keepers for vaccinations at Santa Maria vaccine clinic in August 2016. (C.A.R.E.4Paws)

C.A.R.E.4Paws hosts a $5 rabies vaccine clinic in Santa Maria to help pet owners in need and address the city’s pet overpopulation problem

C.A.R.E.4Paws will host a walk-in, low-cost vaccine clinic for Santa Maria pet owners, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, May 7,  at the Santa Maria Eagles, 668 S. College Drive.

Community members can get rabies vaccines for their dogs and cats for $5, while other vaccines, microchips, flea medication and deworming treatment cost $10.

C.A.R.E.4Paws will perform spays/neuters in its mobile clinic (by appointment only) all day, and encourages pet owners coming to the event to sign their animals up for future, free spay/neuter surgeries.

C.A.R.E.4Paws (Community Awareness, Responsibility & Education) works to reduce pet overpopulation, keep animals out of shelters and improve quality of life for pets and their families in Santa Barbara County.

The nonprofit hosts vaccine clinics countywide throughout the year, typically for hundreds of animals at each event.

The clinics are part of the group’s bilingual Community Outreach Program, which targets critical areas countywide (communities with high numbers of unaltered, unvaccinated animals) with the mission to promote responsible, compassionate pet care.

Since 2012, C.A.R.E.4Paws has been working in communities such as Lompoc, Santa Barbara’s Eastside, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, putting on dozens of vaccine clinics and altering thousands of pets.

In August 2016, the nonprofit hosted its first vaccine clinic in Santa Maria and has since vaccinated more than 1,000 dogs and cats and altered at least 300 pets in the city.

“Through our outreach, we work closely with pet owners in need and provide access to affordable services, like low-cost vaccines and free spays/neuters,” said Carlos Abitia, cofounder and director of Community Outreach & Youth Program.

Abitia said the goal is to intervene before animals are abandoned or allowed to breed.

“Since our founding in 2009, we’ve made a big dent in the county’s pet overpopulation problem, and we're changing mentalities around pet ownership," he said.

"Sadly, the Santa Maria county shelter remains over-full, which means we need to focus a lot of our efforts here. We hope the local community will support our work by volunteering and donating funds,” he said.

At the May 7 clinic, C.A.R.E.4Paws will provide $5 rabies vaccines, $10 distemper parvo (DHPP) for dogs and $10 feline distemper (FVRCP) for cats. Microchips, dewormer and topical flea treatment also cost $10 each.

Low-income pet owners can schedule a free spay/neuter through C.A.R.E.4Paws. Plus, Project PetSafe will sell dog licenses from $25. Cats need to be in carriers, dogs on leash and puppies carried to reduce risk of disease.

C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Community Outreach Program, vaccine clinics and spay/neuter program are made possible thanks to supporters such as Roy & Ida Eagle Foundation, Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Petco Foundation, Santa Barbara Humane Society, and Chrissie’s Fund.

For more information, visit care4paws.org, call 805-968-2273 or email [email protected]

— Isabelle Gullo, C.A.R.E.4Paws.


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