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C.A.R.E.4Paws, Animal Control Launch Spay/Neuter Promotion to Help Curb Pet Overpopulation

spay neuter
Clockwise from top left, Isabelle Gullo-Abitia, executive director of C.A.R.E.4Paws; Dr. Courtney Campbell of VCA Care Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital; Mary Crowell, VCA Care's hospital manager; and Santa Barbara City Animal Control Office Stephanie Burgard. (C.A.R.E.4Paws photo)

To help reduce the high number of animals that end up abandoned in Santa Barbara shelters, C.A.R.E.4Paws and Santa Barbara City Animal Control are hosting a second joint spay/neuter promotion through the month of May.

C.A.R.E.4Paws, a local nonprofit that works to reduce pet overpopulation and keep animals in their homes, has received a $2,800 grant from City Animal Control to provide spays/neuters, vaccinations and microchips to the first 30 Santa Barbara City dogs and cats whose owners call to schedule an appointment in May.

All 30 pets will be altered and vaccinated during a May 29 spay/neuter day at VCA Care Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital on Haley Street in Santa Barbara. Roughly half of the animals will be altered inside VCA Care by a team of surgeons and half in C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Spay Mobile, which will be parked outside.

Vaccinations and microchips are provided for free only for pet owners who sign their animals up for a spay/neuter surgery. The vaccines included in the promotion are rabies, distemper/parvo (DHPP) for dogs and feline distemper (FVRCP).

The first collaboration between City Animal Control and C.A.R.E.4Paws took place in December 2014/January 2015 and helped as many as 60 city dogs and cats. Both promotions are inspired by City Animal Control Officer Stephanie Burgard, who witnesses the devastating consequences of irresponsible breeding and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens daily.

“The pet overpopulation problem in our city and county is real,” Burgard said. “This partnership helps city residents spay/neuter dogs and cats—most of whom would otherwise never get altered — and prevents hundreds of animals from ending up in our already overcrowded shelters. We hope our hard work and dedication make a difference for the animals and for the citizens of Santa Barbara for years to come.”

In addition to this special promotion for city dogs and cats, C.A.R.E.4Paws offers free spays/neuters for low-income pet owners throughout Santa Barbara County year-round. In 2014 alone, the nonprofit spayed/neutered more than 1,000 dogs and cats for free and is on target to alter 1,000 or more animals this year as well.

Pet owners in need of assistance should contact C.A.R.E.4Paws at 805.968.CARE (2273) or [email protected]. Click here to learn more about C.A.R.E.4Paws and its programs and events.

— Isabelle Abitia is executive director of C.A.R.E.4Paws.


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