A Pawsitive Impact for Pets

By Giving List Staff   |   November 26, 2022
Every year, C.A.R.E.4Paws assists more than 10,000 dogs and cats with critical pet wellness services in its mobile veterinary clinics. Courtesy photo.

While shelters along California’s Central Coast do their best to provide care for abandoned dogs and cats, the facilities can be extremely overcrowded as animals face a long wait to find forever families. And, sadly, not all animals find a new home.  

Isabelle Gullö has a solution: Why not step in earlier with programs that reduce pet overpopulation and prevent pet homelessness in the first place?

This cute kitten is one of 2,200 cats and dogs altered by C.A.R.E.4Paws’ clinic team in 2022. Courtesy photo.

In 2009, Gullö, who at the time was a Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter volunteer, cofounded C.A.R.E.4Paws alongside Carlos Abitia and other shelter volunteers to fill a desperate need and provide resources that keep pets healthy and with their families for life.

C.A.R.E.4Paws – short for Community Awareness, Responsibility & Education – offers an array of services to low-income, senior, disabled and unhoused pet families in Santa Barbara County’s most underserved communities. This includes free spaying or neutering, assistance with veterinary care and low-cost vaccine events in the nonprofit’s two mobile veterinary clinics; distribution of pet food and supplies; support for pet families exposed to domestic violence; a youth education program called Paws Up For Pets; and even Pet Emergency Training (P.E.T.) for First Responders.

More than 20,000 pet families in need receive assistance every year in Santa Barbara County. Also, in February 2022, the organization expanded its mobile wellness services to San Luis Obispo County, where it has already assisted hundreds of low-income pet families.

The nonprofit is having a sizable impact on reducing overpopulation.

“Since our founding, C.A.R.E.4Paws has spayed and neutered more than 16,000 dogs and cats for free,” says Gullö, who’s also the nonprofit’s executive director. “That has contributed to a significant drop in shelter intake numbers. By the end of December 2022, we will have altered another 2,200 animals. 

Also sizable is the amount of free pet food C.A.R.E.4Paws provides annually. In fact, the nonprofit has distributed well over one million pounds of food since the pandemic began. Much of the food is distributed through Pet Resource Centers co-operated by C.A.R.E.4Paws and various partners. Some is provided during community events. For example, during weekly visits to Santa Barbara’s Alameda Park, volunteers provide food for pets of the unsheltered, along with blankets, bedding, and flea treatment. Once a month, C.A.R.E.4Paws brings A’s Mobile Grooming to the park to bathe the dogs of the unhoused for free, a service also provided monthly in Santa Maria with Doggie Parlour.

“Times are hard for so many community members, and families should not have to choose between caring for their animals and putting food on the table,” says Gullö. “We do everything we can to ensure pets stay healthy and with the people who love them. This prevents suffering and pet homelessness.”



Donate now!

Executive Director & Cofounder: Isabelle Gullö


C.A.R.E.4Paws works to reduce pet overpopulation, keep animals out of shelters and improve quality of life for pets and pet owners in need. 

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.

C.A.R.E.4Paws and I share a commitment and drive to make a difference!
There are many animal organizations in our area, but what drew me to C.A.R.E.4Paws in the organization’s infancy was cofounders Isabelle Gullo and Carlos Abitia and the dedicated group of volunteers. Their passion and motivation make a big difference in the lives of our four-legged friends.
I support C.A.R.E.4Paws in several areas, including its mobile veterinary clinic, which goes into high-need communities to provide spay/neuter surgeries, medical care, routine vaccinations and other wellness services. I also love the support provided for pet families exposed to domestic abuse through Safe Haven. C.A.R.E.4Paws is truly a grassroots organization with a mission. Its impact has been impressive from day one and it will only grow stronger!
Lyn Proctor

Mobilizing the Clinic

C.A.R.E.4Paws has put a down payment on a brand-new, 37-foot mobile clinic to augment its two existing and old, 26-foot veterinary vehicles, which provide free and low-cost pet wellness services in underserved areas of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The new, larger clinic-on-wheels, slated to start rolling in spring 2023, has increased kennel capacity and the ability to carry more types of vital equipment. This will allow the organization to more efficiently help additional animals over a larger geographical footprint.

C.A.R.E.4Paws is raising the remaining $100,000 of the $350,000 vehicle price tag. Jump on board to help pet families in need!

Key Supporters

Avalan Wealth Management
Chrissie’s Fund
Christopher Harris
Dr. Hildegard H. Balin Charitable Trust
Edwin & Caroline Woods
Edwin and Jeanne Woods
Family Foundation
John and Karen Jostes
Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation
Joel & Vasanti Fithian
La Centra-Sumerlin Foundation
Lee Heller
Lyn Proctor
Manitou Fund
Mary H. Storer Foundation
Mary Jo & Hank Greenberg
Animal Welfare Foundation
May and Bill Allison Foundation
Montecito Bank & Trust
Petco Love
PetSmart Charities
Ron & Elizabeth Ziegler
Roy & Ida Eagle Foundation
Santa Barbara Foundation
Walter & Holly Thomson
Charitable Foundation
Wendy P. McCaw Foundation