Organization that bridges the gaps in pet care with low cost and free services

With a population of just under 7,500, census data shows that 1 in 10 people in Oceano struggle with poverty. But one organization is making sure families with pets don’t stress about vet bills.

CARE 4 PAWSan organization dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation and improving the quality of life for the pets of families in need, has recently expanded its services to San Luis Obispo County.

“We started as an animal protection organization, but it’s really about the welfare of the pet family,” said Isabelle Gullö, Executive Director of CARE 4Paws. “The animal-human bond is so critical and if you’re helping an animal, you have to look at the circumstances of that pet’s family and vice versa.”

The organization brings a mobile clinic to the Oceano community each month, offering a range of services that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars.

Fabian García-Uscanga, who lives in Oceano and has two dogs, tells me he spent more than $1,400 on a dental service for his little dog, and any other advice can be quite costly.

From flea treatments to spaying and neutering, the mobile clinic provides access to community members like García-Uscanga, making veterinary care more accessible.

“These services will be very useful because going to the vet these days is difficult with empty pockets,” he said.

The organization relies on donations and business sponsorships to provide free and low-cost services. At Oceano, funding comes from Petsmart Charities, aimed at serving the underserved Hispanic population.

“We are one of ten organizations across the United States to receive this grant specifically to support pet families in Oceano,” Gullö said, adding that every county resident is invited.

CARE 4 PAWS determines those most in need of free services, including the homeless, through a sensitive process, avoiding income verification.

Gullö says this is how they plan to reduce pet overpopulation and, “Keep pets healthy at home.”

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