Nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws will conduct a Pet Food Donation Drive-Thru from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to collect pet food that will be distributed to low-income pet owners countywide who are having trouble feeding their cats and dogs.
On Saturday, pet food and monetary donations can be dropped off at the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society & Dog Adoption Welfare Group, also known as DAWG, in Buellton.
Then on Sunday, donations can be dropped off at Ryon Park in Lompoc and the Elks Unocal Event Center in Santa Maria, a C.A.R.E.4Paws spokeswoman said.
The organization is looking for contributions of dog and cat food in unopened containers, which can be dropped off in bins to limit person-to-person contact, although members of the C.A.R.E.4Paws team will be on hand to help unload donations.
However, donations also can be dropped off Saturday and Sunday or anytime before and after the official drive-through event at the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelters in Lompoc and Santa Maria.
All drop-off locations, addresses and more details are listed at care4paws.org/drive.
Prior to the pandemic, C.A.R.E.4Paws Companion Pet Assistance program typically distributed 2 tons of food in a year, said Isabelle Gullo, executive director and co-founder of C.A.R.E.4Paws.
But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has distributed more than 4 tons of pet food per week for a total of 400,000 pounds, which has increased the organization’s pet food expenses to an unprecedented $10,000 per month, Gullo said.