With a population of just under 7,500, census data shows that 1 in 10 people in Oceania live in poverty. But one organization is making sure that families with pets don’t end up burdened with vet bills.
Care 4 PAWSAn organization dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation and improving the quality of life for pets in families in need recently expanded its services to San Luis Obispo County.
“We started as an animal welfare organization, but it’s really about the well-being of the pet family,” said Isabelle Glo, executive director of CARE 4Paws. “The animal-human relationship is so important and if you help 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 variety of services that can cost thousands of dollars.
Fabian García-Uscanga, who lives in Oceano and owns two dogs, tells me he has spent more than $1,400 on dental services for his little dog and any other consultation can be quite expensive.
From flea treatments to spaying and neutering, the mobile clinic provides access to community members like Garcia-Scanga, making veterinary care more affordable.
“These services will be very useful as it is difficult to visit a doctor with empty pockets these days,” he said.
The organization relies on donations and business sponsorships to offer free and low-cost services. At Oceano, funding comes from Petsmart Charities, which aims to serve the underserved Hispanic population.
“We are one of ten organizations across the United States to receive this grant specifically to help families with pets in Oceania,” Gullö said, adding that any resident in the county are invited.
CARE 4 PAWS identifies those most in need of free services, including the homeless, through a sensitive process, avoiding income verification.
In this way, Gullö says, they intend to reduce pet overpopulation and, “keep pets healthy at home.”