Our Paws Up for Pets campaign promotes compassion and accountability for animals, targeting afterschool and summer-enrichment programs in Santa Barbara County. Our goal is to empower local youth to make a difference by showing others that they care about animals and by inspiring empathy among friends and family members and in the community as a whole.
Local nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws (short for Community Awareness, Responsibility and Education) will host Paws Up for Pets workshops as part of its existing Pawsitive Thinking Youth Program, which has worked with schools and youth organizations countywide since 2009. Workshops are led by C.A.R.E.4Paws' bilingual Youth Program Coordinator and a team of volunteers. The United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara and Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley will help facilitate visits to their eight county locations, share its strong connections with local school districts, help C.A.R.E.4Paws measure program results, and assist with fundraising for the campaign. Davey’s Voice, a nonprofit that gives voice to animals in need by supporting projects and programs that promote animal welfare, reduce suffering and save lives, will contribute funds annually and help fundraise for the campaign.
Paws Up Badges and Awards
Children can participate in the campaign at three different levels and earn Paws Up badges reflecting which level they have achieved. Each level addresses different animal welfare topics.
To earn an Animal Ambassador badge, children are asked to:
Participate in a Paws Up for Pets PowerPoint presentation. about animals and what it takes to be a loving, responsible pet caretaker.
Take a 10-question quiz based on the presentation.
Bring home and share with family members animal welfare materials from C.A.R.E.4Paws that include information about proper pet care, anti-abuse, spaying/neutering, and more.
Interview a family member about their view of what responsible loving pet ownership entails and turning in a short summary of the answers. A template will be provided.
Participate in C.A.R.E.4Paws’ Paws Up for Pets Youth Contest by creating an art project or poem on the topic of “Animals have feelings, just like us!”
To earn an Animal Advocate badge, students will participate in a VIP tour at a local shelter to learn how the shelter operates and see firsthand what happens when a family gives up a pet or doesn’t care for an animal. After their visits, children will virtually adopt a pet and decide on a specific project to create, whether it’s a photo book or written piece about the animal, an adoption campaign, or a project about responsible pet ownership. Each student will be paired up with a Paws Up mentor from C.A.R.E.4Paws or the Boys & Girls Club.
Children who go above and beyond to promote animal welfare and compassionate pet
ownership, or stand up for an animal by reporting abuse or neglect, for example, will
have the opportunity to earn an Animal Hero badge, and get an award from our local
City Counsel and District Attorney. These awards will be given out annually and will
involve press coverage and other forms of recognition for the Animal Heroes.
Children who go above and beyond to promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, or stand up for an animal by reporting abuse or neglect, for example, will have the opportunity to earn an Animal Hero badge, and get an award from a local official. These awards will be given out annually and will involve press coverage and other forms of recognition for the Animal Heroes.
The Media Campaign
We will call on children from Boys & Girls Clubs countywide to appear in all of the promotional materials and components of the campaign, such as posters, radio and TV advertisments, brochures and social media coverage. Their message they will promote is: “I take care of my pet. Do you?”
The Pawsitive Effects
Our campaign aims to:
Inspire a greater sense of compassion and respect for animals and other living beings.
Empower children in our community to speak up about neglect and abuse and to feel safe in doing so. There’s a proven link between animal abuse and family violence, and when children (and adults) report animal abuse, they could save more than one life. The ripple effects could be endless.
Promote the importance of spaying/neutering and provide free spay/neuter and other services to families in need. This way we will see a reduction in the number of unwanted litters of kittens and puppies, fewer animals in our shelters, and improved quality of life for pets and their owners.
Create awareness around shelter pets and the need for rescue/adoption. Through our shelter tours—more children will understand what happens when a family gives up on a pet. When children see pets as family, they are not as willing to relinquish their pets and let them languish—or die—in animal shelters.
Increase community engagement countywide and hopefully even on a state- and nationwide level. We hope that our campaign will serve as a model for other communities, state- and nationwide, in the years to come.
Support for Paws Up for Pets
Our supporters include Davey's Voice, Wendy P. McCaw Foundation, and local donors and sponsors. Want to help? Please download our sponsorship package here, or click here to make a tax-deductible donation.