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CAPA gives helping hand to shelter animals

by Joshua D. Scroggin
July 13, 2017
lompoc animal shelter
When Santa Barbara County Animal Services doesn't have the funding for improvements or emergency services, Companion Animal Placement Assistance (CAPA) can step up and provide help to the local Lompoc shelter. CAPA volunteers also foster animals and spend time caring for them at the shelter as well.

For evidence of how much Lompoc loves its animals, looks no further than CAPA.

For more than 30 years, Companion Animal Placement Assistance (CAPA) has brought passionate community members together with the animals who need it most and the local organization that oversees them, Santa Barbara County Animal Services.

Marshall Stevens, a CoastHills Credit Union employee who grew up in Lompoc, is all too familiar with the love and dedication shown by CAPA. Five years ago, he adopted his border collie mix, Chance, from the shelter. With help from CAPA, the animals there are well prepared for their new homes, with their medical needs met and with ample socialization from volunteers. 

Lompoc CAPA When Marshall was selected as one of the quarterly winners of the Credit Union’s “I’m All In” employee giving program, he knew that CAPA would make good use of the $1,000 donation.

Large donations like the one from I’m All In are important because there are always emergencies. Cynthia Allen, the Vice President of CAPA, told how the organization recently covered the medical bills for a stray cat who was brought in with significant injuries most likely from being hit by a car.

“It’s better than the alternative,” she said, since the cat now has a second chance at a good life.

When presented with the donation the Lompoc shelter on Central Ave., Cynthia and Stacy Silva, the Santa Barbara County Animal Services Community Outreach Coordinator, were thrilled to show Marshall all of CAPA’s contributions over the years.

The group of volunteers built and maintain an exercise yard where volunteers take each dog to play every day.

They furnished a room for cats to roam free-range, which has had a noticeably positive impact on adoption since people can spend time with them in a comfortable environment where their personalities really shine.

CAPA raised money to improve and maintain the equipment for grooming and medical checkups to make the experiences easier on the animals and those caring for them.

IMG_3893Volunteers outfitted the backyard with chicken coops, an improved facility for rabbits, and even landscaped and added benches and a pergola. They hope that by making the shelter a warm and welcoming place, they can encourage the public to come by and check out their services. 

The organization also hosts a community pet food pantry which has been of an incredible asset to the community. The service helps keep animals in their homes rather than being given up to the shelter when the owners hit hard times.

“We’re very lucky to have CAPA. It’s an invaluable partnership.” Stacy said, commending the volunteers for swooping in and helping the shelter make a difference in spite of budget restrictions.

“There’s always a need for volunteers, especially for taking the dogs to the exercise yard during the weekdays.”

She recommends that anyone interested in helping out apply on the county website to register for an informational session. Little donations are of a tremendous help as well, such as pet food or buying one of the $5 tote bags from the lobby. CAPA even recently partnered with a smartphone fundraising app from WoofTrax called “Walk for a Dog” that tracks the walks owners take with their dog and donates back to the organization.

CAPA makes a difference in Lompoc, and its success relies on the support of community members like Marshall who are passionate about animals. 

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