Dog lovers in the Santa Barbara area will get a chance to help homeless puppies get ready for adoption at a Goleta animal shelter’s charity event this weekend.
K-9 Placement and Assistance League (K-9 PALS), a local organization that rehabilitates stray dogs, is holding a fundraising yard sale Saturday. The sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, located at 5473 Overpass Road in Goleta. All the items at the sale will be donated by community members.
Sally Bulles, a member of the K-9 PALS Board of Directors, said the goal of the sale is to raise funds for an education and exercise area that will help prepare dogs at the shelter for their transition to new homes. Currently, K-9 PALS members take three to five dogs from the Santa Barbara Animal Shelter to an off-site location every weekend for training. Having such facilities at the shelter would allow more dogs to be trained more consistently, she said.
For the second year in a row, Bulles said the Santa Barbara Foundation, a local philanthropic organization, has agreed to match up to $2,000 of the funds raised by K-9 PALS. She said she felt last year’s yard sale was successful, and that she would like this year’s event to do as well or better.
“Last fall, we raised about $1,500 for the medical needs of the dogs at the shelter,” she said. “This year we are hoping that we match that, or reach the full $2,000.”
Mary Rogers, a volunteer for K-9 PALS, said donated items do not all need to be dog-related.
“So far, people have donated clothing, a chandelier, microwaves, furniture, dog kennels and leashes,” Rogers said. “Just the typical items you would find at any garage sale, and the donations are tax-deductible.”
K-9 PALS is a nonprofit organization whose 30 to 40 members all work on a volunteer basis. In addition to readying dogs for adoption, the group pays for emergency surgery on dogs that are admitted with injuries and evaluates dogs when they arrive at the shelter so they can provide prospective owners with more detailed background information on the animals.
Rogers said K-9 PALS will also use the sale to emphasize the importance of getting pets spayed or neutered.
“Eight to 10 million dogs and cats go into shelters each year,” she said. “Six out of 10 dogs in shelters are euthanized annually.”
Bulles said K-9 PALS also takes part in the annual Big Dog Parade as another way of bringing attention to the needs of the shelter and the dogs housed there. The parade, which takes place on the first Saturday in June at 10 a.m. on State Street, features shelter dogs and dogs that have already been adopted. Bulles said it gives people a chance to see the results of K-9 PALS’s efforts and meet dogs that are still in need of homes.
For those who are interested in volunteering for K-9 PALS, Bulles said there are orientation meetings every second Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter.
“Many students volunteer to get that feel-good feeling that working with dogs brings,” she said. “They find that it’s really rewarding to get involved.”