The Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center is originally the “brain child” of Santa Paula Chief of Police Steve MacKinnon who saw a need for a local holding area for stray dogs pending transport to the Ventura County shelter in Camarillo. Working with the city, Chief MacKinnon started laying plans for some expanded local animal control function and even identified a possible location for a shelter. Then, in considering this need with local animal rescuers over lunch in June, 2011, the concept of a community based non-profit shelter was first discussed. The only condition sought by the initial committee members was that the new shelter would be “no kill”…meaning it would NOT euthanize animals on the basis of overcrowding.
With that commitment, experienced rescuers associated with Canine Adoption Rescue League (CARL), Tiny Loving Canines (TLC), Protect and Promote Animals (PAPA), Rock and Rescue, Inc. and other individuals started meeting on a regular basis to formulate the plans which would eventually become SPARC. Every month new issues were raised and addressed by the committee until a proposed contract was finalized and presented to the city council for vote in March, 2012. With that vote, Santa Paula became “host” to the first and only no kill animal shelter in the Ventura County, providing humane care and treatment for the stray and abandoned animals of the city as well as educational, spay/neuter, vaccination, licensing and other services. Pet over population is a community problem and SPARC presents a humane, community-based solution.