Pet Connections: Central Coast Social Media Group Helps With Adoptions From Pet Shelters | Races & Stoppers | San Luis Obispo

In 2020, individuals across the state took a leap of faith and adopted furry companions to help them endure the ebb and flow of pandemic life.

Colorado State University researchers released a report in November 2020 that found bonding with a pet during stay-at-home orders reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.

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  • Photo courtesy of Kathleen and Justin Leclair
  • LOVE PUPPY The latest achievement for 805 Shelter and Rescue Pets is to pair Daisy with her forever family Kathleen and Justin LeClaire.

Survey participants were asked how their relationship with their dogs affected feelings associated with COVID-19, and nearly 70 percent of respondents reported a decrease in feelings of loneliness and isolation – 60 percent of cat owners had the same answer.

According to the report, more than half of those polled also said their canine and feline friends help relieve depression and anxiety and give their lives meaning.

The central coast also saw a record number of shelter pet adoptions in 2020 as locals searched for a forever family member and the positive feelings that came with it. To make the pet adoption process even easier, the 805 Available Shelter and Rescue Pets Facebook Group has helped match humans with new pets.

Patricia Sly, founder of the Facebook group, works in partnership with Santa Barbara and SLO county shelters, group members and other groups on social media to promote the pets available in the area. The group focuses on pets in shelters, elderly furry friends, pets with medical needs and “relocation”.

“We’re really trying to bring out the dogs that are often looked at and bring them into loving homes,” she said.

Sly said she doesn’t want to take any credit away from shelters and anyone involved in bringing these pets into their homes forever.

She started volunteering with the Santa Maria Animal Shelter on Foster Road when she moved to Orcutt around 2012. Her duties were to spread the word on social media when there were pets available. , to accommodate pets and to transport pets to their future homes if the baby owners are out of the area.

Rare arthritis kept her from doing physical volunteering, so in 2017 she created 805 Shelter and rescue animals available to push their pet promotional messages into high gear. It was a way for her to continue her meaningful work.

“This group literally changed my life in so many ways. It started out so small with a few of my friends, but it has spread to other volunteers, rescue and accommodation staff and trainers because that we all use Facebook, ”Sly said.

Since its creation, the group has more than 2,600 members.

Sly has recently returned to full-time work, and Brooke Walsher, a member of 805 Available Shelter and Rescue Pets, helps post available pets, respond to member requests for specific breeds of pets, and save members in relation to shelters.

“By sharing pet rescue messages throughout our group’s area, we are helping those looking to adopt, find pets outside of their neighborhood,” Walsher said. “Ultimately, we are helping animals across the Central Coast find new homes and giving animal rescues the opportunity to share more personal details about the animals available for adoption.”

Sly said she couldn’t agree more, as the group’s initial mission “isn’t about one person, it’s about getting these animals into a house in a comfortable bed as quickly as possible.”

• Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital at Templeton both received an “A” grade in the spring of 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national honor recognizing Tenet Health Central CoastAchievements of protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Sierra Vista has earned consecutive A’s in every reporting period since the ratings were first published in 2012 – only three hospitals in California and 27 nationwide have earned A’s directly since 2012. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national organization of monitoring committed to the quality and safety of health care. For more information, visit

• SLO Food Bank, Slow Money San Luis Obispo, and the Promotores Collaborative de San Luis Obispo are working together to improve the health of underserved Central Coast communities while increasing demand for locally grown and locally grown fruits and vegetables. The three organizations will provide nutrition education through SLO food bank programs and expand the offer of local produce in school districts across the region. For more information or specific program locations, visit or call (805) 238-4664. ??

Editor-in-chief Karen Garcia wrote this week’s Strokes. Send information to [email protected]

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