Adoption Applications:

Adopters Can Enjoy 50% Off Adult Cat Adoption Fees During June ‘Feelin’ Good’ Feline Adoption Special

Lover Boy
Lover Boy the Cat is one of the Adult Cats Available for Half-Off the Normal Adoption Fee

In celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, Woods Humane Society is offering a month-long Feelin’ Good Feline Adoption Special of half-off of all adult cat adoption fees in June 2022.

The promotion comes in response to the current height of kitten season on the Central Coast, which puts a high demand on Woods’ cat-shelter space and can also take attention away from its adult cats available for adoption.

Woods provided foster care for 147 kittens just in the month of May 2022, and a total of 201 kittens received foster, shelter, veterinary and/or adoption services last month. The nonprofit shelter is actively recruiting more foster volunteers to meet the growing need.

“We hope this month-long adoption promotion will help to highlight our incredible adult cats to potential adopters, and make room in our catteries for all of the young kittens soon to enter the shelter,” says Woods CEO Neil Trent.

Regular adoption fees for adult cats (between 5 months and 7 years) are $80 and adoption fees for senior cats (more than 7 years of age) are $65; this month, those fees will be reduced to $40 and $32.50, respectively. Kitten adoption fees will remain unchanged, at $150.

All animals available for adoption at Woods Humane Society have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, licensed, and treated for fleas and other parasites prior to adoption. Adoptions also include a free veterinary exam and 30 days of pet health insurance (if adopters choose to enroll). The shelter spends an average of $800 to care for each animal and relies on the generous support of the community to make sure that each animal receives the best care possible.

To view the cats currently available for adoption, visit or visit either of our Cattery locations, open daily with adoption hours from 12-4 p.m. and closing at 5 p.m. For information about the foster program, visit For more information about Woods, visit or call (805) 543-9316. Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 and at 2300 Ramona Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422.

Tickets Now Available for Swanky Speakeasy Event & Live Auction Benefiting Dogs & Cats on June 4, 2022

Tails 2022 Tickets Available
Join us at the speakeasy on June 4th, 2022

Tickets are now available for Woods Humane Society’s 20th Annual Tails Gala fundraiser to be held on June 4th at Oyster Ridge in Santa Margarita. With a “Roaring ’20s” event theme, Woods invites guests to dust off their pinstriped suits and flapper dresses for a swanky evening of fun, all in the name of saving homeless dogs and cats.

“After having to postpone this crucial fundraising event two years in a row due to the pandemic, we are beyond thrilled to be able to safely host our friends and supporters once again, in person, and celebrate them for their ongoing support of our mission,” says Woods Director of Development Emily L’Heureux.

“Proceeds from the evening will help us provide loving homes to thousands of cats and dogs, support our spay/neuter efforts for the community, continue our humane education programs in local schools, sustain our foster program for abandoned kittens and animals in need, expand our dog obedience classes, and much more,” L’Heureux says.

She explains that as a nonprofit dog and cat adoption center, Woods Humane Society is supported solely by donations, grants, bequests, fundraising events and fees for services. “With both the cost of care and the number of animals in need of shelter rising this year, we would not be able to continue providing the highest level of services to so many pets without the help of the generous participants in this gala, which is our most important fundraising event of the year.”

Woods Humane Society says it costs an average of $800 per animal to provide the industry-leading shelter, veterinary care, training, and adoption services it maintains at its facilities in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. Working closely with overcrowded partner shelters across the state, and with individuals who are no longer able to care for their pets, the organization has helped more than 2,200 animals so far in the current Fiscal Year. As part of its commitment to managing homeless pet populations, its medical team has also performed more than 5,400 spay/neuter surgeries this Fiscal Year for animals in their care as well as for partner rescue organizations and for publicly owned pets.

Sponsored by Saint Francis Capital Wealth Management, as well as Mechanics Bank, West Coast Construction, Big Red Marketing, Lance Parker Wealth Management, Corvus Wealth Advisors, Central Coast Medical Aesthetics, Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic, and A.M. Sun Solar, the Tails Gala will feature a cocktail and wine reception, catered dinner from Trumpet Vine, exclusive access to a robust silent auction, and an engaging dinner show and unique live auction showcasing many local businesses and services.

Tickets to the event cost $220 each or $1,920 for a table of eight, and space is limited. Ticket sales will close on May 26, 2022. To learn more about the event, buy tickets, or donate, visit

Learn more about huskies and shepherds -- the most common type of dog currently in our shelter

"Pointy-Eared Pups" like these shepherd and husky mixes are in great need of homes.

Woods Humane Society is seeing increasing numbers of “Pointy-Eared Pups" (German shepherd and Siberian husky-type mixes) in its shelter.

These breed types—known for their thick coats, intelligence, alertness, and high energy levels—have gone up from about 21.7% of the dogs cared for in 2019, to 26.7% in 2021, and their length of stay within the shelter is also increasing. Similar trends are being noted in shelters across the nation.

“Ten years ago, it was very common to see a large amount of adoptable chihuahuas and pit bull mixes at any given time in most shelters. Today, shelters are seeing high numbers of stray or returned Siberian husky and German shepherd mixes,” says Woods Community Engagement Manager Robin Coleman.

Why are there so many huskies and shepherds?

One cause of this trend may be that people adopt without knowing about the proper care these breed types tend to require. “Many people like the magical look and idea of these dogs, but we want to also help prepare them for providing the daily exercise, mental enrichment, training, and grooming that will help these dogs thrive in their new homes,” says Coleman.

Without a steady routine to fulfill their drive and expend energy, these breed types can be known to be vocal, jump fences, or dig out of unsecured yards. “But,” Coleman says, “with the right elements in place, they make amazingly loving, loyal, smart and gentle companions. Once they bond, they really bond.”

Currently, Woods has a large number of these types of dogs available for adoption, making up nearly 40% of its currently available dog population.

To help you decide if these breed types are right for you and to help owners keep these amazing dogs feeling their best—even if they don’t have a sled to pull or acres to patrol--here are 6 "Pointy-Eared Pointers" from the Woods staff.

6 Pointy-Eared Pointers

Watch our Pointy-Eared Play List
  1. Sniff Out Adventure & Enrichment. Husky and shepherd mixes typically have a lot of mental and physical energy. This makes them excellent adventure companions for families that like to hike or run daily. It also means that without a high level of stimuli, they may resort to destructive behavior, barking, and (their specialty) escaping. To deplete excess energy, our staff suggests enrichment games that allow them to express their natural behaviors, such as: delivering their food through snuffle mats or puzzle bowls that fulfill their urge to sniff and forage for food; curbing destructive behaviors with daily chew toys like stuffed and frozen Kongs or Benebones; playing a daily game of hiding toys or treats around the house or in designated cardboard boxes to put their noses to work; creating a “dig box” of dirt, crushed ice, or plastic balls for them to dig through to find treats or toys.   
  2. Tune in to Their Personalities. Huskies and shepherds are both known for being sweet, friendly, affectionate, playful—and talkative! Huskies, in particular, enjoy vocalizing with their dog-friends. Sometimes their noises can even scare people! When it comes to meeting new people, huskies are frequently outgoing, while shepherds are known for being more alert to strangers and protective of their homes.
  3. Beef Up Your Party Tricks. Both huskies and shepherds tend to have above-average intelligence, which means that behavior training can be a fun way to help drain some of their energy while building your bond and your list of impressive party tricks. German shepherds tend to make excellent students when you use positive reinforcement training methods and huskies respond particularly well to fast-paced, lightning rounds of working for rewards, followed by some fetch or play breaks.
  4. Don’t Dread the Shed. Both of these breed types have a thick, double-coat of gorgeous fur—which can quickly result in an abundance of shedding around the house. For their own health—and for your sanity—get started with a regular brushing routine. We recommend using an undercoat rake to help remove a shedding undercoat, keeping a lint brush handy, and intentionally using your brushing time as a calm, loving and affectionate bonding opportunity.
  5. Give Practice Exams. Pointy-eared pups could earn Academy Awards for their dramatic performances when they have to go to the vet. For this reason, and to spare these sensitive creatures any distress, our staff recommends that you start desensitizing them to medical exams as early as possible. Using lots of treats, praise, and affection, practice touching their paws, looking in their ears, taking a peek at their teeth, lifting their tails, and touching them (palpating) on the abdomen and legs. The more comfortable they are with this, the easier and less stressful visits to the vet will be. Find more information about fear-free vet visits at
  6. Play It Safe. Both husky and shepherd breed types tend to have some genetic predispositions for certain diseases, such as hip dysplasia. For this reason, Woods staff recommends getting pet insurance when you adopt and establishing vet care early on. When you adopt from Woods Humane Society, you can opt to enroll in 30 days of complimentary pet insurance upon adoption, and can make an appointment for a free wellness exam at your preferred local veterinarian’s office. For more information about common medical issues seen with these breeds, visit
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