Adoption Applications:

Local Dog & Cat Owners Can Register from September 1-30, 2023

Woods Humane Society announces its first-ever Pets of the Year Calendar Contest, open to public entry from September 1 through September 30, 2023. Contest registrants who submit a photo of and story about their pet can collect votes throughout the month for a chance to be featured in a beautiful, pet-themed 2024 print calendar. Woods will unveil the calendar and winners at the Woods Humane Society Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival on October 28, 2023.

                “We are thrilled to invite the community to celebrate their dogs and cats with this fun contest honoring how much our pets mean to us—whether you adopted from Woods or not,” says Woods CEO Emily L’Heureux. “The calendar, which will provide local pet-owners with a year of adorable pet images and pet-themed calendar dates, will be a great gift to share with loved ones and a year-round reminder of locals’ love and support of pets. The best part is that no matter who wins, every vote cast and contestant registered helps dogs and cats in need at Woods Humane Society. It’s a contest of compassion!”

The registration fee to participate in Woods Humane Society’s Pets of the Year Contest is $25. Calendar contestants earn a vote with every one-dollar donation made to their contest page, and the highest-voted pet will win tickets to the Woods Humane Society Tails Gala in 2024 along with a featured spread in the calendar. The five highest-voted pets in each of the dog and cat categories will receive a featured spread in the 2024 print calendar, four printed calendars, and will be a featured pet of the month in 2024 in a Woods social media post, email and website post. All contest participants will win a print calendar. 

The Pets of the Year contest begins on September 1, 2023 and runs until midnight on September 30, 2023. To read more about the contest rules, prizes, and guidelines, visit

August Match 2023 Lightbox

Month-Long Fundraiser to Help Nonprofit Reach More Homeless Pets as Demand for Shelter Space Increases

Woods Humane Society  announces a $10,000 match fundraising challenge that will double each donation made to the organization in August to help two times as many homeless pets.

“This year, we have really seen the lasting impacts of the pandemic, the veterinary shortage, and economic inflation on the animal welfare industry,” says Woods CEO Emily L’Heureux. “We’ve had a record-breaking baby season, the cost of pet care and operations in our shelter have gone up, and the number of surrender and transport requests have grown exponentially. As we face all of these mounting challenges, we are so grateful to The Marianne and Stacy Cocks Fund, a Fund of the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, for this incredible opportunity to double every gift this month so that it will go twice as far for the growing number of local pets in need.”

L’Heureux says that with the help of this matching challenge, Woods Humane Society aims to increase the number of homeless pets it helps this year, in spite of the financial challenges in the way. Woods found loving homes for more than 2,700 pets last year and hopes to increase that number to 3,000 this calendar year.

“We are fortunate to live in a community that embraces pet adoption and that so generously welcomes these animals into their homes and families,” she says. “Fundraising is our biggest barrier to increasing the number of animals we can take in and care for.”

The current average direct cost of caring for an animal at Woods, which includes a spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchips, licenses, and treatment for fleas and other parasites, is $800, and that cost goes up dramatically for pets in need of specialized training or medical care, or extended stays.

“During August, local animal lovers have a unique opportunity to double their impact so that instead of helping one homeless dog or cat, two will find the veterinary care, shelter, food and adoption services they need to have a second chance at happiness.”

To donate to the match challenge fundraiser, visit To view animals currently available for adoption, visit Woods is open to the public daily from 12-5 p.m., with adoption hours from 12-4 p.m. 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.

National Nonprofit The Grey Muzzle Organization Chose Woods from 370 Applicants

Old dogs have something to wag their tails about this summer as The Grey Muzzle Organization announces the recipients of its annual grants, and dogs at Woods Humane Society are among the winners.

Woods in San Luis Obispo is one of 90 animal welfare groups chosen from 370 applicants to receive a grant to help local senior dogs. The winning groups received $848,000 in grants to help save or improve the lives of at-risk old dogs in their communities. Woods Humane Society was awarded $7,500 to help 18 senior dogs (over seven years of age) receive pre-adoption veterinary care.

“This grant will help us give more senior dogs like 13-year-old Holly the essential veterinary care they need so they’ll be ready to go to their forever homes,” said Emily L’Heureux, CEO of Woods Humane Society.

Holly, an adorable Bichon Frisé, came to the shelter with stage-two kidney disease and significant dental disease. Woods started Holly on a prescription diet to stabilize her kidneys, performed a dental cleaning, and extracted nine teeth that were causing her pain before helping her find a loving home where she can now live out her golden years in comfort and love.

“No one is more grateful or loving than an old dog,” L’Heureux says. “We’re looking forward to helping more senior dogs get the second chance they all deserve, with the support of Grey Muzzle.”

Over the past 15 years, the national nonprofit Grey Muzzle Organization has provided more than $4.6 million in grants to support its vision of “a world where no old dog dies alone and afraid.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re delighted to help deserving organizations like Woods Humane Society make a difference in the lives of dogs and people in their communities,” Grey Muzzle’s Executive Director Lisa Lunghofer said. “Many senior dogs in San Luis Obispo County are enjoying their golden years in loving homes thanks to the wonderful work of Woods Humane Society.”

The adoption fee for senior dogs at Woods Humane Society is $100 and includes a spay/neuter surgery, microchip, license, vaccines, parasite treatment, collar and Woods tag, temporary leash, and free wellness exam with a local veterinarian.

Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 and at 2300 Ramona Rd., Atascadero, CA 93422, and is open to the public daily from 12-5 p.m., with adoption hours from 12-4 p.m. For more information about Woods, visit or call (805) 543-9316.

About The Grey Muzzle Organization

The national nonprofit The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other nonprofit groups nationwide. For details, please visit

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