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 www.WoodsHumane.org/Contest.
June is National Foster a Pet Month and Woods Humane Society needs more foster homes to help the many homeless kittens in our community that are too young or too under-socialized to be in the shelter yet.
“We need as many foster homes as possible right now,” says Woods Intake and Foster Coordinator Kelsey U’Ren, explaining that June is historically the height of kitten season on the Central Coast, and this year is proving to be no different. She says Woods has 104 kittens in foster homes right now, with more requests coming to them daily. Over the course of the month of May, the organization provided foster care for 147 kittens.
Woods North County Customer Service and Volunteer Coordinator Hannah Lowe explains that kittens must be at least two pounds (usually around 8-10 weeks old) in order to be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption. Until then, they require the around-the-clock supervision of a foster family. Lowe says Woods’ greatest need in the North County location is for fosters willing to bottle-feed. Kittens under the age of four weeks require regular bottle-feeding until their teeth have grown in and they are able to eat solid food.
Meanwhile, at the SLO location, U’Ren says, “We are specifically looking for fosters who want to help socialize ‘spicy’ kittens and get them more comfortable around people and sounds.” Woods has 8 such kittens currently in need of a calm foster home to help them gain comfort with the world.
In both cases, Woods Humane Society provides all foster supplies, training and support to its foster families. Potential kitten fosters simply need a safe, confined area such as a crate, closet or separate room for the kittens, and the time and energy to feed them, play with them, handle them, and clean up after them.
Look at this infographic to learn what to do if you find kittens
It's kitten season on the Central Coast, and we're bracing ourselves for it by hosting a four-day-long “St. Catrick’s Day” Weekend celebration from March 17-20, 2022, that will include a Kitten Shower donation drive, a virtual webinar about fostering and kitten care needs, and an adult cat adoption promotion to help make room in the shelter for kittens.
The festivities come in anticipation of the beginning of a long local kitten season that typically spans from March through October or later. This is the time of year when unaltered outdoor cats begin to reproduce, resulting in high numbers of found and surrendered kittens coming into the shelter.
Woods cared for 752 kittens last year, including 326 that needed foster care until they were old enough to be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption. The influx of kittens requires an increase in the shelter’s foster volunteers, kitten and foster care supplies, and medical support. By early summer, Woods’ catteries are often at full capacity, with adoptions lagging behind the number of local cats and kittens in need of help.
“In spite of the thousands of spay and neuter surgeries we perform annually, and our monthly dedicated effort to sterilize unowned, outdoor community cats in particular (through our Project M.E.O.W subsidy), we still see hundreds of homeless kittens in need of help each year. Many of them come to us ill and malnourished and require specialized, round-the-clock care in order to survive,” says Woods Humane Society CEO Neil Trent. “We rely on the kindness, compassion, and generosity of the local community in order to provide the resources needed to save and find homes for these fragile young animals.”
We've created a Kitten Shower “Registry” of our most-needed items, such as kitten electrolyte supplements, heating pads, bottle warmers, syringe feeders, and more, at www.WoodsHumane.org/KittenShower. We also invite the public to attend a free, live “shower” and informational session on Sunday, March 20, at 11 a.m., where a panel of Woods kitten experts will show some of the kittens currently in the shelter’s care; discuss foster, volunteer, and donation needs; as well as demonstrate common kitten volunteer tasks such as bottle-feeding, weighing and more. To register for the free webinar, visit www.WoodsHumane.org/Event/Virtual-Kitten-Shower.
For more information, visit www.WoodsHumane.org 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.