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Free Pet Celebration Welcomes Leashed Dogs for Costume Contests, Pet Fair & More

Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival 2023

Woods Humane Society invites the community—including leashed and friendly dogs—to its San Luis Obispo campus for the third-annual Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival, on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The free, autumn-themed pet celebration, which caps off October’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, offers canine carnival activities such as a stuffed-animal pull and bobbing for tennis balls, as well as Halloween festivities like the kids’ and canines’ costume contests and a trick-for-treat training challenge. Guests can also prepare for the holidays by taking seasonal family photos at the Woods Pup-kin Patch or with Santa Paws, and by shopping in the open-air Pet Fair for local artisan gifts and goods. Festival vendors include Artistic Antics, Love and Corn, Mutts for the Bay, PetMed Urgent Care, SLO County Animal Services, Woollybear Travels, and many more.

“The Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival is a true manifestation of one of the main tenets of Woods Humane Society’s mission: to celebrate the human-animal bond,” says Woods CEO Emily L’Heureux. “With 800 in attendance each year, we see this free festival as a joyful homecoming event designed purely for the pleasure of the many adopters, volunteers and supporters that make our work possible.”

Sponsored by American General Media (KZOZ, KJUG, Coast 104.5, KVEC, The Krush), Creekside Pet Boarding, KSBY, New Times SLO, Central Coast Veterinary Services, Elemental Wealth Advisors, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Lemos Feed & Pet Supply, Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic, Poor Richard’s Press,  Springdale Pet Ranch, Sunset Honda, and TrueSense Marketing, the Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival will be held at Woods Humane Society SLO, located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. Free public parking is available in nearby designated areas. For more event information, visit or call (805) 543-9316.

In spite of rising costs of animal care, Woods Humane Society announces that it was able to rescue, shelter and find loving homes for nearly 2,800 dogs and cats in San Luis Obispo County during fiscal year 2022-2023, thanks in part to the timely support of a $15,000 lifesaving investment from Petco Love.

Petco Love’s investment in April 2023 enabled Woods to accept and provide Adoption Veterinary Care for 42 more animals during the final months of the fiscal year, which closed on June 30, 2023.

Among those helped was Gracie, a young spaniel-mix transferred from a shelter partner in Fresno, who came to Woods with her eight newborn puppies. The litter and mother received foster and medical support for several weeks in addition to spay or neuter surgeries, health exams, vaccinations, microchips, and any other needed treatments, which enabled the organization to rapidly place the animals into wonderful homes in the local community once the puppies were old enough.

Woods says that rising costs of supplies and equipment in recent months made the average cost of this routine Adoption Veterinary Care rise to $349.62 per animal in fiscal year 22-23, with even higher costs predicted for the current 23-24 fiscal year.

“We are so grateful for the generous support and partnership of Petco Love. In fiscal year 2022-2023, when we saw a dramatic increase in puppies, local surrender requests, and transport needs from over-crowded local and regional partner shelters, we were able to transfer 1,200 animals, accept 1,677 surrenders, and place 2,793 dogs and cats into loving homes,” said Emily L’Heureux, CEO of Woods Humane Society. “Without the generous support of grants like these, we would not be able to do this life-saving work.”

Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $350 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations — like Woods — across North America, with 6.7 million pets adopted and counting.

“Our investment in Woods Humane Society is part of more than $15M in investments recently announced by Petco Love to power local organizations across the country as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “Our local investments are only part of our strategy to empower animal lovers to drive lifesaving change right alongside us. We recently launched Petco Love Lost, a national lost and found database that uses patented image-recognition technology to simplify the search for lost pets.”

Woods Humane Society, a nonprofit dog and cat adoption center serving the San Luis Obispo County community, is supported solely by donations, grants, bequests, fundraising events, and fees for services. Working closely with partner shelters across the state, and with individuals who are no longer able to care for their pets, the nonprofit provides shelter, veterinary care, and adoption services for more than 3,000 cats and dogs each year at its facilities in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. As part of its commitment to managing pet populations, its medical team performs 5,000 spay/neuter surgeries each year.

For more information about Woods Humane Society, visit

Learn more about Petco Love here:

About Petco Love

Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $350 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.7 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide.

Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us.  Join us. Visit or follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.

For National Chip Your Pet Month, Nonprofit Offers Clinics on Fridays from 2-4 p.m.

In honor of National Chip Your Pet Month,  Woods Humane Society announces six free microchip clinics to help members of the public protect their pets. The free clinics will be held on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. at the Woods San Luis Obispo location and on Friday May 5th and May 19th from 2-4 p.m. at the Woods North County location.

“A microchip is a tiny, affordable, and incredibly simple tool, yet it can make all the difference if your pet becomes lost at any point in its life,” says Woods Interim CEO Emily L’Heureux. “Without one, your chances of being reunited with a lost pet are much slimmer.”

The American Humane Association estimates that only 15 percent of lost dogs and 2 percent of lost cats in shelters without ID tags or microchips are reunited with their owners.

The nonprofit animal adoption center says that microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted just under the skin. Each chip contains a unique code that can be easily scanned by a vet or an animal shelter employee and matched against an identification database online. Microchips normally cost $20 at Woods Humane Society, but the fee has been waived for participants of the May microchip clinics thanks in part to the support of microchip company 24PetWatch.

“As we approach the summer months, and in advance of Fourth of July fireworks, it is crucial that pet owners protect their pets by microchipping and making sure their microchip registration is up to date with current contact information. We hope these free clinics give more pet owners access to these potentially life-saving devices.”

Local pet owners can make an appointment to get their pet microchipped for free on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. at its San Luis Obispo location, and on Friday, May 5th and May 19th from 2-4 p.m. at its Atascadero location.

For more information, 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.

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