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$15,000 Match Makes Donations Go Twice as Far for Homeless Animals

Donations to Woods Humane Society will go twice as far for homeless animals from now through Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Thanks to a group of local compassionate animal friends, including the Sparacio Foundation, and in celebration of the international day of charitable giving, all donations made to the organization at will be matched, up to $15,000.

“As we near Thanksgiving, we are so grateful to this community for all it has done to support our work with homeless pets,” says Woods Director of Development Emily L’Heureux. “2,377 dogs and cats have found shelter, medical care, and a loving home so far this year due to the generosity of our SLO County neighbors and friends.”

Carlos, before

Two recent examples of animals whose lives were saved this year are Carlos and Louise. Carlos (pictured left, before and after) arrived at Woods as a very sick, emaciated kitten with severe eye infections leaving him almost entirely blind. Woods treated his illness and performed surgeries to removed his ruptured eyes and, in the care of amazing fosters, he made a remarkable recovery. He was adopted and is now a healthy, playful kitten, unfazed by his lack of sight.

Louise (pictured right, before and after) came to Woods as a puppy suffering from a deadly disease affecting the intestines, called Parvovirus. While most shelters can’t treat this highly infectious disease, Woods has the capacity and the success rate to take it on. Their medical and animal care teams provided a wide range of emergency care treatments—even preparing and hand-feeding home-cooked meals to encourage the puppy to eat. Finally, Louise turned the corner, recovered, and quickly found her forever home where she is now a loved and thriving young dog.  

Carlos, after

L’Heureux says there are hundreds more like Louise and Carlos who need help in order to survive. “With shelters at capacity across the state, the current situation for homeless pets—especially those in need of special medical care—is urgent and dire. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, we are asking the community to give what they can to help make a difference for more dogs and cats in need.”

Woods Humane Society is a nonprofit organization that receives no tax funds, and instead relies on support from donations, grants, bequests, fundraising events, and fees for services to conduct its life-saving work. The organization provides shelter, medical care, spay and neuter surgeries, and adoption services that add up to $800 per animal, on average, for up to 3,000 cats and dogs each year. In addition to taking in surrendered pets from local community members who can no longer care for them, the organization transfers animals from over-crowded shelters and animal rescues, both within San Luis Obispo County and throughout the state, to rescue them from unnecessary euthanasia.

Louise, before

As part of the organization’s commitment to managing companion animal populations, Woods also provides low-cost spay and neuter services to San Luis Obispo County Animal Services, other local rescue organizations, and owned animals in the county. Additionally, Woods offers a Humane Education Program for local youth, and dog training and behavioral assistance through its Woods University Behavior and Training Department.

Louise, after

The Woods Humane Society Giving Tuesday matching challenge runs through midnight on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Donations can be made in person, by mail, or online at The San Luis Obispo campus is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, and the North County campus is located at 2300 Ramona Road, Atascadero, CA 93422. For more information, visit or call (805) 543-9316.

National Adopt a Senior Pet Month Promotion Encourages Adopters to Consider Older Animals

In honor of National Adopt a Senior Pet Month in November, Woods Humane Society is waiving adoption fees for all senior pets (age 7+) this month. This adoption promotion aims to help our “more mature” pets find comfortable, loving homes for the holidays, and for their golden years.

“Senior pets can get overlooked due to their age, but these animals have so much character and offer so many wonderful benefits to adopters,” says Woods CEO Neil Trent. See our 4 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet below.

Adoptable senior Bubba

Our senior pet promotion is the most recent of a series of adoption promotions that encourages pet adoptions, remove financial barriers to getting a pet, and help make room to transfer in more animals from nearby over-crowded shelters that are experiencing high numbers of stray and surrendered animals.

Adoptable senior Nick

We currently have a number of senior dogs and cats available for adoption (overall, seniors make up about 8% of Woods’ pet population) and the length of stay for these senior pets is typically longer than that of younger animals. That trend has intensified during recent years as the pet industry has experienced a “puppy boom” and an increase in demand to adopt puppies. In 2021, the average length of stay for these older animals was 20.3 days, which was an entire 7 days longer than that for younger adult animals (13.1 days) and 12 days longer than the length of stay for puppies (8.3 days). In 2022, the average length of stay for senior pets has gone up to 29 days.

“This increased length, nearly an entire month in the shelter, puts added stress on these animals and restricts our ability to help more pets in need of transfer,” says Trent.

To inspire the public to consider adopting an older animal, Woods offers these insights.

4 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet

  1. Senior pets are often already house-trained, know basic commands, and are familiar with living with people, which can make for a smoother transition into a home after adoption. Puppies and younger animals, conversely, often require more training and orientation.
  1. While puppies and kittens need a high amount of exercise, seniors are less demanding. A couple of short walks (for dogs) is usually sufficient.
  1. Similarly, senior pets can have lower needs and expectations for play time, mental stimulation, and one-on-one attention than their younger counterparts. This can equate to lower expenses for things like toys, bones, and treats, as well as less time spent swinging a wand toy or playing tug-of-war. A comfortable bed and your reassuring presence are all the entertainment they need.
  1. When it comes to seniors, their eyes say it all: They have so much gratitude to show their new families. They’ll thank adopters with soulful, loving gazes and the loyal companionship that is the priceless gift of senior pets.

To view all of the currently available senior pets at Woods, visit or visit in person during daily public hours from 12-5 p.m. (adoption hours are 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.

Fee-Waived Adult Dog Adoptions Oct. 22-30

Thanks to a $4,000 grant recently awarded by the ASPCA® (The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and Subaru Loves Pets, Woods Humane Society will host a week-long, fee-waived, adult-dog adoption special in partnership with Subaru of San Luis Obispo from October 22 to 30, 2022.

The ASPCA® Subaru Make a Dog’s Day Adoption Special spans from Subaru’s National Make a Dog’s Day on Saturday, October 22, through Woods’ Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29, and concludes on Sunday, October 30. The adoption event also coincides with October’s National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

The goal of the adoption promotion and the ASPCA grant is to remove barriers to adoption and find loving homes for at least 26 adult dogs currently at Woods Humane Society during the week-long promotion in order to open up shelter space for more animals in need.

“Animal shelters throughout California continue to be filled to capacity with large, adoptable dogs that are at risk for euthanasia due to lack of space,” says Woods CEO Neil Trent. “Woods Humane Society is doing everything in its power to help by transporting as many animals as we can to our shelter and matching them with loving, local families.”

He explains that already this year, Woods has transported 880 animals from shelters both near and far (including 450 dogs), and has found homes for a total of 2,140 animals (including 807 dogs). While these numbers are encouraging, he says, the need is still out-pacing the adoption rate.

“We are so grateful to the ASPCA and Subaru Loves Pets for granting us this opportunity to waive adoption fees so that we can hope to accomplish more dog adoptions during a time of urgent need. It’s even better that this event will take place during Adopt a Shelter Dog awareness month and in advance of our Wiggle Waggle celebration on October 29th. We hope the community will join us in spreading the word about the need for homes, and the incredible joys that result from adopting pets.”

Woods plans to celebrate the week’s total grant-supported adoptions with an ASPCA and Subaru booth at its Wiggle Waggle Fall Festival where recent and long-time adopters can “make their dog’s day” with some Subaru toys.

The regular adoption fee for adult dogs at Woods is $100-$150 and includes a spay or neuter surgery, microchip, license, flea and parasite treatment, and vaccinations. Adoptions also include a free wellness examination at local veterinary clinics and 30 days of pet health insurance (if adopters choose to enroll). Woods says that it spends an average of $800 to care for each animal in its shelter and relies on the generous support of the community and grants like this one to ensure that each animal receives the best care possible prior to adoption.

                To view adult dogs currently available for adoption, visit or visit the SLO location, open daily with adoption hours from 12-4 p.m. and closing at 5 p.m. For more information about Woods, visit or call (805) 543-9316. Woods Humane Society’s adoptable dogs are located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405.

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