FAQ's

Is Woods Humane Society a "NO-KILL" animal shelter?

While Woods Humane Society meets the generally understood guidelines for a “no-kill” shelter, our organization has chosen not to use the term “no-kill” as we believe it unfairly vilifies public shelters that shoulder the tremendous responsibility of accepting all strays and all species. Woods Humane Society runs a private, nonprofit adoption program that takes in owner surrendered dogs and cats and transfers in hundreds of animals each year from other shelters and rescues, including those from very high-risk areas. Animals stay in our adoption program as long as it takes to find them a loving home and our “live release rate” typically hovers around 99%. While the euthanasia of animals is rare, there are times when it is appropriate to end suffering from severe medical issues or to prevent the release of a truly dangerous animal into the community. Woods is committed to providing high quality care for our animals and is fortunate to have resources to address medical and behavioral issues with our on-site veterinary staff and behavior department.

What is the difference between Woods Humane Society and the San Luis Obispo County Divison of Animal Services?

Woods Humane Society is a privately funded, non-profit animal welfare organization dedicated to the humane care and treatment of homeless companion animals on the Central Coast, to helping provide humane and loving homes, and to cultivating respect for the rights and needs of our county’s companion animals. We house only dogs and cats and take a limited number of animals from the public and from the San Luis Obispo County Division of Animal Services.

The San Luis Obispo County Division of Animal Services is the governmental agency that enforces animal control laws and anticruelty ordinances, picks up stray animals, rescues animals in distress and responds to animal-related emergencies. It runs the municipal shelter for all animals, whether lost, abandoned, surrendered or rescued. It takes in not only dogs and cats, but also other domestic and wild animals.  Animal Services is funded by your tax dollars.

What is the relationship between Woods Humane Society and the San Luis Obispo County Division of Animals Services?

Woods Humane Society and Animal Services work together to shelter San Luis Obispo County’s homeless animals. In 2005, Woods entered into an agreement with the county to accept no less than 300 adoptable companion animals from Animal Services in an effort to curb their euthanasia rate. We work closely with Animal Services to actively confront the animal overpopulation problem that San Luis Obispo County currently faces.

Are all Humane Societies Related?

No. There is no national humane society headquarters and each humane society is privately funded by the communities which they serve. Regardless of geographical location, all humane societies are working together to provide compassionate care to the homeless animals within their individual counties.

We are networked through the Humane Society of the United States, the State Humane Association of California, The American Humane Association and the ASPCA. Woods does not receive funding from any of these organizations.

How is Woods Humane Society funded?

Woods Humane Society does not receive any form of tax money or government funding. We are wholly supported through our fees, fundraising events, private donations, grants and bequests. We rely entirely on our community for financial support. Woods Humane Society holds two annual fundraising events: a black tie gala, “Tails” which takes place in June and the “Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-Thon, ” a joy-filled family dog walk and pet fair which takes place in October.

How do I adopt a dog or cat from Woods Humane Society?

Come out to Woods Humane Society and meet the dogs and cats waiting for a home. Our Animal Care Staff will help you find the right match. You can view all of our current adoptable pets online

Some Things to Remember:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Have a valid identification with your current address.
  3. Bring along any resident dogs and family members to get to know the animal prior to adoption.
  4. Understand that Woods Humane Society reserves the right to deny an adoption for any reason.

Our adoption fees include initial vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, initial intake exam and health screening, microchipping, collar, leash, complimentary bag of food, and any items from our donated pet supply area (which may include toys, treats, beds, dog houses, leashes, collars, bowls, pet doors, all depending on current stock).

Where is Woods Humane Society Located?

Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Avenue in San Luis Obispo.

From the South:

  • Take Hwy 101 North to San Luis Obispo
  • Exit Hwy 1 towards Morro Bay (Santa Rosa)
  • Continue out Santa Rosa and it will turn into Hwy 1 after Cal Poly.
  • Continue 4.5 miles on Hwy and exit on Kansas Ave. (Light on Hwy 1)
  • Turn Left on Oklahoma Avenue, drive past the Sheriff Department of Animal Service, we are the last building on Oklahoma Avenue.

From the North:

  • Take Hwy 101 South to San Luis Obispo
  • Exit Hwy 1 towards Morro Bay (Santa Rosa)
  • Continue out Santa Rosa and it will turn into Hwy 1 after Cal Poly.
  • Continue 4.5 miles on Hwy and exit on Kansas Ave. (Light on Hwy 1)
  • Turn Left on Oklahoma Avenue, drive past the Sheriff Department of Animal

What are the business hours of Woods Humane Society?

Our shelter is open from Noon - 6 p.m. every day. Woods is closed:  New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

How do I become a volunteer and help to enrich the lives of the animals at Woods Humane Society?

  1. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (805) 543-9316 x 22 or email volunteer@woodshumane.org and schedule an orientation meeting.
  2. For additional information, please refer to our Volunteer Page.

Volunteer Positions

  • Canine Enrichment
  • Feline Enrichment
  • Animal Care Assistant
  • Off-site Animal Handling
  • Pet Visitations

How do I surrender my dog or cat if I am unable to keep it?

Because there are so many animals that qualify for our services, it is important that we follow rigid guidelines to protect the animal and the person who would like to adopt the animal. To determine whether the animal is adoptable, specific guidelines are followed. These are listed in the Surrenders section of the website.

What should I do if I have lost my pet or found a pet?

Woods Humane Society does not pick up or take in stray animals, if you have lost a pet, contact the San Luis Obispo Sheriff Department of Animal Services. If you have found a pet, your first action should be to contact all of your neighbors to see if anyone close to your home is missing their animal.

Next, post flyers around the location where the animal was found. Post a free “Found” ad in the San Luis Obispo Tribune Classifieds. As a last ditch option, you may surrender the animal to the San Luis Obispo County Department of Animal Services. Please remember that Animal Services is consistently at capacity and that space is extremely limited. If you have the ability, please exhaust all of your resources for finding the found animals owners prior to dropping off the animal at the Department of Animal Services.

How do I report a case of animal abuse or neglect?

Animals cannot speak for themselves! If you witness or are aware of any form of animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse, we implore you to contact the San Luis Obispo Sheriff immediately.

Can I board my pet at Woods Humane Society?

No. Woods Humane Society is not a boarding kennel; however please visit our local kennels page. Woods Humane Society does not endorse or sponsor any one specific kennel; this page is merely a collection of contact information for local boarding facilities. If you would like to see a specific kennel added to our list, please forward the contact information to skragenbrink@woodshumane.org.

What should I do if I find injured wildlife?

Woods Humane Society is a companion animal adoption facility. We do not provide care to local wildlife. If you come across an injured animal, please contact one of the following agencies:

Pacific Wildlife: (805) 543-9453
Wildlife Emergency: (805) 238-9015
Marine Mammal Rescue: (415) 289-7325

How is Woods Humane Society confronting the current animal overpopulation issue in San Luis Obispo County?

Woods Humane Society and the San Luis Obispo Animal Services work together to shelter San Luis Obispo County’s homeless animals. In 2005, we forged an agreement with the county in which Woods will accept no less then 300 adoptable companion animals from the Animal Services in an effort to curb their euthanasia rate. We work closely with Animal Services to actively confront the animal overpopulation problem that San Luis Obispo County currently faces.  For the last 3 years we have obtained grant funding to provide low-cost spay and neuter services to North County communities through our Spay It Forward program.

How can I help?

You can support Woods Humane Society by making a charitable contribution that will help us to provide care and shelter for homeless cats and dogs. You can donate with a credit card online by clicking here or by mailing a check payable to Woods Humane Society to 875 Oklahoma Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. For more information on our giving program, please visit our support page.



Opening Homes and Hearts to Homeless Pets
in San Luis Obispo County since 1955.