Helen Woodward Animal Center featured in ‘Lucky Dog’ TV series

"Lucky Dog" TV host films episode in dog play yard at Helen Woodward Animal Center.
“Lucky Dog” TV series host Eric Weise is filmed Dec. 13 in the dog play yard at Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.
(Robert McKenzie)

Episode will highlight Rancho Santa Fe center’s efforts to take in animals from high-kill shelters around the country


Last weekend’s episode of the long-running CBS TV series “Lucky Dog” featured the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe and its efforts to rehabilitate and re-home rescues from high-kill animal shelters nationwide.

Now in its 10th season, “Lucky Dog” is a documentary-style series that tells weekly stories on how dog trainers work with difficult and untrained shelter dogs to turn them into adoptable pets. For the episode that aired at 7 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, on CBS 8 in San Diego, show co-host Eric Wiese and the camera follow the intake process as dogs arrive at Helen Woodward from other shelters. Together they go through a daylong process of getting dogs cleaned up, a medical exam, exercise, temperament assessment program and photo session for the adoption page on the center’s website. The episode was filmed on Dec. 13.

"Lucky Dog" TV show host Eric Wiese films a scene with a puppy at the Helen Woodward Animal Center.
“Lucky Dog” TV show host Eric Wiese films a scene with a newly arrived puppy at the Helen Woodward Animal Center on Dec. 13.
(Helen Woodward Animal Center)

Founded in 1972, Helen Woodward has expanded from its original mission as an animal shelter under the leadership of president and CEO Michael Arms. Besides providing adoption services for more than 10,000 animals each year, the center offers animal encounter therapy programs and children’s education program.

One of the center’s lead underwriters is Blue Buffalo Pet Products, which donated more than 100,000 pounds of pet food last year to feed pets up for adoption at Helen Woodward. Blue Buffalo is also the sponsor of the “Lucky Dog” TV series. Blue Buffalo cofounder Billy Bishop connected the show’s producers with the team at Helen Woodward for the new episode.

In the Jan. 22 episode, show co-host Wiese — who runs the Happy Puppy dog training center in Los Angeles with his wife and “Lucky Dog” co-host Rashi Khanna Wiese — looks through the kennels to find a dog suitable for a young man seeking an active companion for his lifestyle. He selects and trains Lady, an outgoing 1-year-old female terrier mix.

“We were really honored to be a part of this show,” Helen Woodward center spokeswoman Fernanda Lopez said in a statement. “With the help of our rescue partners, the center pulls thousands of orphan dogs from high-kill shelters every year. We see what amazing pets they become and how happy they make their families. ‘Lucky Dog’ does a wonderful job reminding the public that rescuing a dog is a blessing for both the dog and the family.”

For preview videos and details on the show, visit or for adoptions, visit