Orphan Louisiana pets arrive at Helen Woodward Animal Center


Helen Woodward Animal Center is part of the rescue of over 70 orphan Louisiana pets whose lives were on the line. Thanks to a partnership with Heart of Louisiana, the first transport of the homeless canines arrived at the Rancho Santa Fe facility April 3.

Heart of Louisiana is a foster-based organization without a building of its own. A big-hearted rescue located in rural Louisiana, the group pulls orphan pets from over-burdened and high-kill area shelters, in addition to accepting stray pets, then places them in shelters better equipped to get the animals adopted.

Louisiana pups find salvation at Helen Woodward Animal Center despite COVID-19 closures.
Louisiana pups find salvation at Helen Woodward Animal Center despite COVID-19 closures.

“We heard from Heart of Louisiana last week,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center Operations Director Jennifer Shorey in a April 3 news release. “Louisiana is considered a ‘hot spot’ and with the intense government restrictions put in place, shelters are unable to accept any new orphan pets. They were devastated because there was literally no one in Louisiana who could take these animals.”

In a very quick turnaround, Helen Woodward Animal Center staff had secured a transport partner and San Diego foster families for 37 of the arriving Louisiana canines. An additional 35 are scheduled to arrive today, Tuesday, April 7.

Heart of Louisiana Humane Society spokesperson Caitlin Hemphill stated, “We have been struggling to continue to help all the animals in our overpopulated area during the pandemic. Our foster families are out of room and we have had to shut down intake due to restricted space. When we are unable to transport our animals to find loving homes for them, we are unable to take in and save more. We cannot express our gratitude enough for the amazing people at Helen Woodward Animal Center for reaching out to us at this critical time.”

All Center staff assisting with the arrival of the Louisiana pups April 3 were prepared with personal protective equipment and the arriving animals were immediately bathed and given medical exams before placing them into the homes of foster families. The majority of these orphan pets will go available for adoption this week.

For more information, go to, call 858-756-4117 or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.