Helen Woodward Animal Center comes to the rescue of orphan pups left abandoned after shooting of street dogs

The three pups enjoy a bath provided by volunteers.
The three pups enjoy a bath provided by volunteers.

A trio of two-month old puppies are the newest arrivals at Helen Woodward Animal Center. Left abandoned at only two weeks old when their mother and five other dogs were shot on the street, they are lucky to be alive today. Thanks to a partnership with Heart of Louisiana, the puppies are safe and on the road to their forever homes. Named Bear, Lady and Ruffian, the puppies will go available on Friday, April 24.

Despite the coronavirus’ seeming inability to infect animals, the COVID-19 crisis is having a very real impact on the world of orphan pets. States under strict “stay at home” orders have seen the closures of many businesses, including area shelters, leaving homeless animals in dire straits. In Louisiana, where spay and neuter laws are more lax than California, overpopulation is a constant problem. Now, with rural shelters unable to take in homeless animals, some citizens have taken it upon themselves to handle the problem with shotguns.

Early this month in a rural parish in Louisiana, six homeless canines were found shot to death on the street. The situation could have been even more tragic had a concerned neighbor not recognized one of the deceased dogs as a mother who had been housing her puppies underneath a shed nearby the town’s school. The neighbor quickly notified the school’s lunchroom lady who found them under the shed and took up the task of bottle feeding the three abandoned pups. Once they were weaned, she contacted Heart of Louisiana.

“Heart of Louisiana has been an incredible rescue partner,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center Operations Director Jennifer Shorey. “Despite the closures of so many shelters out in rural Louisiana, they are continuing to do the hard work of rounding up these orphan pets and securing them transports to safety. We are honored to be a part of saving these lives.”

Bear, Lady, and Ruffian arrived on Friday, April 17, and have received their health checks, microchips, and vaccinations. Once spay and neuter surgeries are complete, the three puppies will begin their search for forever homes.

Heart of Louisiana Humane Society spokesperson Caitlin Hemphill stated, “We cannot express our gratitude enough for Helen Woodward Animal Center. Without them, so many more animals here would perish. It takes a village and we are forever grateful to be a part of this amazing team. ”

For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center, go to, call 858-756-4117 or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe. -- News release