Helen Woodward Animal Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center

6461 El Apajo Rd.
Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067
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Local Phone: (858) 756-4117

Helen Woodward Animal Center is located on 12 acres in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

The Center was established in 1972 as the San Dieguito Animal Care and Education Center with its primary focus on pet adoption and on-site humane education.

It was renamed in honor of its founder, Helen Woodward, in 1987. Since its inception, services have grown to include an equine hospital, small animal hospital, boarding facility, Animal-assisted therapy outreach, therapeutic horseback riding for the disabled and AniMeals food for pets of the homebound.

Education services have expanded to off-site presentations and outreaches.

DogTrekker operates on the principles set forth in its 4-Paw Promise: “To deliver local and accurate listings, provide engaging and actionable content and focus on social commitment to the communities we serve.” The “social commitment” part of that promise encompasses more than 300 rescues, shelters and adoption centers listed on our website and mobile app. We provide visibility, awareness campaigns, adoptathon coverage and fundraising opportunities to many of these. Here’s a short list of organizations that would deeply appreciate your holiday remembrance. more »
Photo: Jacket - Helen Woodward Animal Center
Photo: Jacket - Helen Woodward Animal Center
Meet Jacket! This big, happy-go-lucky Lab-shepherd mix is still a puppy at heart—he's not quite 2. The world is pretty new and exciting for him, and he's still working on adult social graces, but he's a smart boy and loves to learn. If there's play involved, so much the better (check out his video). He'd be a lap dog if he could—he loves to snuggle with people and really wants one of his own. If you're the one who can help Jacket become the amazing dog he's meant to be, get in touch!

Jacket's just one of many dogs currently getting the best of care at the Helen Woodward Animal Center, which has been coming to the rescue of animals in need in the San Diego area for over 40 years. more »
Photo Credit: Trishy Wishy (CC)
Photo Credit: Trishy Wishy (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

Recognizing pain

Pain can be a difficult thing to recognize in our pets. Most owners will notice a limp, scratch, or yelp from their pet but slow onset and chronic pain can be difficult to determine in pets of any age. Dogs try and hide their pain instinctually. Since animals can’t talk we have to use their subtle body language to hear their concerns. more »
The good folks at Helen Woodward Animal Center have seen quite a few surprising things in their decades of providing resources and support to the San Diego area's animals and their people. more »
Dog lounging on grass
Photo Credit: SailorHitch (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

Dog myths:

Dogs should have a litter before being spayed.

It is a myth that dogs need to have a litter before being spayed. Some people correlate behavior issues with the hormone changes associated with spaying a dog, which is where this myth originated. more »
Dog with chew toy
Photo Credit: This Year's Love (CC)
Treats, chew toys, rawhide bones: what should we really be concerned about?

By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

There are many types of treats that are safe and good for pets. The most important thing to remember about treats, whether they come in the form of human food or specific dog made treats: they should not make up more than ten percent of the calories in the diet. more »
Puppy pose
Photo Credit: -meryl- (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

Welcoming a new puppy or dog into the family is an exciting time! When you bring your new friend home, you want to make sure she adjusts well to her new surroundings and gets the best start she can. more »
Dog with the flu
Photo Credit: Yoel Ben-Avraham (CC)
By Dr. Angela Gaeto, DVM, of the Helen Woodward Animal Center community in San Diego County.

More than 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area have been diagnosed with a new strain of canine flu. While there are currently no California cases, the flu is very contagious and we may see cases across the country. The recent Chicago strain is new to the United States. This flu cannot be transmitted to humans, but there is evidence it can be passed to felines. more »
DogTrekkers in the know already have San Diego's famous Dog Beach on their destination list. Now, if you time it right, you can add a new dimension to your water adventures with your best friend, because the SoCal Surf Dog Club is offering surfing and paddleboarding classes for dogs for five weekend days this summer.  more »
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