At-risk orphan Louisiana puppies arrive at Helen Woodward Animal Center

RANCHO SANTA FE (KUSI) – A second transport of orphan puppies from Louisiana, a COVID-19 “hot spot,” arrived at Helen Woodward Animal Center Tuesday morning.  

The 38 canines are a portion of the over 70 pups whose lives were on the line due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders in rural Louisiana.  Thanks to a partnership with Heart of Louisiana, the first transport of these homeless canines arrived at the Rancho Santa Fe facility on Friday, April 6th and the remaining arrived Tuesday, April 7th.  

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.  

“We heard from Heart of Louisiana last week,” explained Helen Woodward Animal Center Operations Director Jennifer Shorey.  “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 two transports, as well as San Diego foster families the help the Louisiana canines.

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.”

 The majority of these orphan pets will go available for adoption next week.  

For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center, please go to

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News