Shelter partners with CBD company Honest Paws

It is always a good time to bring a fur baby into your home, but perhaps there is no time better than during a global pandemic that has forced most people inside like a bear in hibernation. The Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo agreed and adjusted its model to keep adoptions running during the pandemic, which led to a record amount of adoptions in the last fiscal year. 

“We have been holding very steady with adoptions and saw a tremendous outpouring of community support, especially when the outbreak first happened. We have had very successful adoption months,” Woods Donor Engagement Manager Emily L’Heureux said. “We feel this is the perfect time to adopt into your family. We have seen people with unprecedented levels of time at home. You can really dedicate the appropriate time to training with that animal and bonding with that animal and adapting them to your routines and vice versa.”

At the start of the pandemic, the Woods Humane Society reconfigured its entire system as many businesses did in recent months, including shutting down all additional services besides animal adoption and surrender. These other services include obedience training, spay and neuter clinics, youth educational courses, and even vaccines until they figured out a safe, responsible way to do so.

Now with a few months of experience under their belts, the shelter has adapted and moved forward to an appointment-only model to reduce the number of people in the facility at once. 

“We immediately changed to a by appointment only system and are sticking with that. We needed to maintain our social distance and maintain the health of our staff,” L’Heureux said. “People call into the shelter when they are interested in an animal that they saw from our website or social media. We set up an appointment and set up a meet and greet and treat the whole process as normal, and we still have all the parameters and requirements for adoption.”

Even with the extra hoops to jump through in recent months, Woods set a record this year for adoptions. Woods Humane’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30, and this year they found happy homes for 3,100 animals. 

Most people don’t realize that Woods is privately funded and does not receive any form of governmental funding. Woods continues to run based on the generosity of the community, donations and fundraisers.

Like most events in the county, the shelter had to cancel its fundraisers going forward this year, including its most prominent, the Tails Gala scheduled for its 20th annual this past June. 

In place of fundraisers, the shelter was on the lookout for other funding sources and found a partnership with a pet CBD oil and treatment company, Honest Paws. The company is one of the largest pet CBD product distributors and agreed to a partnership with Woods Humane Society, pledging to give 30 percent of their online sales in California for the foreseeable future.  

CBD is the nonpsychoactive part of cannabis and can help animals struggling with anxiety from being sheltered, recently spayed, or a multitude of other factors. 

“We looked at facilities all over the country, and when we came across the Woods Humane Society, we knew we wanted to partner with them because their operation is so well managed,” Honest Paws Founder Min Lee said. “They really do so much for their respective community as opposed to some other shelters that we have looked at.”

Lee stated that there is no definitive end in sight for the partnership, saying, “We want to see how it goes through at least the end of the summer, but if it goes well, it is certainly something we would be happy to do in perpetuity.”

Through the partnership, Woods Humane Society has begun to use Honest Paws products on some of its animals and was so pleased with the results that they have added Honest Paw items to their retail. 

“We were so excited when Honest Paws reached out,” L’Heureux said. “We do the work that we do because of a very generous community. So, when Honest Paws wanted to come on board and give us a percentage of their revenue from their California sales, we were, of course, grateful and explore any opportunities to bring in revenue.”

If you or someone you know is looking to bring home a new member of the family or are perhaps interested in donating time or money to the Woods Humane Society, visit its website