The Coast News Group
Dog dies of injuries
The abandoned dog in front of Helen Woodward’s Companion Animal Hospital March 13 has died of injuries.
Rancho Santa Fe

Reward offered for abandoned dog

RANCHO SANTA FE — Monday night at approximately 7:55 p.m., Helen Woodward Animal Center security footage captured a man parking his car in the shopping plaza adjacent to the Center and leading an amiable canine down a path only to abandon the dog in front of Helen Woodward’s closed and empty Companion Animal Hospital.

The confused dog, who is wearing a thin harness but is left unleashed and uncrated with only a bed and a few toys, can then be seen wandering the property until it disappears into the night.  Helen Woodward Animal Center is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help identify the person who abandoned the dog.  Additionally, the Center is asking for the community’s help in locating the dog’s whereabouts.

As an organization dedicated to the welfare of animals, Helen Woodward Animal Center team members are obviously devastated by the heartlessness of the act which plays out over a fifteen-minute period on the security footage from the evening of March 13.  In that time, the individual seems to wait to make sure that all employee vehicles have left the property and that no one will catch him abandoning the precious dog, who trustingly follows the man as he beckons the canine through the parking lot.

“The dog looks to be a brownish color, fluffy, and medium-sized,” explained Center Executive Assistant Laura Smith who first viewed the security footage.  “The gait of the dog makes it look a bit older, possibly a senior but it’s hard to tell. I think the most distressing thing is how much the dog seems to trust the man who is getting ready to abandon it and how stunned it seems as this man drives off leaving it behind.  It just breaks my heart.” A reward has been offered for ID of the man.

Helen Woodward Animal Center wishes to remind the community that San Diego Law, Ordinance No.  9274, Sec. 62.673, makes it illegal for any individual to abandon an animal. In part, the law states, “No person shall abandon any domestic animal without care on any public or private property.  Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

“We are assuming that the individual may have felt that leaving it near the animal hospital might give it a bit more of a chance of being found,” said Helen Woodward Animal Services Director Kendall Schulz.  “But there isn’t a good way to abandon an animal and leaving it uncrated is cruel and means that the dog was subjected to cars racing down the dark road and being attacked by coyotes that roam the area.  The trust and love these animals place in their owners is intense and precious. It’s devastating to know that there are pet-owners who care so little.”

An employee from the Center reported seeing the dog near the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Station on El Apajo Road at approximately 8:20 p.m. Efforts to catch the dog were unsuccessful and led to the dog fleeing the area.  Any assistance finding the canine would be greatly appreciated.

Contact the Adoptions Department at (858) 756-4117 ext. 1, visit or stop by 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.