Helen Woodward Animal Center Canine Heroine Laps Up Long Line of Potential Applicants  

Sophie’s Story:  Last week, Helen Woodward Animal Center added a heroic 2-year-old Maltipoo named Sophie to its list of resident orphan animals.  Adopted by a San Diego family in 2011, the sweet-faced canine lived with the family for over a year when they decided to adopt another Maltipoo puppy.  Several weeks ago, as the two dogs went running out to play on their large backyard property, a coyote stepped out of the brush and went for the 7-month old puppy.   Sophie’s family said that they heard a cry and ran out to see Sophie step in front of the younger pup to defend it.  The family was able to scare the coyote away, but not before Sophie suffered wounds to her neck, right shoulder and side. 

A few weeks later, the family surrendered the two dogs to Helen Woodward Animal Center, fearing that they would not be able to protect them from the hungry search of local wildlife.   Within only a matter of days, the puppy was adopted by a family who lived in a more residential area and was happy to give her a second chance in a forever home.  Sophie, however, had more healing to do.

Sophie’s Progress:  Now thriving under Center veterinary care, Sophie and her story have quickly gained media attention, even reaching Shepard Smith’s evening segment on Fox National News.  On Thursday, as Sophie was healing from the latest procedure to her most serious neck injury, Fox aired Helen Woodward Animal Center’s contact information and the calls have been pouring in.  Adoptions staff say that applications have come from such far away cities as Billings, MT, Columbia, SC, Washington D.C., Eugene, OR, Camden, NJ, Detroit, MI, West Philadelphia, PA and Las Vegas, NV, just to name a few.  Helen Woodward Animal Center is now requesting that a 300 word-or-less essay accompany each application, stating why Sophie would be best suited to the potential adopter.

“It is going to be a very difficult decision,” stated Shannon Bush, Customer Service Lead, “but Sophie is worth it.  She really embodies every characteristic people hope to find in a furry family member…loyalty, heart and sincere devotion.  She also happens to be really, really cute.”

Sophie should be fully healed and ready for adoption within two weeks.  Helen Woodward Animal Center would like to unite the pup with her new family on Valentine’s Day.   If you would like to adopt Sophie, please submit your application along with a 300 word-or-less essay, no later than February 10th, 2013.  Applications can be downloaded here.   Please email applications and essays to Adoptions, mail to 6461 El Apajo Road, PO Box 64, in Rancho Santa Fe, 92067 or fax to (858) 756-0605. 

For more information, contact Helen Woodward Animal Center Adoption Department at: 858-756-4117 ext. 313, or stop by at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.


  • Use caution at night: 
    Pets should be kept indoors from dusk until dawn.  If your dog needs to relieve himself during these hours, accompany him on a short leash.
  • Avoid taking your dog on a nighttime walk. 
    Nighttime is the prime time Coyotes hunt for food.  If you must take your puppy on an evening walk, use a very short leash.
  • Install a fence:  
    Backyard fences should be at least 6 feet high to prevent coyotes from leaping over.  Coyotes are also known to dig, so installing vinyl lattice 2 to 3 feet below ground is suggested to prevent tunneling.
  • Leave no food in your yard: 
    This includes always feeding your dog inside; cleaning the yard of any fallen apples, berries or other fruits from existing fruit trees and; securing the lids on all garbage cans.