photos provided by Jeff Wulf

Where Is He Now?

x_puppy5In an early 2015 issue of 92067 Magazine, we learned about the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) and how it upholds its mission of finding homes for animals in need. One such animal, an adorable puppy named Cheers, was featured on our cover. Since that time, Cheers – who now goes by Duke, and recently celebrated his first birthday with his forever family – has become the perfect story of how the adoption programs at HWAC bring joy to families across San Diego. We spoke with Jeff Wulf and his family, Duke’s new owners, about their experience at HWAC.

x_puppy3“Six months after losing our labrador Lady, our family was ready to adopt another dog,” Jeff said. “On New Year’s Eve 2015, we heard about 10 puppies who had been rescued and brought into HWAC from Los Angeles after their mother had been shot. It was such a sad story and my daughters both said they would do anything if they could rescue one of those puppies.” Jeff and his daughter Avery woke up in the early hours of the morning to be the first in line to choose their puppy. To their surprise, because of the public nature of the NYE puppy story, four other families were already waiting – one of which had spent the night in line. “My wife and daughter Devon joined us around 10 a.m. When it was finally our turn, there were two puppies remaining. As we entered the kennel, little Duke jumped into Avery and Devon’s laps and just started licking their faces. At that point there was no turning back and the adoption was made. Avery, who had waited in line for so long hoping she would get the puppy she dreamed of the night before, broke down into tears of joy.”

x_puppy4Duke quickly became part of the Wulf family. Jeff explained, “There were daily walks, visits to the pet store for toys and treats, potty training, and playing. Duke still gets very excited when he sees us and greets everyone with kisses and sniffing in the morning.” According to the family, Avery enjoys running and playing catch with him, while Devon prefers dressing him and laying on him. “Duke has brought back joy and laughter to the daily routine. He is always up for whatever the family has planned,” said Jeff.

When offering advice about pet adoption, the Wulf family commented, “Do your research and make sure your family is ready for a dog. Make sure you have a plan to play with, feed, and walk them, as it is a big responsibility. Be sure to utilize the resources Helen Woodward makes available when it comes to education and training.” To learn more about the HWAC or to see photos of adoptable dogs and cats visit