Who We Are

FOWAS (Friends Of Watsonville Animal Shelter) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the animals in Santa Cruz County. FOWAS is staffed only with unpaid volunteers, and relies on donations to provide the following services:

Our Board

Board From left Kim Austin, Mari Rodriguez, Lizza Cuevas, Shannon Henderson, Carol Davidson
  • Shannon Henderson, RVT,  Board Member / President / Clinic Manager
  • Kim Austin,  Board Member / Treasurer
  • Lizza Cuevas,  Board Member / Secretary
  • Wilma George,  Honorary Board Member, note not pictured above
  • Carol Davidson,  Board Member
  • Mari Rodriguez,  Board Member / Social Media
  • Cathy Mayer,  Website and Publications


FOWAS has been helping pets in Santa Cruz County since 2002.  Since that time, FOWAS has provided thousands of low-cost or free spay and neuter services for dogs, cats and rabbits in the Watsonville area.  In recent years, FOWAS and Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter have co-sponsored the "Healthy Dogs Shots Fair in Watsonville. In addition, FOWAS helps abandoned animals in need of medical help and donates supplies to the Watsonville animal shelter.

In 2013, FOWAS established a clinic in Watsonville to provide low-cost spay and neuter services for dogs, cats and rabbits within Santa Cruz County. 

In Fall of 2018, our clinic's charter was changed to provide low cost spay and neuter to all of the Pajaro Valley, which includes northern Monterey County.  In this arrangement, FOWAS subsidizes the clinic to keep the spay and neuter costs down. 

FOWAS relies on donations to keep the clinic open long term.

See our news page to get a better idea of what we've been up to lately.

In Memorium - Wilma Jane (Baker) George 1928 - 2020

Wilma Jane (Baker) George, age 92 years, passed away at her home in Corralitos in the early morning hours of July 12, 2020.  Wilma was the inspiration for FOWAS and was also one of the founding members.  She will be missed by all.

Wilma (center) is shown here with her daughter, Shannon Henderson and Kim Austin.

Our Mission

FOWAS improves the well-being of the community’s dogs, cats, and rabbits by (1) subsidizing vaccinations and spay/neutering services for pets, (2) educating the public about animal care and spay/neuter, and (3) helping adoptable animals that need more medical care than Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter can afford, (4) providing supplies (such as blankets, toys, etc.) to ensure that animals at the Shelter are as comfortable as possible. In providing these services, our goals are to reduce the number of ownerless pets, and to aid families in becoming successful pet owners.

If you have any questions or would like to find out how you can help, please contact us.