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

  • Shannon Henderson, RVT,  Board Member / President / Clinic Manager
  • Kim Austin,  Board Member / Treasurer
  • Lizza Cuevas,  Board Member / Secretary
  • Wilma George,  Board Member / Vice President
  • Carol Davidson,  Board Member
  • Kim Manss,  Board Member
  • Cathy Mayer,  Website and Publications
  • Mari Rodriguez,  Board Member / Social Media


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 County’s animal shelters.

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.  Our clinic is a joint venture with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS).  In this arrangement, FOWAS pays the rent and utility bills, and procures surgical supplies.   These costs amount to approximately $72,000 annually.  In addition, FOWAS spent $90,000 to make the rented facility operational.  SCCAS (the sponsor of the PLANNED PetHood program) provides veterinarians for the surgeries, provides scheduling, and helps secure grants for our joint services.   All fees collected for these services go back to SCCAS, not to FOWAS.  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.

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.