By Shereen Siewert

Friends and supporters of David Woods, a man who turned his love of animals into a mission to return lost dogs to their owners, are working together to help defray his medical costs from a debilitating back surgery with a GoFundMe campaign.

Woods, who lives in Wausau and is the Marathon County caseworker for Lost Dogs of Marathon County, has been a volunteer for nine years. He joined the Lost Dogs organization shortly after his daughter’s dog went missing and was successfully reunited two weeks later.

But Woods has been sidelined for weeks from his job at Footlocker/Eastbay after a back surgery that left him with a limited ability to work. After learning about the financial struggles that followed, Shannon Thomas launched a GoFundMe to try to help support the man who has successfully reunited hundreds of dogs with their families.

“If you had to count the number of times David Woods has helped find and capture Lost Dogs, comforting and guiding their owners through Lost Dogs of Wisconsin… could you?” Thomas wrote, on the GoFundMe fundraising page. “David has supported pet loving families for years, and now he needs a hand.”

Woods was named Lost Dogs of Wisconsin Volunteer of the Month in April 2018 and received a Jefferson Award in April 2017 for his efforts.

Lost Dogs of Wisconsin is a group comprising volunteers who provide free resources to the owners of lost dogs to increase their chances of locating their dog. The program also benefits local animal control and shelters by decreasing the number of “owned strays” entering the animal control/shelter system and increasing the chances of finding an owner once the dog is in their care.

Fundraising information can be found here.