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Compassionate medical care for animals down on their luck

Proud Friends of the Stockton Animal Shelter

Hard Luck Animal Welfare Advocates is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate veterinary medical care for our community’s most vulnerable and under-served animals.


What We Do

Educating the Community Through Compassionate Care

Why We Do It


Our Mission

Our mission is to provide high-quality and compassionate veterinary medical care for our community’s most vulnerable and under-served animals. Through our partnership with the Stockton Animal Shelter and additional fundraising efforts, we strive to provide these animals with a second chance at finding a loving and safe home.

Who We Are

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Dr. Matthew Wooddall, DVM

Dr. Matt is a Stockton native with a passion for bringing positive change to the city in which he was born. Dr Matt’s veterinary career started in February of 2000, where he began as a kennel assistant in Lodi, gradually gaining skill and discovering a lifelong passion for vet medicine. After attending San Joaquin Delta College, he completed a Bachelors in Biology at UC Santa Barbara in 2010. In 2012 he was accepted into UC Davis Veterinary School bringing him back to his Central Valley roots. Over the next decade Dr. Matt worked as a general and emergency veterinarian in Stockton, Lodi, and Sacramento areas. In the Spring of 2023 the opportunity to found Hard Luck AWA and partner with the City of Stockton was a dream come true. 

“Giving these animals the second chance they deserve at a happy, healthy life with a forever family is the mission. There are so many animals in need in our community and the work of meeting those needs is so important, so necessary, and so fulfilling.”  

He lives in Sacramento with his wife, daughter, and four dogs. 

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Dr. Stefanie Thielemann, DVM

Dr. Stefanie Thielemann received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis in 1992 and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. Dr. Stefanie started her career in general practice and emergency services.  She worked at several veterinary hospitals around the Tracy area where she lives, and spent a large part of her career at the San Francisco SPCA hospital.  She developed an affinity for surgery and was able to hone her skills as a surgery and procedure doctor at the hospital there.  In 2018 she discovered the world of shelter medicine and surgery, which she fell in love with and has been doing ever since.  She has worked at several major shelters as well as smaller rescue organizations in either medical or surgical capacity. Most recently, Dr. Stefanie is serving as the Managing Veterinarian for the Stockton Animal Shelter since July of 2022

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Morgan, MBA

Morgan grew up in Lodi, CA before venturing off to CSU Monterey Bay where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication. After the completion of her Bachelors, Morgan entered the career field as a Human Resources Manager, working for multiple large retail chains. She later moved to San Diego, CA where she earned her master's degree in business administration from Ashford University. San Diego is also where Morgan adopted her now 3-year-old pup, Pepper! 

After spending the past 10 years working in corporate management and human resources, Morgan moved to Sacramento to assist Dr. Wooddall in the creation of Hard Luck AWA and joined the team as the Director of Human Resources & Administration. Morgan has grown up around animals all her life and is passionate about being able to serve an organization that has such an incredible impact on the lives of animals in the county she grew up in. 

“Animals are so pure and innocent. I absolutely love seeing the difference in the animals who are treated by our team at the shelter. To see them grow confident and become happy and healthy little fur babies is one of the best experiences. Our team truly makes a difference in the lives of animals, and I am overjoyed to be here in support of our mission!” 




No Upcoming Events

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Event Title

12/23 – 6pm – Stockton Animal Shelter

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Contact Us

Contact us to ask about veterinary care, events, and adoption opportunities!

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