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About Hard Luck Animal Welfare Advocates

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.

About Us

Hard Luck Animal Welfare Advocates was founded in 2023 by Dr Matthew Wooddall and his team of animal advocates. Hard Luck is a non-profit organization.


Our vision is to build support throughout the City of Stockton for the animal shelter, its programs and adoption opportunities by seeking to actively engage with our Central Valley community.

With transparent communications and a strong community connection we endeavor to lead impactful animal welfare initiatives – from TNR programs and adoption drives, to accessible vaccinations. 

Meet Our Team

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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. 

Morgan Smith, MBA 

Morgan Smith was born and raised in Lodi, CA and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication from Monterey State University, and an MBA from Ashford University. As a passionate animal lover and owner, she’s excited to use her skills in management, communication, and human resources in service to the community.

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