Adopt a gentle giant

pettales@thetribunenews.comJuly 18, 2012 

Colonel, a 4-year-old St. Bernard, is the heavy-weight at the San Luis Obispo County shelter.


‘The volunteers and staff at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services shelter are an odd lot. We pour our energy and love into dogs and cats we don’t know and then celebrate when any pet is adopted with the hope we’ll never see it again.

“For stray pets, the shelter is a safe haven from cars, predators and starvation. Volunteers help strays — and owner-surrendered dogs and cats — transition to kennel life and then work to find adopters for these homeless pets.

“The shelter is brimming with pets, from babies to seniors; dogs range from 5 pounds to more than 100.

“Colonel is our heavyweight. He’s a 4-year-old St. Bernard who came to the shelter with ear infections. True to the breed, Colonel has a gentle temperament and is a gentleman when receiving his antibiotics. He is a pleasure to walk.

“Even though Colonel’s temperament makes him an easier roommate than smaller energetic dogs, most people aren’t looking for a truly large dog and the additional food large dogs require. We’re hoping someone who appreciates love-on-the-large-side will fall in love with Colonel.

“At the shelter, we’re always working for the underdog or cat. Case in point, last month’s three Pet Tales long-shot dogs found homes. And when Rudy — our longest residing shelter dog — left the shelter with his new family, there was hardly a dry eye.

“Here’s hoping Colonel will be filling up someone’s backseat and leaving the shelter parking lot soon.”

— Animal shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess

For more information about Colonel, ID No. 185998, call the volunteer line at the San Luis Obispo County animal shelter at 781-4413 or visit

The shelter is at 885 Oklahoma Ave., off Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo.

The adoption fee is $75 for cats and $100 for dogs, plus a $23 county license fee for dogs if the adopters are county residents. The adoption fee includes spay or neuter, basic vaccinations, microchip, eligibility for a free veterinarian check, new collar and ID tag, and a carrier for cats.

Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist. If you have a pet story to share, email

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