Pet Tales

Inka’s magical mystery genes

‘One of the beauties of adopting a shelter dog is that many are one-of-a-kind. You might adopt an ambassador (American Staffordshire/basset hound/Labrador mix) or perhaps a cockladoodle (cocker spaniel/lab/poodle mix). And then there’s Inka.

“Our best guess for Inka — with her forward-folded ears, cookie-cutter shape and weighing about 20 pounds — is sharhuahua (pronounced “shar-wa-wa), which is a shar pei/Chihuahua mix. But really it’s anyone’s guess.

“Suffice it to say you may never see a dog like Inka.

“Though looks aren’t everything, it’s best knowing what you need in a pet before heading to the shelter. Are you looking for a running partner, soul mate or couch-potato pal?

“The person who adopts Inka should be looking for a quiet, devoted lap dog who’s easy on a leash and is good in the car. And though Inka interacts well with other dogs, she’d be happiest as your one and only.

“The uniqueness of every dog is a good reason not to give a pet as a gift. However, you can safely give the gift of choosing a pet. For instance, the county Animal Shelter has Adopt-A-Pet gift cards — you pay for the adoption, and the recipient chooses the pet. Another option is to give the gift of helping homeless animals in need with a gift card donation to the shelter’s Animals Requesting Friends Fund.

“Every pet, even a sharhuahua, wants a home for the holidays; finding the right home is the key.”

— Animal shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess

For more information about Inka, call the volunteer line at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter at 781-4413.

The Animal Services shelter is at 885 Oklahoma Ave., off Highway 1 west of San Luis Obispo.

To see more shelter animals available for adoption, visit

The adoption fee is $70 for cats and $95 for dogs, plus a $15 county license fee for dogs if the adopters are San Luis Obispo County residents. The adoption fee includes spaying or neutering, basic vaccinations, microchip, eligibility for a free veterinarian check, new collar and ID tag, and carrier for cats.

Animal-related events

Also available are works of art created by the shelter cats. All of the proceeds from the feline paintings will support the shelter’s spay and neuter program. Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave. west of San Luis Obispo. For more information, call 543-9316.

If you have a story and/or photo of your animal companions, please e-mail to or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.

Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist. E-mail her at