Pet Tales

Disability doesn’t deter spirited little Spencer

‘Walking through the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services’ kennels, I’m reminded how important people are to dogs. The vast majority of the dogs are up at the front of their kennels, many barking as if to say: ‘See me, pick me!’ But then there are the quiet ones, waiting patiently — often older ones like Spencer.

“Spencer is a small, middle-aged Parson’s Jack Russell Terrier with a wiry, white-and-caramel coat. He has an expressive face; made even more so because of his broad, white eyebrows.

“Just because a dog is older in years doesn’t mean he’s old. Two of Spencer’s older compatriots — McFee, a golden lab, and Duffy, a lab mix — are part of the shelter’s Camp Paws program, where they learn obedience skills and run the agility course, and the campers learn about being responsible pet owners.

“Spencer would enjoy being a Camp Paws’ dog because, according to his previous owner, Spencer likes to swim, play fetch and enjoys the company of other dogs, adults and children. But Spencer has a slight disability that likely disqualifies him — an old injury that makes one of his front feet turn outward.

“Spencer’s foot doesn’t bother him one bit. He still loves to go for walks, play fetch, swim or just be with his person.

“Spencer illustrates one of the reasons why dogs are important to people. They remind us to see possibilities rather than disabilities.”

— Animal shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess

For more information about Spencer, ID No. 12809, call the volunteer line at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Shelter at 781-4413 or visit

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

To see more 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 spay or neuter, basic vaccinations, microchip, eligibility for a free veterinarian check, new collar and ID tag, and carrier for cats.

Animal-related events

Dogs and their owners are invited to “Goldens in the Park” from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Santa Rosa Park in San Luis Obispo.

There will be dog events, vendors and food booths at the fundraiser for Woods Humane Society and Animal Services Adoption Partners. The event is free and offers a $20 micro-chipping clinic, $10 rabies vaccine and dog licensing.

For details, visit or call 489-9000.

If you have a story about your furry, feathered or scaly friend, please e-mail me at or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.