Pet Tales

This Halloween, know whether your chocolate-sneaking pooch needs a trip to the ER

Sherman, a 9-year-old Parson Russell Terrier, has a happy and affectionate nature.
Sherman, a 9-year-old Parson Russell Terrier, has a happy and affectionate nature. Courtesy Photo

Tis the season for Spot to nosey into that Halloween bag and help himself to a Snickers bar or three. Before taking your dog straight to the ER — costumed, sugar-induced kids in tow — do some math to see how harmful the chocolate will be.

Chocolate is poisonous to pets because it contains theobromine. Varying levels of theobromine in different types of chocolate affect pets differently. Baking chocolate is the most toxic — it has the highest concentration of theobromine — followed by dark, milk and then white chocolate.

The effect the chocolate has on your dog depends on the dog’s weight, along with how much and what type of chocolate they ate.

There are a number of helpful tools online, such as petMD’s dog chocolate toxicity meter at The online meter allows you fill in three questions about your dog and it diagnoses how serious your dog’s chocolate indulgence was.

Shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess shares Sherman

San Luis Obispo County Animal Services shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess highlights an affectionate Parson Russell Terrier, Sherman, who is in need of a loving home:

It is absolutely breathtaking what treasures are lost and then never claimed. Some people don’t even bother to look.

Sherman is one of those wonderful treasures.

Sherman is a Parson Russell Terrier who came to the SLO County Animal Services shelter as a stray. Due to his happy and affectionate nature, it was thought this friendly, spunky boy — who gets along with dogs of all sizes — would be claimed by his grateful owner in a matter of days.

But days stretched into weeks and Sherman continues to wait.

And in this time, shelter volunteers have found more reasons to wonder why Sherman hasn’t been claimed or adopted. He’s the best of both worlds: He has the life skills of a mature dog, with the joyful attitude of a young one.

Sherman walks well on a leash. He enjoys and seeks out people. Being a terrier, he has a can-do sensibility, though he also appreciates napping. Simply put, what more can one ask from a cute, young-in-spirit 9-year-old dog?

Sadly, some people don’t know what they have and could hardly care less when it’s lost; it’s a crying shame when what is lost is a dog or cat.

The love of a pet is priceless, and Sherman is a treasure waiting to find a home.

For more information about Sherman, ID No. 208587, 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 shelter animals available for adoption, visit

The adoption fee is $80 for cats and $105 for dogs, plus a $25 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.

Here’s a look at animal-related events in San Luis Obispo County:

Howl’oween at Sherwood Dog Park

Event includes a pet costume contest, holiday bake sale, seasonal family photos, free coffee and hot cider, and a microchip clinic. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sherwood Dog Park, 290 Scott Street in Paso Robles. Proceeds benefit Sherwood Dog Park. For details call 239-4437 or visit

Cause for Paws raffle

The Homeless Animal Rescue Team Guardian Angel program is sponsoring a fundraising raffle through Oct. 31. One raffle ticket costs $10, and three cost $25. Tickets can be bought at the HART office, 2638 Main St. in Cambria, or by phone at 927-7377. All proceeds will go toward paying medical expenses for HART’s cats and kittens.

Central Coast Pug Rescue Pugsgiving Fundraiser

Central Coast Pug Rescue is hosting “Mardi Pugs!” in Pismo Beach from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 7. Bring the entire pug krewe for an afternoon of live music, cajun-southern cooking, handcrafted local beer, Central Coast wines, vendors, silent auction and a mardi-pug carnival. All proceeds benefit Central Coast Pug Rescue, giving abandoned pugs a second chance for life and love. For tickets visit more info is available at or by calling 978-5888.

If you have stories or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend, please send them to or Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.