Pet Tales

Lots of homeless bunnies wait at SLO County Animal Services

Calvin is one of many bunnies waiting for a home at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services shelter.
Calvin is one of many bunnies waiting for a home at the San Luis Obispo County Animal Services shelter. Ellen Perryess

San Luis Obispo County Animal Services shelter volunteer Ellen Perryess shares the story of Calvin, a house rabbit:

Calvin’s too cute to have any worries, yet he and 36 other homeless bunnies share the same problem: They’re all residing at the SLO County Animal Services shelter and no one is coming to adopt because few people know rabbits are the third most common homeless pet to fill county shelters.

The word needs to get out. Bunnies can be the perfect pet for someone looking for a quiet, indoor pal. Though initially timid, bunnies can settle into home life. They enjoy playing with toys, appreciate grooming and can be trained to use a litter box. For more information, go to

Bunnies do contribute to their own plight — one bunny couple can give birth to up to 14 bunnies every month. One bunny number-cruncher figures: If our ‘starter bunnies’ begins reproducing at six months of age — and their offspring have babies — by the end of the first year there will be 72 babies; year two, 2,664 …year seven, 184,597,433,860!

One can imagine how Calvin may be giving up hope.

Dogs, cats and bunnies benefit from spaying and neutering. It helps them live longer, reduces undesirable behaviors and prevents unwanted litters. Bottom line, it’s an essential way for us to care for our pets.

To help turn the tide on bunny overpopulation, SLO County Animal Services is spaying the shelter’s female bunnies. See our shelter bunnies at

As for Calvin? He just needs someone to recognize he’s one bunny in a million.

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For more information about Calvin (ID No. 210465), call the volunteer line at the animal services shelter at 781-4413 or visit The 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 $5 for rabbits, $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 for cats and dogs includes spay or neuter, basic vaccinations, microchip, eligibility for a free veterinarian check, new collar and ID tag. Cats also receive a carrier.

Here’s a look at upcoming pet-related events happening in San Luis Obispo County:

Harloe Elementary collecting pet food donations

“Have a heart, save a pet” is the first event of Harloe Elementary School’s new outreach program. The program is partnering with the Feline Network of the Central Coast and Woods Humane Society to provide food for local cats and dogs. Throughout February, donations of wet or dry cat or dog food can be dropped off in a bin at the school’s office at 901 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. For information, call 264-9256.

Find ‘The One’ this February at H.A.R.T.

The Homeless Animal Rescue Team is starting the year with a Valentine’s Adoption Special. Adopt a cat or kitten from H.A.R.T., where the team is confident you’ll find “The One.” All kitties are available for adoption for only $14 throughout February. The adoption package includes spay/neuter, up-to-date vaccinations, microchip, a bag of kibble, a follow-up vet exam and a H.A.R.T. ID tag.

If now is not a good time to adopt, then consider purchasing a Guardian Angel Certificate Valentine, available in any amount $5 and over. Contributions to the Guardian Angel Fund are restricted and go specifically to relieving an animal’s suffering, helping to give them a full and pain-free life.

Visit H.A.R.T. at 2638 Main St. in Cambria from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or call 927-7377. To learn more about H.A.R.T., visit or

World Spay Day

In celebration of World Spay Day on Feb. 23, Woods Humane Society is offering reduced cost ($10) spay/neuter surgeries for any San Luis Obispo County chihuahua or chihuahua mix. Woods has a limited number of surgery spots available, so call early to make an appointment at 543-9316, ext. 10.

Shelters and veterinary clinics around the world join to promote spay/neuter awareness in February, and many offer discounts for spay/neuter surgery during this time. Visit for a list of local clinics participating in World Spay Day.

Fix-a-Feline in February

The Feline Network encourages everyone to spay and neuter their cats to help reduce overpopulation in San Luis Obispo County. The Feline Network can make spaying and neutering affordable for residents of the South County, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay and Los Osos who need financial assistance. Call about the Fix-a-Feline certificate program at 549-9228, ext. 707.

If you are aware of stray or feral cats in your area, contact The Feline Network at 549-9228, ext. 704, for help with spaying and neutering. The Feline Network has a successful TNR (trap/neuter/return) program. Adult cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned, where they are cared for and fed. Kittens are rescued and socialized in foster homes until they are ready for adoption. Trappers are needed in the South County, San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Without enough trappers, the group can’t respond to all of the stray cat situations that arise. Call 556-0717 in the South County or 544-6138 in San Luis Obispo.

To learn about cats or kittens that are available for adoption, call 549-9228, ext. 1, or check the website at All adoptable cats have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and tested for feline leukemia and FIV.

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.