Category Archives: Telling Tails

150,000 and counting…

We snipped our way to 150,000!  The SPCA’s low-cost spay/neuter clinic, which has served Monterey County since 1976 as the area’s only consistent provider of low-cost spay and neuter, reached the life-saving milestone this week.

We celebrated the feat with an unsuspecting pet owner — lucky number 150,000!  Next week, we’ll party with our clinic staff. A sheet cake customized for spay/neuter work could go in a few interesting directions, but I didn’t want to be the one to describe this over the phone to a bakery. We’ll keep it simple, sweet and non anatomical.

Read more ...

Ghost of Christmas Past

If you’ve visited animal shelters between here and the SF Bay Area, you may have noticed the name George Whittell on a building. It’s on the SPCA’s Education Center, in fact. The made for Hollywood story behind this would be a perfect vehicle for Bradley Cooper or Gary Oldman.

George Whittell Jr. died in a Redwood City hospital at the age of 87 in 1969. He left three quarters of his $40 million estate to the National Audubon Society, the Defenders of Wildlife and a number of animal hospital and pet cemeteries. Of the remainder, $6 million was bequeathed to the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to “relieve the suffering and pain of animals.” The problem was that no such organization with that exact name existed.

Naturally, the ambiguously worded will created a field day for animal groups. More than 50 staked claim to the $6 million remainder, some with stronger cases than others. The humane society located near Mr. Whittell’s Woodside estate had a good case, as did the San Francisco SPCA, since he owned property there and belonged to many social organizations. He purchased several acres on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe and may have had landholdings in Carmel.

(As a New Year’s resolution, you might review your own estate plans to ensure your wishes are honored and not left to courts to figure out).

Read more ...

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons, Ugly Sweaters

Ugly sweaters have jumped the shark. Now that sweaters are specifically designed and made to impress at ugly sweater contests, that goes against the spirit.  I mean, it started as a simple idea where people would pull out their ugly sweater that wasn’t designed to look ugly. It just was. That was the beauty (or ugliness) of it.

For decades, animal shelters placed a moratorium on adoptions in the days leading up to Christmas and would forbid people from adopting pets as gifts to protect them from being sent back, just like ugly sweaters that get returned in the days after Christmas.

Read more ...

Picture Perfect

As they say, a photo’s worth a thousand words. To me, this photo is worth much more, but I’ve kept it to a tidy 567. Hey, we’re all busy this time of year. Busy decorating homes, addressing holiday cards, and shopping.

Our neighborhood is holding a holiday lights decorating contest; $100 for first place, $50 for second and $25 for third.  My 8-year-old pleaded “Go big, Dad!” He doesn’t have a great sense of money yet and I don’t have the heart to tell him I already spent the equivalent of the first-place dough on extension cords. My wife asked if I knew what I was doing with all the cords and multi-pronged outlets snaked around the garage and front yard. I said yes with Clark W. Griswold confidence, but I’m also holding my breath when anyone plugs-in a hair dryer.

Two custom, almost life-sized gingerbread men (people?) we made for our front yard could push us into contention. Why buy inflatables, when you can spend far more time jigsawing, sanding, painting and sealing plywood? One of the cookie cutter figures needed minor surgery after a button eyeball I attached with glue slid halfway down his face, making him look more like a deformed Halloween decoration. The eye is screwed back where it belongs. We’re looking good now, ready to be judged.

Read more ...

A Queen’s Life

Our feeds are filled with news related to shootings and fires. We can’t even catch a small break in the world of sports, an escape for many. The Golden State Warriors, who’ve brought nothing but joy, championships and parades in recent years, are fighting with each other!

We need something warm and snuggly. Meet Coco whose name alone fits the bill and that’s just the beginning.

I first learned of Coco over the weekend. Her adopter posted this on our Facebook page:

Read more ...

Pet Alert Program

Sign up for our new Pet Alert Program to receive email or text alerts when a pet matching your criteria is available for adoption!

Our Mission

Our mission is to assure compassionate and humane treatment of all animals in our community.