Forget the traditional long-stemmed roses this Valentine's Day and instead make it a Valentine's Day to remember with a furry, four-legged snuggly for your loved one.
The San Mateo Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA has 45 dogs and as many as 50 cats waiting to make Thursday's romantic holiday unforgettable. According to PHS/SPCA Spokesman Scott Delucchi, at its new Adoption Facility in Burlingame, it is common for adoption rates to spike a bit in February.
"It's not as popular an adoption month as near the December holidays, but we certainly see a little blip in people wanting to adopt animals for either companionship or to adopt for the other half of their couple on Valentine's Day," Delucchi said.
Romantics considering adopting a pet can take advantage of two special ongoing programs, a free spay and neuter program for cats and kittens and a waived adoption fee for all Chihuahuas and Chihuahua mixes.
Chihuahuas have taken over pit bulls as most common breed of shelter dogs for the past five years, and of the 45 dogs at PHS/SPCA, 19 of them are of the Chihuahua breed, Delucchi said. Residents who choose to adopt a pet this Valentine's Day will add to the large number of animals who have been safely placed through the PHS/SPCA this year.
Delucchi said that since the center's move just before the beginning of 2012 to its new adoption center, the Tom & Annette Lantos Center for Compassion at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame, adoption numbers increased. "When you move facilities, it can be tough sledding for a few years, so we were bracing ourselves for a bit of a dip in adoptions," Delucchi said.
"But we were pleasantly surprised to see that the numbers this year actually went up." The increase is a big deal, he continued, particularly because the amount of adoptions is directly linked to the amount of animals received.
This year, the center took in fewer animals and had a larger number of adoptions. In 2012, PHS/SPCA placed 3,547 animals into new homes, 166 more than were placed in homes in 2011. For the tenth year in a row, the shelter found new homes for 100 percent of the healthy dogs and cats in its care.
Cats accounted for 1,704 of adoptions and dogs accounted for 1,210 of the adoptions in 2012, according to Delucchi.
The Adoption Center moved from its old location at Coyote Point just a couple months before 2012 began, however the shelter's Intake Facility remains at the county-owned Coyote Point location.
All adoptions take place at the Burlingame Adoption Facility. Those interested in adopting a dog or cat in time for Valentine's Day or any day are encouraged to visit the center or call its hotline, updated daily at (650) 340-7022 ext. 823