If you want to snap up a cute lil' chihuahua, get a really big dog for protection or even snare one of the new hybrids, like a Puggle, for cheap from the Houston SPCA, first you gotta pass muster with the gentle folks there. The organization has you undergo a bit of counseling and education. You'll also have to cough up the fee for the animal to be spayed or neutered before they'll release your new pet. But the cost — under $100, depending on the animal's size — includes deworming and the first set of vaccinations. All this is designed to make a happier family for pets and humans. The kind SPCA volunteers have been known to adopt a pet or two of their own, which says a lot about the animals and even more about the folks who donate their time.