Pick of the LB Litter--Best Rescue, Part 1: Animal Match Rescue Team

Best Rescue is the first announced category of the winners of the Pet Post’s Long Beach Picks of the Litter survey because, as stated in the previous article, how can you take advantage of all the swell stuff Long Beach has for pets if you don’t have one? The two top vote getters were only a point apart, so they’re both being featured—they are Animal Match Rescue Team (AMRT), which is a small-dog rescue, and Judy Griffith, aka the Rodent Lady (although she also rescues rabbits, which, as poster Fisch told us way back, aren’t rodents but belong to the order Lagomorpha and the family Leporidae. This means absolutely nothing to me except something about gnawing incisors).

Before introducing AMRT (Judy Griffithwill be in the next posting; both rescues merit their own article), let it be known that every rescuer who goes out into the trenches and takes in every pet there’s room for and whose heart breaks every time he or she cannot take on the responsibility of “just one more” deserves utmost praise. Our readers nominated a few of them: Friends of Long Beach Animals (not technically a rescue, but they’ve made countless animals available for adoption, including two in our home), Long Beach Animal Care Services, Best Friends Animal Society, The Ark Animal Rescue, Long Beach Animal Hospital, LBCC Bunny Adoptions, Long Beach’s Bird Man, International Bird Rescue, and South Bay Wildlife Rehab. To these, I’m adding Helen Sanders CatPAWS for their many rescue successes and for adding Eunice the Destructive to our collective household.


If you go to the Petco atMarinaShoresShopping Center,Second Streetand PCH, on a Saturday or Sunday late morning or early afternoon, you’ve noticed a bunch of little dogs mingling with bunch of mostly women in front of the store. That’s Animal Match Rescue Team (AMRT), founded in 1999 by Carolyn Stern. AMRT took its name from its mission to save pets and match them to appropriate homes (as volunteer and comedienne Lynda Montgomery said, Match.com was already taken). Since its founding, the organization’s volunteers have rescued an average of 60 dogs a year. If you see a little fuzzy mutt being walked aroundLong Beach, there’s a good chance that he or she came from AMRT. I encounter them all the time.

Stern founded the organization through natural evolution, as she put it. “I was a volunteer on Fred Bergendorff’s Pet Place,” she said. “I saw the plight [the animals] from shelters were in, and it just sort of grew.”

Stern and her team of volunteers use their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to take what they refer to as “shelter overflow” from Long Beach Animal Care Services and facilitate their adoption through fostering. The dogs they sponsor are generally small and on their last four—and sometimes three and even two—legs of euthanasia reprieve. The dogs then go to the homes of one of the fosters to live in kennel-free luxury and are showcased in front of the Marina Shores Petco on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 or 2 p.m. AMRT limits itself to fostering only six to eight dogs to avoid becoming overwhelmed and spreading their financial and personal resources too thin. All the dogs are microchipped, and many have grooming and vet bills and undergo spay/neuter surgery. A number of them have special needs, such as blindness in one eye or a missing limb.

Meet Jett, who was born without forelegs. She’s being cared for by Leigh and Carmen Hodgson, who are happily fulfilling their community service requirements for their school. Jett was going to be the feature adoption for this article, but Carolyn Stern told me that she had been adopted last week!

“Without fosters, we couldn’t do this,” Stern said.

Sometimes, the fosters find themselves keeping their little charge permanently. “That’s what makes us unusual,” volunteer Jillian Clemons said. “We allow people to foster dogs before they adopt. We want to make sure that the people and the dogs are a good fit so that the dogs won’t be released back to the shelter.”

AMRT’s website has a donation button, but Stern said that what they need the most is more volunteers and fosters to help adopt the animals to good homes. The joy that the volunteers feel when each adoption is finalized is underscored when their former protégés come visiting with their new human companions on the weekends.

“It reminds us of what we’ve done,” Stern said.

Rescue me, take me in your arms;

Rescue me, I want your tender charms

’Cause I'm lonely and I'm blue. I need you and your love, too

Come on and rescue me!

—As sung by Fontella Bass and homeless animals everywhere

Virtually Pets


The next Pet Post will feature the great Rodent Lady, Judy Griffith. Above are several of her rescued rodents and lagomorphs that can be adopted at the Paw Shoppe, 6416 East Spring   St. in Long Beach, (562) 425-5131. The rabbits are Long Beach ACS rescues.

This is Charley, one beautiful, cuddly great big lump of orange sugar! Charley’s owner passed away and left this darling senior (12 years old) with no one to care for him. Charley loves nothing more than a lap and a good book or TV show to listen to. He has a couple of medical issues and he’ll need to lay off the junk food, but he still has some good years left and needs someone loving to spend them with. Meet Charley on the shelter side of CompanionAnimalVillage at7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A453274.


Pocita’s human friend died, and the family came to clean out mobile home and get everything valuable, but nobody wanted the most valuable thing of all. They were ready to dump this sweet 8-year-old girl at the shelter, but Pocita is now with a temporary foster. She needs a home soon. She seems to be a dachshund/min-pin mix and weighs about 15 pounds. She is obese because her mom fed her human food, but she has already lost some weight. She is spayed, up to date on shots and microchipped. Aside from her weight, she’s healthy, extremely affectionate and low maintenance. She rolls on her back as soon as you approach her. She’s fine with other dogs and ignores cats. She lives in Long Beach; a home with someone that's home a lot or another dog would be perfect! E-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you’re interested in Pocita.

Pet Projects

Coyote Warning

This warning will run as long as we see cats at large on the street. Coyotes are becoming increasingly bold, and we urged everyone to keep pets inside, especially at night. Judy Griffith, Long Beach’s rat rescue lady, is nonpartisan when it comes to protecting animals, and she has written us in graphic detail about seeing a number of cats in her neighborhood killed by coyotes. Click on the link to read the particulars and get tips on protecting yourself and your family from predatory urban wildlife. Sadly, when wildlife are displaced and become urban, they go to any lengths to get their dinners, which results in tragedy for us, our pets and them as well, usually at the hands of humans.

Judy Crumpton’s Animal News in the Ninth! Summer Tips for Your Pet

My erstwhile co-writer is getting the word out about animal care to the Ninth District readers (even if you don’t live there, you can read it, of course!). This column, in Councilmember Neal’s newsletter, is part one of summer tips for pets, which saves me the trouble of writing them! Click here to read.

Unleashed by Petco Grand Opening, June 22–24, 600 Redondo   Blvd. Long Beach, (562) 433-6357, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

 Unleashed by Petco will be introducing theLong Beachcommunity to its good things in a smaller package during its grand opening celebration. Aside from its food selection, toys and fancy dress for animals, Unleashed offers a Pet Deli that offers fresh, frozen and cooked food (and samples for the shoppers!) and a local, pet-friendly hangout. The Long Beach store will run several other gatherings during the year, including multiple adoption events aiming to unite California shelter pets with their forever homes and activities such as Pug-a-Palooza, local dog meet-ups and contests. The weekend’s grand opening will include free samples of dog treats and “in season” food from the pet bakery, free totes for all guests Saturday and Sunday who make a purchase, free $10 gift cards for the first 50 guests who sign up to receive special offers on Saturday and Sunday, free doggie ice cream from 11a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, a one-pound bag of treats from the treat bar free on Saturday and Sunday for all who make a purchase and—most importantly, pet adoptions!


9 Lives for $9!

Boy, do we have a deal for you! During the summer months, for a limited time only, you can adopt an adult cat for $9. This program, sponsored by FoundAnimals.org, offers the low fee of $9 to adopt one of the many adult cats in shelters in Long Beach, the city of Los Angeles, and L.A.County. All of the cats have been altered, vaccinated and microchipped and may be seen on the program’s website. Ted Stevens, Long Beach Animal Care Services acting manager, said that this program will help the adoption rates of adult cats at the shelters and further lower the euthanasia rates. Kittens get homes faster than cats do because of the cuteness factor; with an adult cat, however, you know what you’re getting and won’t have as much of a chance of dealing with the difficult stage. Click the link above and chose your new BFF! (The full adoption process will be adhered to with this program.)

LaunderPet’s Pet Model Contest! Through July 14


Does your pet have what it takes to be LaunderPet’s next pet model? LaunderPet is searching for a star-power pooch or a feature-worthy feline to be the star of a new ad campaign. The winner will receive a $350 prize package that includes a $300 photo shoot by Russ Hoover and a $50 LaunderPet gift certificate! The new star will be announced on July 16 and will have his or her furry little face featured in local newspapers, social media, websites and a poster at LaunderPet’s local stores.

To enter, “Like” LaunderPet's Facebook page, upload a photo of your dog or cat to LaunderPet’s Facebook wall, use the Caption space to say why you love LaunderPet, and Share with your friends and family so they can vote for your pet by liking/commenting on your pet’s photo. The winner will be determined by the number of likes and/or comments on each photo. 

Donate to Homeless with Dogs and Get a Free Oil Change at Orozco’s Auto Service! Throughout June

Homeless with Dogs serves the homeless community by providing food and other necessities as well as education for their pets, who are often the only friends that they have (read our article here http://www.lbpost.com/life/1309300080-homeless-with-dogs-help-us-help-them). For the month of June, when you make a minimum donation of $42 to the Homeless with Dogs organization, Orozco’s Auto Service will give you a free oil change or a $42 discount from any service or repair done at Orozco’s Auto Service to Homeless with Dogs. Donate here Orozco’s two locations are at 3033 Long Beach Blvd. and 3619 Atlantic Ave., both in Long Beach. You can donate through the mail or at the following PayPal address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Donations Needed for Animal Care Services, Pitchford Animal Companion Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-PETS

ACS thanks everyone who provided donations for their wish list! There have been multiple donations, the list has been weeded further, and the items listed below are still needed. If you’re getting new stuff around the house and want to get rid of some old stuff, or if you know someone with any of the following items, or if you’re just feeling generous, please bring some of these things down (and take home a pet, if you are so inclined!).

  • Two canopies for the play yards (10' x 10')
  • Natural Balance Dog Food Rolls. See examples here.
  • Plastic aprons for grooming so we don't get soaked when bathing Saint Bernards (true story, check out Bear on our FB page—we bathed him!)
  • Hand sanitizers to carry in apron pockets (about 20)
  • Two trash cans for our play yards that open with a foot press. See an example here.
  • Two toy containers for the dog play yard (plastic bins that can be sealed when the sprinklers go on at night)

Low Cost Vaccine and Microchip Clinic, Saturday, June 30, Pitchford Companion Animal Village Auditorium, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, 10 a.m.–2p.m.

Keep your pets safe and healthy by having them vaccinated and microchipped. Prices are as follows:

  • Microchips: $25 (does not include registration)
  • Rabies: $5
  • Bordetella: $10
  • DHPP: $15
  • FVRCP: $15
  • Leukemia: $15
  • Deworming: $25

Pet Fostering Classes, Saturday, July 7, Pitchford Companion Animal Village Auditorium, 7700 E. Spring St., Long   Beach, 10 a.m.–noon

Foster pets need temporary loving homes, and you can help pets better their chance at adoption! SpcaLA is looking for foster parents for pets of all ages and needs. Potential foster parents must fill out and submit an application prior to attending a foster class. Application available here.