Long Beach has always been an animal friendly community. With multiple dog parks, a dedicated dog beach, and Belmont Shore retail businesses with water bowls outside their doors, animal lovers feel quite at home in this pet friendly community.

And these animals also have their friends. Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) is celebrating 33 years as a non-profit devoted to helping animals in the Long Beach area. FOLBA had its beginning in 1989 with a few volunteers helping at the Long Beach Animal Shelter. They assisted with animal health issues, cleaning them up and helping them get adopted. With the help of the Shelter’s director two community members helped form the Friends of Long Beach Animals. John Gonzales and Shirley Vaughan officially formed the organization that is an all-volunteer non-profit organization with donations going back into the local communities.

Over the past 33 years, FOLBA has helped save thousands of animals lives through a very long and successful Spay/Neuter program. When the Long Beach Shelter moved to its current location, there was no place to help injured animals. Sadly, all veterinary care was done from a make-shift closet in the building. FOLBA stepped up and in 2016 donated a full veterinary clinic trailer to the Long Beach Shelter that continues to help save the lives of sick or injured animals. FOLBA has also built a beautiful playground on the shelter grounds for dogs to exercise and get out of their kennels to play and just be dogs.

FOLBA’s humane education program has spanned 20 years in the Long Beach school district and now includes an online version.

FOLBA has also long supported an in classroom humane education program for K-6 grade levels. While COVID has recently prevented in school humane education, FOLBA has now developed an on-line video humane education program that will be available teachers and for students. You can see the first video of our series for K-1 on folba.org and YouTube. Additionally, FOLBA now has started their own TV network called PAWZ TV to educate and promote their programming on ROKU TV. Additional episodes are on the way.

FOLBA also recently purchased the equipment for a surgical suite for FIX Long Beach Animals where residents can now get low-cost Spay/Neuter and lower cost veterinary care.

More recently FOLBA has encouraged adoptions by paying for any adoption fees for shelter pets and they launched a free microchip program to help lost pets find their owners. Adopt a pet from the Long Beach Animal Care Services this month and FOLBA is currently offering a 1-year medical care program through PAWP. Thisprogram will cover reimbursement for emergency medical care up to $3000 and offers new pet owners 24/7 virtual pet advice from real veterinarians. Even pre- existing conditions are covered.

FOLBA is now celebrating their 33rd Anniversary and has combined it with a fun Casino Night theme. There will be some fabulous food and drink, blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, and a fundraising silent auction. There will also be a DJ and dancing along with a full bar.

All this will be at the fabulous event center, The Modern, on Friday, August 26th. Tickets are online at FOLBA.org. Your basic entry donation is $50. Add more poker chips and a cocktail for $75. Two cocktails and even more chips are $100. Ticket donations may be tax deductible so consult your tax advisor. Sales are limited so be sure to get your tickets early.

FOLBA needs sponsors to continue to offer their services to the animals of Long Beach and the surrounding areas. If you own or manage a pet friendly business, would you consider supporting their event? Some sponsor levels are available that include VIP table seating, PAWZ TV advertising, business recognition and more. There is a limit of 40 VIP seats available. For sponsorship information please email: [email protected].

FOLBA has survived 33 years and continues to expand because of strong support from the local community. We look forward to seeing you at our event!