Last week, we donned our masks and headed to the Pitchford Companion Animal Village for an interview with Lt. David Linn, field operations director of Animal Control at Long Beach Animal Care Services. We wanted to do a couple of things: clarify Animal Control’s functions within the shelter both before and during the pandemic as well as whatever form “after” will take. And of course, we wanted to see which pets remain in the shelter since it closed to the public a month ago and rescue groups placed (and continue to place) all the healthy ones in foster homes. We could look, but not touch.

How the Long Beach animal shelter is handling being closed to the public

The city’s shelter opened in 1925 on 17th Street and San Francisco Avenue, in a rickety-looking wooden barrack in what was surely a bucolic area near the banks of the Los Angeles River. Like all city shelters, it was responsible for a rabies-control program for dogs as well as picking up strays and animals that might pose a danger to the public. More pets were euthanized then than they are now, but adoptions took place, too, although not to the extent they do today.

Animal Control doesn’t exist separately from the shelter area—it’s inherent to the whole works.

“I think there is a common misconception that Animal Control is somehow separate from Long Beach Animal Care Services, and they’re not,” said Staycee Dains, the bureau’s director. “They’re both the same organization.”

In the above video, you’ll notice Kevin hanging with Dains. An animal control officer saved Kevin from a bad home situation, and he just got approved for adoption. If not for Animal Control, Kevin, along with many of the refugees from rotten situations as well as injured pets and sick animals who are curable, would likely have never made it into those kennels—or your home.