Bright Eyes, Wet Noses: The Vet Is In

cpwolfI love and advocate for animals, but I’m no expert. I like to write about experts, though: humane educators, activists and superadvocates, rescuers, shelter staff and anyone who lets passion about helping the furry, feathered, scaled and voiceless make him or her crazy, but they go for it anyway.

(Left) Dr. Carl Palazzolo and a not-so-routine patient, a wolf from a sanctuary in Alaska 

Now, I’m pleased to introduce another expert, one who’s going to join the Long Beach Post ranks of writers. His name’s Dr. Carl Palazzolo—Dr. P to anyone not from Brooklyn, New Jersey or San Pedro and has trouble sounding out Italian surnames—and he’s the owner of the Long Beach Animal Hospital (LBAH), a five-doctor practice that’s open seven days a week until midnight (great!). A 1978 graduate of Michigan State University with an MBA from Pepperdine, Dr. P has been practicing companion- and exotic-animal care in California since 1980 and has written pet-related columns in the past for the Press-Telegram as well as management articles for the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association(JAVMA) and lectures to other vets on a wide range of veterinary topics. And he’s going to write a weekly column focusing on detailed medical information about diseases common to pets in Long Beach and leave the fluff, fuzz and fur balls to me.

Dr. P was the veterinarian who worked to save the life of that poor cat, Princess, who was shot by an arrow a couple of months ago. The weapon went through the cat’s abdomen and pushed a lobe of the liver into the chest. Sadly, Princess didn’t make it (and no, they haven’t caught the piece of garbage who did it). LBAH cares for such difficult internal-medical cases and also provides free care for injured wildlife—the vets there tended to over 1,000 injured wild animals last year. LBAH also assists the vets at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) in both wildlife and domestic-animal cases.

LBAH is a registered teaching hospital with veterinary schools across the country. They have a preceptorship program, which bridges the gap between classroom and clinic; senior veterinary students as part of their curriculum get practical experience for future application. As a training requirement, the program’s externs compose a daily update of what they learned; their progress can be accessed by other externs and anyone interested in veterinary medicine on this link on the website or on the LBAH Facebook page.

Dr. P makes further good use of social media with the learning center on the LBAH website. There, a wealth of information can be accessed free, and the reader will be able to support his or her own pet’s health with tips for disease symptoms, first aid and basic in-home exams. He’s also an avid conservationist and wildlife photographer (you can also see shots of many of his trips he takes his clients on at this link). He’s completed a number of wildlife-conservation-themed safaris and excursions; he generally travels incognito so that wildebeests won’t be motivated to walk up to him and say “AAAAAhhh.”

The vet is in! Stand by for his first article.


This photo was taken in 2012 in Tanjung Putting National Park at the Orangutan Care Center. Dr. P said that forest devastation as a result of the timber industry and palm oil plantations left many orangutan babies orphaned, leaving a bleak future for the wild orangutans who make their home there.

I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should not be violated any more than those of humans.
 ~ Actor Jimmy Stewart 

Virtually Pets

1400200412-Genny the Cat

In Genny’s case, virtually is the word. Genny caught the eye of the good people at Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescue when she was biding her time at the shelter. She’s only a year old and beautiful, loving, playful and friendly, so the volunteers felt that they’d be able to find her a forever home with little problem. However, they soon noticed that she’d shake her head repeatedly and exhibited what they called a “chronic head tilt.” She was initially diagnosed with a ruptured and infected eardrum; after repeated cleanings and rinses coupled with daily medication, CatPAWS took her in for an MRI, and a virus was discovered. After saving Genny from possible euthanasia, there was no way that CatPAWS was going to give up on her; she’s now on meds, and the vet expects her to make a complete recovery.

Even with all the mishigoss of poking and smearing and schlepping to the vet, Genny still has enough good spirit to play with her toys and rub against people, so she’ll be an amazing pet when she gets well. But her med bills have mounted and now exceed $3,000. If you can offset some of her expense, you can donate on And when she’s ready, she’ll make someone a fine forever companion—maybe you.


Pet-Supply Stores Refuse to Sell Dog Treats Made in China

In light of pet deaths and illnesses possibly linked to jerky treats made in China, spcaLA urges pet owners to check anything they feed to their companion animals and “refrain from feeding potentially harmful foods,” no doubt referring to pet food processed or made in China.

The FDA website reports a total of 4,800 complaints of illness in both cats and dogs that ate chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats, most of which are imported from China (read the full report by clicking the link). The reports included 1,000 canine deaths.

Petco, PetSmart, LaunderPet and spcaLA’s Marketplace at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village (7700 E. Spring St.) are among the pet-supply stores who no longer sell pet food or treats made in China. “It’s all USA at my store,” said Rosie Young, the manager of the local LaunderPet family of pet grooming and supply shops. Young added that her store and the other LaunderPets haven’t been carrying pet food from China for nearly a year.

There are a number of websites that also list pet companies that source ingredients from China, but I can’t speak for the reliability of the information listed on any of them. Be vigilant, though, for your pet’s health.

IT’S! RAY! NING!—dogs?

And the cats preferred to get their diva on at home. It’s no revelation that any animal who’s shared a home with a human would agree with Gore Vidal when he said, “The important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself.” Took ’em long enough to get into the Pride Parade, though. The floats and walkers included Friends of Long Beach Animals, West Coast Animal Rescue, Joyful Paws Pet Hotel, Long Beach Dog Walker volunteers and our shelter, Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS).

All photos by Christina LoPriore


Dog Walker volunteers


Imperial Court, including Lena Gonzalez’s campaign manager Cory Allen, make way for the pugnacious


West Coast Animal Rescue’s Beauteous Dog Park Float

Speaking of Pride…

On that same weekend, Saturday May 17, Fix Long Beach fixed 168 pets for free and gave out 300 vouchers for no-cost procedures to low-income people, as part of the Pet Expo and Fix Fest, organized by the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, ACS and Fix Long Beach.

When the Dog Bites…

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is a good thing because a report from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm indicates that California leads the nation in dog-bite insurance claims. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) offers the following tips on dog bite prevention.  A bit of prevention will help reduce a lot of heartache and possible expense no matter what week it is.

How should I meet a dog accompanied by the owner?

Approach the pet slowly and quietly and Practice your ABSCs:
Ask the owner if you can pet the dog.
 down so that you don’t tower over the dog.
Let the dog sniff your closed fist.
Pet the dog under the chin or on the chest.

Do not pet the dog if the owner has to use physical restraing or if the dog does not approach you (even if the owner says it’s okay).  Do not hug the dog, or put your face in the dog’s face. 

What clues will an owned dog give me to tell me whether or not it’s okay to pet him?

Green Light: The dog is okay to pet if the ears are pricked but relaxed; body and tail are also relaxed; the mouth is relaxed into a smile; the body is in “play bow” position; and the tail and eyes are relaxed (or tail is possibly wiggly).

Play bow positionitchy paws

Play-bow position, frontal view, courtesy of Itchy Paws

Red Light: Do not pat a dog whose back is hunched, is cowering, or is close to the ground. Also leave the dog alone if the ears are pricked and forward, the body is tense or forward, the eyes are glared, the teeth are bared, the expression is “worried,” or the dog’s sleeping, eating, playing with a toy or chew, or caring for puppies.

What should I do if I see a stray dog?

Don’t run, or the dog may chase you. Don’t pet the dog; the animal may have a disease or be infected with parasites as well as be dangerous. If you sense danger, become that tree in the grammar school play: stand very still and put your fists under your chin.Keep the dog in sight, but don’t look him or her in the eye—dogs sometimes view direct eye contact as a challenge.You can also back into a wall or a fence and walk slowly against the barrier to safety. As soon as you can, call ACS at (562) 570-PETS. If the dog is lost, this is his or her best chance to reunite with the family.

What if the dog is aggressive?

If the dog comes at you, spcaLA says to “go big.” Use your arms and voice as you would to a coyote. Wave your arms and yell. Use a jacket, a purse, or a backpack as a shield. Move in a serpentine motion to confuse the dog.

What if a dog jumps on me and knocks me to the ground?

This time, you’re a rock. Curl up on the ground to protect your stomach and face (knees down on the ground). Put your fists over the back of your neck to protect your throat and neck, and stay very still. Again, call ACS as soon as you can.

What do I do if a dog bites?

Wash the wound carefully and immediately see a doctor. Report the bite to your local animal care services and the health department, or call the police if after-hours. Be sure to give the location of the dog and the human, if there is one.

Pet Projects

Free Pet Adoptions for the Military, Saturday–Sunday, May 24–25, spcaLA PD Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St. (in El Dorado Park), Long Beach

spcaLA and Animals for Armed Forces Foundation honor and say thanks to our dedicated service men and women by providing free pet adoptions. The adoption discount applies to active duty, Reserve, and veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard and/or immediate family members. (Must provide documentation, for more info click here). Adoption fee is waived for first 50 pet adoptions, limit 2 per household. Adopters must meet spcaLA adoption requirements. Additional fees such as medication, e-collars may apply.

Friends of Long Beach Animals’ (FOLBA) WALK for the Animals, Saturday, May 31, Marina Vista Park, 5355 E. Eliot St., Long Beach, 9AM–3PM

You don’t want to miss out on a great day in the park for a great cause. Marie Hulett, the host of the Pet Place Radio Show, will be the MC for the event. Joining her will be DogPACT, providing K9 agility and “nose work” demonstrations throughout the day with Tess, a member of the K-9 Bed Bug Detection Team with the uncanny ability to locate bed bugs. There will be other animal demonstrations and exhibitions, animal rescue and adoption groups, live entertainmentby the Blue Steel Band, vendors of all kinds, great raffle prizes, food, a kid zone, special guests and much, much more! A bike valet will be available for those who want to ride to the event, which is free and open to the public. Topreregister for the WALK itself, click here. The cost is $30.00 and includes two complimentary Laugh Factory Long Beach passes, great discounts, a WALK T-shirt and more!Registration the day of the event is $35.00. This event raises funds for FOLBA, a nonprofit organization in its 23rd year serving Long Beach and Signal Hill, committed to saving animals’ lives through spay/neuter and education programs and fostering responsible pet ownership, education and humane treatment of all animals.

Heidi and Frank Pet Adoption Day, Hosted by spcaLA and presented by 95.5 KLOS Saturday, June 7, spcaLA PD Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St. (in El Dorado Park), Long Beach,10AM–4PM

It’s spcaLA’s biggest pet adoption event of the year—come find your Friend for Life!Enjoy a day of sunshine and pet adoptions at spcaLA’s Companion Animal Village in Long Beach! Pet adoptions, vendor booths, refreshments, silent auctions, and family fun.

Dog Park Etiquette Class, Saturday, June 14, spcaLA PD Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St. (in El Dorado Park), Long Beach,4–6PM, $10

Be a good dog-park visitor. Understand and learn to recognize good and bad behaviors to encourage positive interactions at the dog park. This class is for humans only. Please do not bring your dog to class!

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Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”