Pets & Animals: October Is A Critter Cornucopia

October: Cornucopia for Critters
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For some reason, October is up to its ides in animal-related celebrations. The only connection we can see, aside from the obvious Halloween reference (and that’s just cats and bats and owls and spiders), is that the month comes in the shank of autumn, which is a season of reflection, remembering and even mourning over loss. It’s also a celebration of thanks and gratitude, so, for our beloved animal companions, we offer you the following October harvest of festivities.

Erica and Krystal Lambert dishing out samples of Vegan Quiche from Da Vinci’s Delight. Courtesy Kristin Kil, Animal Acres

Compassionate Cuisine, Oct. 1
The playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends.” The farmed-animal refuge, Animal Acres, yearly celebrates the importance of this earnest quote with Compassionate Cuisine, a feast of delicious vegan dishes and organic beer and wine. Everything is available, from Indian to down-home-style, all vegan and all so tasty that we’ve had carnivorous people express surprise about anything that good could be fixed with no meat. Compassionate Cuisine is held in observance of International Vegetarian Day, which will be celebrated with appearances by such guests as Lorri Houston, founder and president of Animal Acres; Sarah Taylor, another animal acres founder and author of The Vegan Next Door; Tanya Petrovna, founder of Native Foods Café (great meals!); and classically trained jazz pianist Scott Sorrentino.

“We are so excited for our fifth year of Compassionate Cuisine,” said local organizer Melissa Witul. “We hope every year we reach out to more people so they can enjoy all that we offer: great location, food, music and a silent auction, all for a good cause. The attendees can enjoy an evening at the garden knowing their donation will be put to good use for the animals.”

Discount tickets will be sold online until Sept. 29, after which they must be purchased at the door. Proceeds will benefit Animal Acres Farmed Animal Sanctuary. Enjoy—your stomach and every sweet pig, cow and chicken will love you for it.

Location: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach
Time: 7–11 p.m.
Ticket prices: $35 online; $45 at door
Click here for tickets and other information

Courtesy Haute Dogs
Interfaith Blessing of the Animals, Oct. 2
Whether you believe that pets need blessing or that they’re naturally in a state of grace, the sense of fellowship, peaceful coexistence among species, and love of animals stir emotions every year at Haute Dogs’s Interfaith Blessing of the Animals. This year, presenters Justin Rudd and Gary DeLong will host pastors, reverends, priestesses and other inspirational leaders from several denominations; so far, ministers from Parkcrest Church, the Universal Life Church, Bay Shore Church, the Reformed Catholic Church Community of the Resurrection and the Goddess Temple of Orange County have been confirmed. More than 300 animals are expected to receive blessing.

“I enjoy being a part of this public ceremony that celebrates the connections between pets and their people,” Rudd said. “Whether you believe in a higher power or not, we can all respect the fact that each creature is beautifully and wonderfully made. We like to gather once a year to bless these pets and their lives.”

Joining the four-legged, two-legged and no-legged congregation will be some exotic guests: a red-tailed hawk, a red tegu (a large, docile South American lizard), an albino python, a bobcat, a fennec (that’s a big-eared fox), a porcupine, a two-toed sloth and a serval wildcat. Bring along your beloved companion, be it dog, very calm and accepting cat, rabbit, hamster, spider, snake or hissing cockroach. If your buddy prefers to worship at home or has passed on, bring a photo of him or her. A moment of blessing, silence and vigil at the beginning of the service will be observed for pets who are subjected to the cruelties of sport-dog fighting and other inhumane, unethical treatment.

Location: north side of Marine Stadium, 5225 E. Paoli St. at E. Eliot Street, Long Beach
Time: noon
Ticket prices: free
Click here for information

Photo by Kate Karp
FOLBA 10-10-2010 Walk & Run for the Animals, Oct. 10

Each year, Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) presents a number of events to fund low-cost spay/neuter of pets, humane education and assistance to our Animal Care Services. In addition to theater events, yard sales and a float in the Belmont Shore Christmas Parade, FOLBA hosts walk/run events, and this year’s 10-10-2010 WALK & RUN for the Animals is timed a week before the Long Beach Marathon. This year’s theme is Life Safety for Pets and People. It’s a great warm-up for you and a social event for your dog or other walkable pal. Most importantly, it’s a great way to help fund animal welfare.

Enjoy pet demonstrations, PETCO booth with featured dog adoption, vendor samples, dog yoga specialist, raffles, prizes, costume contest, and multicultural entertainment that includes Ballet Folklorico Maria and pure acappella sounds of Outasight from Blind Start of America. The California Spay & Neuter License Plate, Long Beach Launch, with guest speaker, Judie Mancuso, will be there to take orders for the new vehicle license plates that will help fund low-cost spay/neuter statewide, and there will be a table set up to address any questions/ information regarding the plates.  All proceeds fund low-cost spay/neutering, humane education and medical bills for shelter animals. Take advantage of free downtown transportation and limited $1 event parking at Marina Green.

“Join us and be a part of promoting responsible pet ownership behavior,” said FOLBA President John Gonzales. “Together we can make a difference in life safety for pets and people. We need your help.”

Don’t have a pet to walk? Come anyway—the event is for all animals, including human. If you want to volunteer, FOLBA could use a helping paw.

Location: Marina Green Park, off Shoreline Drive and Linden in Long Beach.
Time: 7 a.m.–2 p.m.
Ticket prices: free to spectate and enjoy; WALK/RUN registration $25 online; $30 on day of event
Click here for information

Courtesy of Lenka Fill, Walk for Farm Animals
Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals, Oct. 10
If livestock could talk, they’d undoubtedly say, “Baa, moo, quack, oink and baa,” which means “Confound it, it really hurts in here.” Anthropomorphic cuteness aside, the folks at Farm Sanctuary tell us that animals on factory farms suffer cruel conditions—confinement in tight places, with the inability to walk, turn around and lie down, or stretch their legs. Imagine being in that condition yourself.

“Farm animals are the forgotten four-legged, two-winged animals with feelings,” said Lenka Fill, coordinator for the Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals. “We are accustomed to feeling compassion for dogs and cats because we have them in our homes and see them on the streets. The suffering of farm animals on factory farms, however, is conveniently out of our view, and so little if any thought goes into the immeasurable pain that these beautiful, innocent beings endure in their bodies and minds, before they end up on our dinner plates not looking anything like themselves. Animal abuse is animal abuse, no matter what the species. It is time we recognize their feelings, respect their lives, and take responsibility for their well-being.”

Farm Sanctuary has walks organized across the United States. On Oct. 10, compassionate people will gather for Long Beach’s own walk to raise awareness about the plight of farm animals and vital funds for Farm Sanctuary’s lifesaving rescue, education and advocacy work. Registration includes a T-shirt designed by vegan fashion house Vaute Couture, and all money raised will go toward rescuing and advocating for farm animals. Donations are accepted for those who cannot attend.

“Nature is cruel, but we don’t have to be,” Claire Danes said in her portrayal of noted animal science professor Temple Grandin in the movie of the same name. “We owe them some respect. I touched the first cow that was being stunned. In a few seconds, it was going to be just another piece of beef, but in that moment, it was still an individual.” If you love all creatures, join the walk. If you do eat meat, go out anyway and advocate for humane treatment for the animals that provide you with sustenance.

Location: Bixby Park, First Street and Cherry Avenue, Long Beach
Time: Registration, 10 a.m.; walk, 11 a.m.; 1 p.m., activities and announcements
Ticket prices: $15 registration
Click here for information

pelicans gathered

ready to journey south

my bag is packed
~Haiku by Jane Reichhold

Virtual pets

After all that, we wish that we could offer a couple of cows and a pig for adoption, but city livestock laws won’t permit it. Here are two from our shelter—you can always adopt a virtual animal at Animal Acres.

This green-eyed lady would look sweet on any lap. Delilah is around 8 months old and extremely sweet and friendly. She’d look lovely on your lap. Ask for kennel #A406785.

Okay, if you can resist a face like this, there’s something wrong. Annie was found running on the street—nothing new, but she seems good-natured about the whole thing and is now hoping for a more responsible person to care for her. Ask for kennel # A413356.

Both Delilah and Annie are staying at Animal Care Services (ACS) on the shelter side of the Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7000 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-PETS.

Pet projects

SBACC Wag ’n’ Walk, Sept. 25
And, for the end of September, we recommend a walk with the Seal Beach Animal Care Center (SBACC) and Grand Marshalls Justin Rudd and his dog Riley as they take to the Seal Beach Pier to help raise funds for and awareness of homeless animals! Enjoy a bake sale, a barbecue sponsored by the Lions Club, a silent auction and opportunity drawings and, of course, the Walk! Enter your pet (and yourself!) in lookalike, best-dressed-dog, and best-trick contests. Seal Beach Pier, 11:00am-3:00pm. Click here for information.

Wine Tasting to Benefit Hearts for Hounds Dog Rescue, Sept. 26
Join us in an amazing garden setting with you and your best friend! The Wine Crush, 3131 E. Broadway between Temple and Redondo avenues in Long Beach, will host a wine tasting in a lovely garden setting, featuring delicious dipping plates, door prizes, entertainment, a silent auction—and wine, of course! Lots of goodie bags for your doggie! All proceeds will go to Hearts For Hounds to help homeless dogs. 2–5 p.m.

Mojitos and Mutts Benefit, Sept. 29
I Love Dogs and Hotel Maya are gearing up for the fourth Mojitos and Mutts happy (yappy) hour. This one benefits actress Linda Blair’s WorldHeart Foundation, a Southern California-based rescue with dogs left homeless after Hurricane Katrina. A stellar drink menu is offered, and guests are asked to bring things a rescue group might need, such as food, supplies and toys. . Just like earlier Mojitos & Mutts, the Kong Company is graciously matching all KONG toy donations. Bark Pet Photography will serve as the official event photographer, and Pussy & Pooch will also return. Goodies and prizes for pets will be awarded. For information, visit this website. Hey, with Linda Blair and Maya’s mojitos, you’ll have a head-spinning great time!

Elevated rabies activity confirmed for L.A. County

The Veterinary Public Health & Rabies Control Program has detected 15 rabid bats in Los Angeles County so far this year. Typically, they only identify 10 rabid bats during an entire year. This past year, most of the rabid bats were found in and around homes, but three were collected in public areas, one in a golf course, another in a judge’s chambers  and most recently alive on the sidewalk in front of a store in Stevenson Ranch. Two dogs were also found playing with the live rabid bats at their homes. Fortunately, the dogs were current on their rabies shots, but had to be revaccinated and quarantined in their homes for 30 days. If the dogs hadn’t been current, they would either have been euthanized or placed in strict quarantine for six months.

Long Beach Animal Care Services wants to remind the public that rabies is continually circulating in our county. In nature, fewer than one in 1,000 to 10,000 bats are infected with rabies, but when a sick bat is found, the risk is higher. To reduce the risk of rabies:

  • Make sure your pet is up-to-date on its rabies vaccination.
  • Immediately consult with your physician if you are bitten by wildlife, to determine if you need rabies post-exposure treatment.
  • Do not try to pet or directly handle any wildlife, especially bats.
  • If a bat is found on the ground around your home or in a public place, place a box over it and call your local animal control agency.
  • If a bat is found in your home and may have had access to pets or areas where people were sleeping, do not release it outside. If possible, put a small box or container over it and call your local animal control agency. Do the same if a bat is found outside your home.
  • Report any animal bites or wildlife exposures to your pets to Veterinary Public Health & Rabies Control (213-989-7060).


October 9, 2010 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
October 20, 2010 (5:00 PM – 7:30 PM)

Cesar Chavez Park Community Center
401 Golden Ave
Long Beach, CA 90813
Call: (562) 570-7387

A State Licensed Veterinarian from the Southern California Veterinary Vaccine Clinic (SCVVC) will be onsite to provide the shots, and residents can process their license renewals onsite. Visit for a full listing of prices. Services available include:

  • Dog Rabies: $6
  • Cat Rabies: $6 (or if preferred, “Purevax” Rabies @ $20)
  • DHPP (DA2PP): $15 (dogs)
  • Bordetella: $12 (dogs)
  • Lyme: $22 (dogs)
  • FVRCP: $15 (cats)
  • FELV: $17 (cats)
  • AVID Microchips: $28 (cats and dogs)
  • Altered Dog License: $20 (half-price for seniors)
  • Unaltered Dog License: $90
  • Altered Cat License: Free

Low-cost pet clinics are scheduled for the 2nd Saturday and 3rd Wednesday of every month in Long Beach to provide residents with a one-stop shop for vaccination, microchipping and licensing services. More information about upcoming pet clinics is available at this website.

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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.”