A Great Fix for Pet Overpopulation

Facts: In 2012, about 7 million unwanted animals were destroyed nationwide in shelters across the United States. Here in Long Beach, Animal Care Services (ACS) took in an average of 972 unwanted animals per month last year.

HELP STOP ANIMAL OVERPOPULATION

Every time I get the chance to write a Pet Post, I stick in the Virtually Pets section all the animals that overworked rescuers have sent me. I write a Pet of the Week blurb for The Signal for ACS. I share on Facebook every unwanted pet and pet event I get word of. And nearly every time I do one of these things, I stress that unwanted animals and shelter overpopulation are people problems because folks don’t spay or neuter their pets and then let them roam free. Then I bang my head against the keyboard because not enough people take the hint and no one, no matter how dedicated, can do much about it.

Well, someone just has. Her name is Claudia Hoffman, and some of the lucky recipients of her rescue effort have been featured on the Pet Post. She’s been at it for 10 years, but she found it wasn’t enough. So this Saturday, she and more than 50 volunteers will go door to door as part of a grassroots effort to get every pet in underprivileged Long Beach neighborhoods fixed. Yes, Hoffman wants to Fix Long Beach, and I’m cheerleading in her corner.

“I’ve been planning this forever,” Hoffman said. “You get one dog off the street, and there’s 20 more. We could all do rescue until we’re 100 years old, and it’s emotionally draining. I’m broke, I’m exhausted, and I don’t see the difference.”

Hoffman may feel exhausted, but she’s inexhaustible in her mission to end shelter overpopulation. She’s been planning and organizing her volunteer-only and community-funded spay/neuter organization called—of course—Fix Long Beach (click on the previous link for information, and Like and Share their Facebook page). This Saturday’s neighborhood campaign will be the kickoff to a number of mobile spay/neuter clinics scheduled to appear at parks across town. Volunteers will meet at 9:30AM at Orizaba Park, 1435 Orizaba Ave between 14th and Spaulding streets, and pass out fliers in English and Spanish, talk to people and set up appointments.

“The complaints [about not altering pets] we hear about is that people cannot afford it,” Hoffman said. “I decided to do door-to-door and educate people [in disadvantaged areas]. It will prevent puppies and kittens from being born in a world where they aren’t wanted and then get put to sleep.”

Hoffman has planned seven spay/neuter events and hopes to add more as the movement gains momentum. Each event includes microchipping, pain medication and an e-collar (that’s the cone-shaped collar that keeps pets from licking off the stitches after surgery and inspire humans to call them “Funnel Face”) along with the alter. Hoffman relied on her contacts with the city and rescue and spay/neuter organizations to get the clinics running.

“I thought of a friend who has two mobile clinics, and she agreed to come. I approached ACS and spoke to [manager] Ted Stevens and asked if he’d be open to help out here and work with us. He was immediately on board! He’s been helping set up permits with the parks. They’ll be all through Long Beach.” The clinics are run by Found Animals Foundation.

Hoffman has also engaged sponsors for each event planned so far; they include West Coast Animal Rescue (the first to jump aboard), Friends of Long Beach Animals, Justin Rudd’s community organization Haute Dogs, Eldad Hagar’s Hope for Paws (you may have seen them on Anderson Cooper’s show, The Cupcake Ladi (honest!), Ace Hardware, Sliced and Diced restaurant near Orizaba Park and, of course, ACS.

Each clinic will be able to handle 40 pets. The first free mobile service will take place June 8, and there are already patients lined up, so tell your neighbors if they need assistance (your pets, of course, are already altered, right?). Hoffman plans the first clinic to be a party, with a DJ, food trucks and an honor ceremony for the sponsors. Most importantly—and this point has been made at both Animal Care and Cruelty-Prevention Conferences here in Long Beach—educating children to be kind to animals and how to approach them will be spotlighted. Handlers will be there with dogs to help in this effort, and volunteers will be there to read animal-themed stories to children.

Hoffman hopes to inspire other cities to have similar events (Fix Lomita! Fix Monrovia! Fix Thermal and Nipinnawasee!). Exhausted as she may claim to be, she says she’s in this for the long haul.

“We’re going to do this until we get the entire city fixed!” she proclaimed.

There are several ways to help Claudia Hoffman Fix Long Beach. To donate, click here. Use this link to sign up as a volunteer. Click here to sign up to sponsor a spay/neuter event. For more information, visit Fix Long Beach’s website or Facebook page.

 No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.

~ Abraham Lincoln

New FLB Logo

 

Virtually Pets

Ladybug

Ladybug was rescued from a shelter by one of Hoffman’s sponsors, West Coast Animal Rescue. Notice the growth on her leg—it weighed 7 pounds. She’s since had surgery to remove the tumor and is now a lot happier at Sparky and the Gang animal rescue in Long Beach. The photos on their website don’t show the healed leg, but you can see how beautiful she is. She’s a terrier mix, about a year old, and is sweet as she can be. All she needs is a loving home.

Pinto--PG

We’re not sure what breeds comprise Pinto, but who cares? A dawg’s a dawg, and what you want is sweet, playful and fun. This little guy was found wandering Chestnut Street and is being fostered by a nice family. He’d like something more permanent, however—he’s just a puppy and has his whole life ahead of him. Share it with yours—e-mail [email protected]for information.

Pet Projects

Remember the survivors of the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado tragedy. As you do, don’t forget the pets who are being sought by their human families or are lost and frightened. Go to the Humane Society of the United States Disaster Relief Page

Saturday, June 1, Long Beach Animal Care Services Low-Cost Pet Clinic, Signal Hill Park, 2175 Cherry Ave. Signal Hill, 11AM–2PM

Long Beach Animal Care Services will provide one low-cost vaccination and licensing clinic to residents and pets in Long Beach on Saturday. No reservation is necessary, but only cash is accepted for vaccinations! Call (562) 570-7387 for more information. A state-licensed vet from the Southern California Veterinary Vaccine Care (SCVVC) (click on link for full listing of prices) will be onsite to provide the shots, and residents can process their license renewals onsite as well. 

Services available include:

  • Dog rabies: $7
  • Cat rabies: $7 (or if preferred, “Purevax” Rabies @ $20)
  • DHPP (DA2PP): $17 (dogs)
  • Bordetella: $14 (dogs)
  • Lyme disease: $22 (dogs)
  • FVRCP (3-in-1) : $17 (cats)
  • AVID microchips: $28 (cats and dogs)
  • Cat license (altered cats only; ownership of unaltered cats is not legal in Long Beach: $10 (half-price for seniors)

Low-cost pet clinics are scheduled every month in Long Beach to provide residents with a one-stop shop for vaccination, microchipping and licensing services. Click here to find out about future clinics.

Thursday, June 6, Friends of Long Beach Animals Little Shop of Horrors Benefit for the Animals, Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., 6:30–10:30PM

Little banner

Feed your pets good things, feed yourself tasty finger food at the 6:30 reception, but—don’t feed the plants! Join Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) for an entertaining musical evening on June 6 featuring the wonderfully way-out musical Little Shop of Horrors, written by Howard Ashman, scored by Alan Menken, and based on the 1960 B movie of the same name. Our 19th annual Benefit for the Animals at the Long Beach Playhouse begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception featuring—oh, feed me, I’m hungry!—a delicious selection of finger foods, with coffee and cookies at intermission, and tuneful pre-musical music by our favorite pianist, Ralph Brunson. You’ll have time to socialize with fellow animal lovers and browse and bid on silent auction items. Raffle tickets will also be on sale.

At 7:30, beloved Press-Telegram scribe Tom Hennessy will be honored as our Hero to Animals 2013. Then, look out, look out, look out, look out! Here comes Audrey II along with the Little Shop of Horrors cast of real characters to tell a funny, offbeat tale and sing some of the catchiest songs to have ever graced a stage on or off Broadway. Keep the dogs and cats inside, and remember: Don’t feed the plants!

Tickets are $25 and are available at the following locations:

Ark Pet Salon, 550 Pacific Coast Highway, Seal Beach, 430-5057

Blue Cross Dog/Cat Hospital 2665 E.PCH, Signal Hill 494-0975

Bixby Animal Clinic 3938 Atlantic Ave 426-4066

Belmont LaunderPet 3429 E. Broadway 433-3605

Bixby Knolls LaunderPet 4102 Orange Ave. 427-2551

Go Dogs Go (open Tues/Sat) 3440 N. Los Coyotes Diag. 421-9797

Wags to Whiskers 5505 E. Stearns 430-5161

For further information or to purchase tickets, contact [email protected] or call (562) 988-SNIP (7647).

Saturday, June 8, Fix Long Beach’s Free Spay/Neuter Clinic Inaugural Event, Orizaba Park, 1435 Orizaba Ave between 14th and Spaulding streets, 10:30AM. (Appointment times will vary for patients)

This is Fix Long Beach’s first ever FREE mobile spay-and-neuter clinic! FLB is looking for volunteers to hand out information, assist at tables, and help with the flow of the event. We will have a DJ, sample/gift tables, information stations and much more! FLB ask that all volunteers wear a Fix Long Beach T-shirt, which will be provided at the event and which will be worn at all future events. The cost of each T-shirt is $5, which will go right back into the promotional budget!  The organization would like to keep track of how many people are volunteering, as they’re bringing Fix Long Beach T-shirts for everyone. Click here to volunteer.

Saturday, June 8, Heidi and Frank Pet Adoption Day, spcaLA at Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, 10AM–4PM.

Enjoy a day with KLOS 95.5 edgy airwaves duo Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer as they strongly encourage you to take home one of spcaLA’s wonderful pets. Enjoy vendor booths, refreshments, silent auctions and of course, meeting the animals.

Saturday, June 15, spcaLA Mobile Adoption Event, PetSmart at Long Beach Towne Center, 2631 Carson Blvd., Long Beach, 10:30AM–3:30PM

Don’t want to go to spcaLA to adopt? Shelters put you off? They’ll come to you! Meet a potential new family member and best friend forever! Click here for more information.

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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.”
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