pit bull, gray mask on either side of white face, gray saddle pink collar, sitting on grass
Athena (ID#A556095), 4-year-old gunmetal gray-and-white female pit bull terrier

Long Beach rescuers and residents-at-large will voice their concerns and opinions regarding Long Beach Animal Care Services’ vision and direction at a public workshop scheduled for Sunday, March 3.

The meeting will be guided by recommendations for shelter improvement detailed by Phase One and Phase Two of the review of the shelter’s operations and services. Mayor Robert Garcia ordered the City Auditor’s office to facilitate the review and JVR Shelter Strategies, an independent consulting firm that develops strategies for shelter improvement, to conduct it.

The meeting will include an overview of the strategic planning process. Presenters and speakers will listen to and address public comments concerning the shelter’s mission, its impact on the community, and future planning for the best outcomes for all animals housed in the shelter. JVR’s principal consultant, Jyothi V. Robertson, DVM, will present at the meeting, and the Mayor’s Animal Care Visioning Task Force will join the team to address comments and questions.

Staycee Dains, Long Beach Animal Care Services’ new manager, will also participate.

“I think there will be a diverse group of people present, from animal advocates to people just emerging from the park and coming to see what’s going on,” Dains said in an interview. “We want to make sure that everyone is heard.”

Hopefully, everyone will listen, too. Animal welfare in Long Beach has raised emotionally charged and supercharged responses from different voices in the community, as anyone following social media or watching City Council video streaming has observed. Attaining the best possible outcome for all animals isn’t as difficult as fixing climate change, but it’s comparatively multifaceted and not a walk in the dog park.

Different people view the problems and solutions through different lenses. Dains, however, is firmly focused on creating a solid picture, and not a mosaic.

“Nothing beautiful and wonderful happens easily,” she said. “It takes decisiveness and strength. Once you have a knowledgeable community, you can go back and forth, educating each other.”

The Mayor’s Animal Care Visioning Task Force meeting is 1:30 to 4 p.m., Sunday at the El Dorado Park West Community Center, 2800 Studebaker Road.

The Scratching Post will publish an account of the meeting next week. In the meantime, here’s something you can do to help shelter pets: adopt one. Or two. Or whatever your heart, budget and city pet limits (four, including dogs, cats and rabbits) permit. Here are a few good kids:

Meet the Big Dogs, hanging out at the Dog Play Yard at the shelter!


Today’s cast of big, sweet, wet-nosed characters, in order of appearance:

pit bull, gray mask on either side of white face, gray saddle pink collar, sitting on grass
Athena (ID#A556095), 4-year-old gunmetal gray-and-white female pit bull terrier
German shepher mix withblack ears and mask, black body, white legs and bib and white-tipped tail stands on grass, facing us
Boxie (ID#A61672 We want to make sure that everyone is heard. 7), 1-year-old black-and-white female German shepherd mix
white pit bull with open smiling mouth, big pink tongue, brown spot on back
Buster (ID#A620723, 3-year-old tan-and-white male pit bull terrier
Big pit bull mix atanding on grass, all black, facing camera with tongue out, smiling
Joey (ID#A621377), 3-year-old black male pit bull terrier mix
Black pit bull terrier with white blaze on chest, with blue collar and pink leash, on grass next to footpath
Zeus (ID#A554598), 4-year-old black-and-white male pit bull terrier

The cats aren’t in the video this time—it wasn’t included in their claws. They’re hardly bit players, though.

Tuxedo cat, pink nose, white muzzle and chest, face only
HANDsome (ID#A619106), 2-year-old tuxie domestic shorthair, thus dubbed because he’ll lick your hand some, and then some more, and then some more… And he fits the description.
white cat, head and shoulders view, with pink nose. One eye is weepy.
Coconut, ID#A619028), 8-year-old white female domestic shorthair, who was rescued along with last week’s cover cat, Big Zong, and a lot of other cats. Shelter vets recently removed one of Coconut’s eyes, and she’s recovering nicely. As for Big Zong, he turned out to be a she—Big Zong—and got adopted this week despite her horrible disposition. Let’s hope the same for Coconut, who’s sweet as cream pie.


Long Beach Animal Care Services is located at 7700 E. Spring St. in Long Beach. Go through the entrance to El Dorado Park; no parking fee for shelter visitors.

Things to do, pets to support

 Please send any Long Beach or Seal Beach pet-related events or projects to [email protected]. Posting subject to approval.

a cartoon gray cat and a cartoon tan dog, both with tags and collars, look happily out o a circle with Friends of Long Beach Animals written on it and blue pawprint designs. The background shows photos of cats and dogs that have been rescued.

CAAAAAAT CLINIC! Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic, sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA): Sunday, March 3, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Cherry Park, 1901 E. 45th St., Long Beach, free spay/neuter for qualifying Long Beach residents; free microchips; shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each.

It’s the law to fix your pets in Long Beach and many Southern California cities. To add to this, cats can go into heat at 6 months old and have three litters a year, with an average of four kittens per litter. And those kittens have kittens. Who wants to do the math? Fix your cat instead! To provide this costly service to our Long Beach residents who otherwise couldn’t afford it, Fix Long Beach offers this service free of charge. Make an appointment through IM or email at [email protected];include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) phone number, (4) pet’s name, (5) age, (6) sex, (7) breed, and (8) weight. Standby available at 8:30 a.m. Vouchers are provided through Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) Spay/Neuter Assistance Voucher Program for pets without appointments or dogs too large to fit on the vehicle—they may be used at specified veterinary clinics. For both spay/neuter and vaccinations,all dogs must be on sturdy leashes and all cats must be in dedicated carriers.

Mayor’s Animal Care Visioning Task Force Public Workshop: Sunday, March 3, 1:30–4 p.m., El Dorado Park West Community Center, 2800 N. Studebaker Road, Long Beach

The public is invited to participate in a Community Workshop to start the process of developing a strategic plan for Long Beach Animal Care Services. The workshop’s purpose is community engagement in the shelter’s long-term vision and strategic planning. The Task Force will hear comments about issues facing cats, dogs and other animals; the shelter’s mission and community impact; and planning for future shelter operations  the mission of LBACS, LBACS’s impact in the community, and planning for future LBACS operations and organization. Dr. Jyothi V. Robertson, DVM, will present during the workshop.

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic, sponsored by Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce and District 2: Saturday, March 9, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Cherry Park, 1901 E. 45th St., Long Beach, free spay/neuter for qualifying Long Beach residents; free microchips; shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each.

a white dog paw with tan spots and a brown paw rest on two human hands


The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. If you’re a Long Beach-area rescue and don’t see your adoption event listed here, please email [email protected].

Chase Bank, 5200 E. Second St., Long Beach

 Gelson’s Market, 6255 E. 2nd St.

Kahoots Pet Store, 18681 Main St. #102, Huntington Beach

Petco Animal Supplies, Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach:

PetSmart Cerritos, 12741 Towne Center Drive, Cerritos

PetSmart Compton, 1775 South Alameda St., Compton

PetSmart Garden Grove, 9835 Chapman Ave, Garden Grove

PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange, 3871 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach

PetSmart Signal Hill, 2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill

PetSmart Seal Beach, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.

Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave.

tiny gray kitten sleeps in someone's hand

Long Beach Little Paws Project needs donations

The most vulnerable animals in the public shelter system are kittens under two pounds. These fragile babies, especially those not yet eating on their own, are typically euthanized on intake at most public shelters. In an effort to change the fate of far too many kittens, two non-profit rescue organizations, The Little Lion Foundation and Helen Sanders CatPAWS, have launched a joint effort to create and operate a kitten nursery. This nursery will give kittens too young to be adopted or those who need medical care a safe place to heal and grow. Newborn kittens are fragile and vulnerable. You can tell by those photos—if you look closely, you’ll see the beautiful cat that each of them will grow to be. Please read all about them here, and please, please donate.

Low-Cost Pet-Vaccination Clinics: For schedule, visit this link

Pet owners must be 18 years or older, all pets must be on leashes or in carriers, and only healthy and non-pregnant animals will be vaccinated. Please bring prior vaccination information with you to the clinic.

Free Pet Food Distributions

Pet food is available at Beacon for Him Ministries, 439 West Anaheim St., Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control meds and pet food are always gratefully accepted.

The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action, located at 515 E. Third St., Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Pets of the Homeless provides many collection places across the country to help homeless people to feed and care for their animals. Please support them through a cash donation, or bring pet food to the Long Beach-area drop-off center, Trendi Pawz Grooming, 3726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach. Access this link for resources and donation areas in SoCal and across the country.

Four photos featuring shelter volunteers in green aprons and street clothing making peanut-butter treats in ice trays

Shelter-enrichment supplies requested for ACS’s cats, dogs and rabbits: drop-off Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., shelter side of P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Creamy peanut butter, yogurt, beef and chicken broth, pipe cleaners, toilet-paper and paper-towel rolls, catnip, canned pet food, wine-bottle corks (for cat toys) and ice cube trays all are needed. Donations are tax deductible.