Photos by Kate Karp.
Speaking only for myself, a barrel of monkeys is likely not actual fun. A van full of cats, dogs and the occasional rabbit or pocket pet—different story.
Long Beach Animal Care Services’ (ACS) Mobile Adoption Vehicle, which was unveiled at the shelter’s 2017 Open House in February, will be a fixture (as much as something with wheels and an engine can be a fixture) at Movies on the Beach, Concerts in the Park and other events this summer. And it will be tooling around town when summer’s over, too.
The vehicle is a 26-foot Ford E450 van equipped with 10 roomy kennels, each with a divider that can yield a total of between 10 and 20 spaces. Each one has LED lighting. Eight of the kennels are open to the outside, making it handy for public view.
Lexi looks pretty through the window…
…and looks even better leashed up with visitor Deborah “Queen Deb” Hill, a city payroll secretary. At right is Shelter Operations Supervisor Christine Kucenas.
A retractable awning provides shade outside; inside, a little fridge holds treats and food, a sink area provides wash-up space, and there’s lots of storage area. A meet-and-greet room for cats is tucked into the back and has a couple of benches for bonding and a play area to treat the cat to some fun. A screen that folds across the doorway and locks into place offers privacy and is a barrier to the kitty frisking away outdoors. Best of all, it’s air conditioned for comfort for the pets and people.
The vehicle is the generous gift to the shelter from an anonymous donor. The external design was hand-drawn and colored in by Jessica Gonzales, the shelter’s Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. It features the Queen Mary and other Long Beach landmarks and is dotted with outlines of cats, dogs and other pets in cunning detail.
“Jessica did a lot of work on it and made the vision come to life,” ACS Manager Ted Stevens said.
Aka Adoption Waggin’. Our brand on wheels.
The Mobile Adoption Vehicle made its maiden appearance at the June 20 City Council meeting (see related story here). Via remote broadcast, Stevens, holding a very vocal kitten named Lady Diana, stood on the patio outside the building and described the vehicle and its purpose—getting the animals out to the public in order to get them adopted. The repeating chorus of “Aawwwwwwe!” from the audience every time the cat meowed boded future success. In fact, one of Lady Diana’s siblings was adopted during the brief time that the vehicle was in front of City Hall.
ACS Manager Ted Stevens and Lady Diana fighting for the mic.
Mary Poppins paid a visit to a recent adoption event at the Towne Center PetSmart and posed with Kaluah and Virginia. That day, three pets went home. The parasol-propelled ubernanny agreed that the vehicle was the necessary spoonful of sugar.
“We’ll go to Movies on the Beach, concerts—we’re going to try to get the clinic all over the city this summer and see everybody,” Stevens said. “We might be having a hashtag contest to get your picture with the vehicle. So please come find us.”
Follow the appearances of the Mobile Adoption Vehicle on ACS’s Facebook page.
Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.
~ John Muir, naturalist
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