For our adoption feature, we’re profiling local rescue agencies that you can visit (mostly on weekends) when you’re ready for a lap warmer or face licker. We’ve profiled the rescues we know; we’re spotlighting more cat rescues than dog rescues because nationally, cats are dumped more frequently than dogs are and are allowed by their owners to cruise the neighborhood for action, with the expected results.

All rescues listed below spay/neuter the animals before offering them for adoption, and all have nonprofit status.

Pet Assistance Foundation (PAF) holds adoptions on Sundays between 1–5 p.m. at Centinela Feed and Pet Store near the Traffic Circle at 4700 E. PCH. On Saturdays, Long Beach Felines brings in their cats between noon–4 p.m. Here’s Bob Wonder, husband of Pet Assistance Foundation president Wendy Aragon, sheltering a foundling kitten who was little more than fur and bones when she first came in.

A couple of PAF hopefuls. You can’t get much more orange than this.

Antje Hunt (pictured) and Lorraine Fishman of Long Beach Spay and Neuter Foundation look for good homes for adoptable feral cats and kittens. You can find them in front of the Belmont Shore Bank of America at Second Street and Corona Avenue every weekend (unless it rains) until early afternoon. Feral kittens, according to Hunt, are adoptable if trapped at an early age.

Oh, please, a little farther back, and rub hard. This is Sassy, attended to by Michael Oh, the owner of Wiskers Pet Beastro and Bowteek, 4818 E 2nd St. in Belmont Shore. As former owners Scott Reinhart and Jim Poer had, Mike offers his hospitality to the pink condo housing the cats selected from ACS by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA), where they await discovery. Bixby Animal Hospital, 3938 Atlantic Ave., also has ACS cats sponsored by FOLBA up for adoption at their facility.

City Council meetings welcome, alternately, a cat and a dog each week from the spcaLA side of the Pitchford Animal Companion Village. Ashley, pictured here, is a pug (yes, purebreds do wind up in shelters and rescues) who spcaLA staff member Julie Prewitt (right) says is “a middle-aged woman who needs a tummy tuck.” Actually, what she needed was a good spaying. City Hall employee Terry Greene is patting her and may be agreeing that unchecked motherhood—say, maybe eight more puppies born—isn’t a terribly good idea.

Animal Match Rescue Team (AMRT) Lynda Montgomery struggles with a water bottle as two small lamb-faced dogs tell the waitperson to hurry the heck up already. AMRT teams up with Hearts for Hounds (HFH) on Sundays, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. until around 2 p.m. in front of the Petco near the Marina, 6500 E Pacific Coast Hwy. Both rescues care for small dogs only.

Carolyn Stern, president of AMRT, shares the load of volunteering with members of HFH. Stern advises what to look for when scouting adoption rescues:

•    Does the rescuer just give out animals without asking any questions of the potential adopter, or is he or she concerned with the type of home the pet is going to?
•    Is the rescue registered as a nonprofit, and can they provide documentation?
•    How long has the rescue been in existence?
•    Are the animals spayed or neutered?
•    Can the rescue provide medical records that show the animals’ health status and proof of spay/neuter?
•    Who among your acquaintances can give you information about the rescue?
•    Have you Googled the rescue Web site? You can find out a lot about a rescue by checking the Internet. Examine testimonials and nonprofit status, and make sure that you aren’t actually purchasing an animal from a backyard breeder, pet store or puppy mill client.

PetSmart also adopts cats at their Signal Hill Location (2550 Cherry Ave.) on weekends from 1–5 p.m. and at the Towne Center, 7631 Carson Blvd. And, of course, remember our Long Beach Animal Control Services (ACS), also at the Pitchford Village, which houses many animals needing homes.

No Five Bones Up for Hotel for Dogs

Neither of us has seen this movie (likely to soon be available on video), but our buddy, AMRT volunteer/comedian Lynda Montgomery, has and had apparent mixed feelings. Here’s her review.

By Lynda Montgomery
I borrowed a kid to take to this movie, but wished I hadn’t. The movie opens with a 16-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother selling rocks meant to be cell phones in shrink-wrapped boxes (this scam is accomplished with a handheld blow dryer and some shrink-wrap). The justification is that the tainted proceeds are used to feed their cute terrier (best actor by far) whom they are hiding from their evil foster parents. This same little dog has full freedom to wander the streets leashless the entire movie.

The animal control officers are stereotypical escaped convicts who hate dogs and love nothing more that to chase them and throw them into dirty kennels to await their euthanasia day. A handwritten sign at the shelter has the hold time at one week, which is struck through and changed to 72 hours! I spoke to an animal control officer from our shelter who saw the movie; she was very disturbed by the villainous portrayals but stayed because the film also had some very amusing scenes. The officer was also hoping that some good would come to outweigh the bad stereotypes.

The deserted hotel becomes the refuge for dozens of street dogs. No mention is ever made of looking for the original owners, although the kids are always searching the streets for their own dog. A few reunions for the other dogs would have helped the predictable plot along and added a few nice adults into the cast of wicked adult characters.

The actual Hotel for Dogs is the best part of the movie and is definitely the redeeming quality. The industrious little brother invents a ball-throwing machine, a car-ride simulator and even a moon for the dogs to howl at.

Dinnertime was one huge endorsement for Pedigree dog food, but this is okay because Pedigree does contribute to help homeless dogs, so hopefully this will be a silver lining to the bad publicity. Did I forget to mention that they also showed a pet store selling puppies, and made mention of how the dogs they don’t sell end up in the pound?

I hope that the audience can take the good from this movie and go to their local shelters when it’s time to get a dog.


We’ve presented a number of good, responsible people rescuing animals in Long Beach, and our city already has a hotel for dogs and other animals: the Pitchford Companion Animal Village’s state-of-the-art facility. One visit there should debunk any negative “pound” image you may get from the movie Hotel for Dogs. Not to say there aren’t those stereotyped pounds in other cities—there are, but LBACS doesn’t fit the image. We’ve come a long way, baby, we intend to keep progressing, and we need your help!

Young people in this film are attempting to do the right thing, but in order to truly help, one needs to be part of the solution and not the problem. Allowing your pets to roam without leashes or identification and raising money illegally, as the kids do in the movie, are not good ways to do it. For young folks who truly want to help homeless animals, contact LBACS or the spcaLA. They will guide you from there. There is so much you can do for the animals of your community!