Local animal groups remember faithful heroes 

(November 8, 2008) Wheely Willy, the 20-year-old Chihuahua and topic of the Wheely Willy series of books, holds war veterans in high regard.

“Are you kidding? He wouldn’t miss this for the world,” said Deborah Turner, Willy’s mom and scribe. “Willy works at the VA a lot and has total loyalty to the vets.”

Willy himself is a veteran of cruelty and heartlessness. He was discovered in a garbage can by another type of vet—the animal doctor who was central to his rescue. Willy’s vocal cords had been severed and his back legs were paralyzed. Turner’s heart went out to the little dog and she took him home. The story of Willy’s fight to survive and become mobile with a specially made cart made him an inspirational figure for teachers, parents and children. But the veterans hold a special place in the hearts of Willy and Turner. They participate in Make a Difference Day for Vets and visit them in Long Beach’s VA Hospital. And today, Willy and Turner took part in remembering the canine heroes at the Veterans Day Parade that went from Houghton Park, up Atlantic Avenue to 56th Street and back.

Supporters of the War Dogs also included Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) Board members Shirley Vaughan, Nona Daly, June Walkington and Eric Hatch; Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) acting manager John Keisler and his family; ACS Lt. Michelle Quigley and several ACS officers; and a number of civilian dogs and their human companions who came to walk in support of the largely unsung four-legged soldiers.

Vaughan, who is FOLBA’s president, said that war dogs had several grueling jobs to do when they were drafted to serve, among them protecting the soldiers and sniffing out trip wires that would blow up whoever walked into them.

“Many dogs gave their lives, as did the human soldiers,” Vaughan said. “ We’re here to honor them; they’re our forgotten heroes.”

Again the victor’s crown was his, and the master, a man of dogs, caressed the head of shining black with the jewel eyes of gold.
Ernest Thompson Seton, The Hero Dog of France

Nov. 15

Hello, Doggie! Actors and Others Presents a Celebration of Caring, Featuring Carol Channing
Carol Channing

Actors and Others for Animals’ (AOA) major fund-raising event raises needed funds to continue services and programs such as emergency veterinary assistance, pet-assisted therapy, humane education and helping low- or fixed-income pet guardians.. This year’s event honors the legendary Carol Channing and entrepreneur and humanitarian Paula Kent Mehan. The event starts at 11 a.m. and includes no-host cocktail hour, silent auction, gourmet vegetarian luncheon, program and toast. Tickets cost $175–$225. (818) 755-5080, http:// www.actorsandothers.com.

Nov. 22

Starlight, one of Animal Acres’ honored guests at Thankful Turkeys Celebration

Join your feathered friends and veggie Pilgrims at Animal Acres from noon until 4 p.m. for a unique holiday Thanksgiving celebration. Our guests of honor will be the sanctuary turkeys who will help spread the message of compassion for all! Festivities include farm tours and face time with sanctuary cows, pigs, chickens and other animals while hearing about their heartwarming rescue stories. Feed the Turkeys Ceremony is at 1:30 p.m! Then, the rest of us enjoy a mouth-watering vegan Thanksgiving dinner catered by One World Vegetarian Cuisine. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, founder of Compassionate Cooks and author of the award-winning cookbook The Joy of Vegan Baking, will be guest speaker. Tickets $35 per person (children 3 and under are free.) Reservations necessary; visit here or call (661) 269-5404. Animal Acres is located at 5200 Escondido Canyon Rd., Acton, CA 93510.

Ongoing Events

How Did You Celebrate National Feral Cat Day?

National Feral Cat Day was celebrated Oct. 16, but we celebrate them all year long. Alley Cat Allies wants to know how you celebrated. Please share photos and stories from your special activities through our online form. You might be featured in our next edition of the Alley Cat Action!

Give Shelter Animals a Reason to Give Thanks
Animal Care Services is promoting the slogan “A Toy for Every Animal” to improve health and wellness for shelter animals. Chew toys like the Red Kong toys help keep animals’ minds and bodies engaged, leading to greater health and a higher rate of adoption. The drive continues through November, at which point Red Kongs will be placed on ACS’s wish list. Purchase any size of Red Kong toy sold at most pet stores and drop them off at LBACS, located on the same premises as the P.D. Pitchford Animal Shelter, or have them shipped directly to the following address:

Long Beach Animal Care Services
7700 E. Spring Street
Long Beach, CA 90815
Contact: Debra Brubaker, Public Health Associate (562) 570-7387

We are working closely with our registered rescue organizations, including the Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA), to obtain toys for the dogs as well as the cats in the care of LBACS. Monetary donations to the Friends of Long Beach Animals’ will allow FOLBA to purchase Kitty Woofer balls for cats or the Red Kong toys for dogs. Send the check to:

Friends of Long Beach Animals
P.O. Box 92736
Long Beach, CA 90809-2736

Specify “dog toy” or “cat toy” on the memo line.

Hearts for Hounds
10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. every Sunday.
Alamitos Bay Marina Farmer’s Market, E. Marina Drive, just south of 2nd Street, Long Beach, CA.

Hearts for Hounds is also celebrating 10 years at the Alamitos Bay Farmer’s Market and 12,000 lives saved so far. Right now, HFH needs the community’s support more than need financial support to cover the ongoing expenses such as food, shelter, transportation and medical expenses. Ongoing needs include food, bedding, towels, medicines, toys, pet enclosures, bathing needs, cleaning supplies heating pads and donations for medical care, spay/neuter, boarding, transportation and many other things.

To view adoptable dogs, volunteer or donate, click here.

Animal Match Rescue Team
10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. every Sunday
Long Beach Petco in the Whole Foods Shopping Center, 6500 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA

To view adoptable dogs, volunteer or donate, visit http//:www.amrt.net (Long Beach Small Dog Adoption)