‘It never hurts to try:’ This nonprofit takes in animals others discard as ‘broken’

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

 You buy a package of Oreos, you open it, and find that one or two or broken. You don’t throw them away, of course—broken cookies are as sweet as whole ones.

That’s the spirit behind House of Broken Cookies and its founder, Jenn Linn. Linn is a cat rescuer who focuses on “cats that need extra,” as she puts it—cats whose legs are backward, twisted or don’t work at all; cats who are blind or deaf cats with nightmares and neurological problems.

“The name for my rescue came from a friend who said that I had a house full of broken cookies,” Linn said. “And it stuck.”

Linn discovered that she had a knack for cats and kittens with issues when she began volunteering as a rescuer. When she went independent as a rescuer in 2011, she brought along special-needs cats from the original rescue. Her intent wasn’t necessarily rehabilitation, because that’s not always possible, but to attend to all the cats’ needs and make them as comfortable and functional as possible.

“I have a terrible need to fix things, and I learned the hard way that there are some things you can’t fix—but it never hurts to try,” Linn said.

Linn’s affinity for special-needs cats is in both her DNA and her life history. Her mother had a day-care business when Linn was young, and Linn helped take care of some of the children who had issues. In college, she cared for special-needs children and adults and later worked with the Orange County Department of Education. When she started rescuing cats, she was working in a performing-arts studio for people with disabilities. Her work with rescues acquainted her with the knowledge that some animals had special needs, too.

House of Broken Cookies was established as a 501 (c)(3) in 2018, which made accepting tax-deductible donations and receiving grants possible. This is fortunate for Linn, because the money for food and medical care comes mainly out of her own pocket (“Funding? Ha ha ha ha!” was her reply to a question about where funding comes from) and strong financial support from other rescues and friends. Linn wouldn’t mention any of them by name because she’s afraid she’ll forget to mention someone. They know who they are, though, she said.

The cats in her care come from everywhere—the street, the shelter and rescues that know Linn and call her as soon as they have someone for her.

“I take the ones I can give a chance to and see what happens,” Linn said.

You can see the residents of House of Broken Cookies on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Linn knows that caring for a special-needs cat takes more than willingness and a heart that breaks for them. Adopters have to be fully educated about any cat who only seems broken on the outside. But Linn has had successful adoptions—you can see them on Broken Cookies’ pages, too.

“Some of these cats will never leave my home,” Linn said. “But my belief is that there’s a home for all of them—you just have to wait for that person to come along.”

House of Broken Cookies participates in adoptions and fostering in front of Pussy & Pooch, 4818 E. Second St., Long Beach on Saturdays. If a special-needs cat isn’t in your wheelhouse but you want to help Jenn Linn and her Broken Cookies pay for food, meds, and expensive treatments and surgeries, visit their fundraising page.

Here are a few cookies who may be broken but won’t crumble with some help. Their photos show how catlike they are.

Talei, usually called TaTa, is at 10 months old an amazing kitten—friendly, lovable, travels well and purrs like crazy. She couldn’t use her legs when she was found at 2 weeks old with her siblings. Her front legs work OK now, but she needs help expressing her stool and urine. She wears a diaper, which is no big deal to her. She also has megacolon, which is an enlarged colon that causes paralysis of the bowel. It’s under control, though, with a specialized diet. TaTa loves attention and enjoys being held and loved. She is very fast and gets around very well. She climbs on cat trees and on her tent all the time TaTa gets along very well with the other cats in her foster home in Long Beach and with the little dog at the home of noted medical foster Gina Gould, in Glendora, where she’s treated with Acuscope therapy. Check out her Instagram page @tata_hobc. Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies.

shiny black cat with golden eyes lies on side on blue-plaid blanket and stares at camera.

Jade, 1 year old, was found in a garage in Long Beach, dragging her back right leg. The lower half of her tail didn’t work. It turned out that she had nerve damage, possibly from a fracture. She had three surgeries—the second to shave the bone down to ease the pain and a third to release fibers in the leg—and Acuscope therapy from Gould. Aside from a slight pull in the leg, she’s fine and just needs love and attention to get her powerful purr going. She gets along with other cats but would do fine as an only girl She’ll make a great companion for someone who just wants a kitty that will sit with them. Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies

Curly Sue

Curly Sue is about a year and a half. “This girl has a special place in my heart,” Linn said. “She has had a difficult time and we are hoping to find her a foster that can give her a quieter space and time to see if will help her. She has been through a lot but has some demons she is battling. She is a very special girl.” Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies

silver tabby with white paws in enclosure,lying on back and looking at camera. Cat is lying on thick white bed.

This is Delani, whom I met personally at the shelter. She’s one of the most beautiful and affectionate cats I’ve ever known. Her back legs don’t work because of a spinal compression—it’s unknown whether it’s trauma related or congenital. Broken Cookies is working on getting her to a new home in New York where she will get tons of love and have a great life—hopefully, this will be successful, but keep an eye on Instagram in case you’d like to take her home. Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies.

brown tabby facing camera wiht left paw twisted, on a brown rug near a window

Oliver Twist—a fitting name, yes? When the shelter reached out to House of Broken Cookies, he turned on the charm, and that was that. Oliver’s front and back legs don’t work right—again, it’s unsure whether it’s congenital or because of an injury. He’s 8 months old now and is ready for surgery. Linn, Broken Cookies’ volunteers and followers and, of course, Oliver Twist are excited because they’ve just raised funds for surgery for both legs that may have him running around with his foster sisters and brothers—like a “normal” cat, whatever that is! He’d have a good time at your house as well! Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies

cat with lilac Siamese points and a white muzle and a spot on his nose looks at camera from a blue white-fleeced bed.

The amazing Lt Dan came in at 6 weeks old with both back legs backward. He can walk on his two front legs even now. In a twist—pun intended—of circumstances, the amazed rescuers watched his left hind leg turn and face forward! He has some missing bones in the knee but it appears to be functioning very well and offers the support he needs, although the right hind leg is still bent and has atrophied. He runs, climbs and gets where he needs to be. He has a heart of gold and likes to take care of the little ones—he’s quite the cat daddy! Broken Cookies is deciding how to best help him with his atrophied leg, and if surgery is the answer, he’ll be next in line. Photo courtesy of House of Broken Cookies.

Things to do, pets to support

Fix Long Beach’s ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ Casino Night: Saturday, June 22, 6–10:30 p.m., Cosmic Brewery, 20316 Gramercy Place, Torrance, $20 per ticket, available here.

It shouldn’t be a gamble to see whether Fix Long Beach can spay and neuter as many cats and dogs as possible as well as support the fosters they rescue. But it’s a great way to fund the clinics, if last year’s event was any indication! The event includes a burger bar with a vegan option, s’more bar, discounts on beer and wine, and $50 casino cash for full-size craps, poker, roulette and blackjack tables. Come dressed to win in your favorite Western wear, and wax up your lip fur during the Best Moustache contest. There will also be a 50/50 drawing; the silent auction; which includes some amazing trips; and the opportunity drawing. Prizes will go to the biggest casino winners.

Tickets are available here.

Free microchip clinic for dogs: Sunday, June 23, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Primary Care Veterinary Hospital, 2200 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach, free

Microchipping an animal, as long as the pet’s owner registers the chip through the proper channels, can be the difference between your errant cat or dog making it back home. An article on Petfinder.com cited the effectiveness of microchips in return-to-owner of pets; now, a number of animal partners are making a free one-stop for Long Beach residents to have their dogs microchipped for free! See flyer for details, and see Fix Long Beach’s free clinic calendar announcement below for cats. They’ve got to make it home, too.

Purrfectly Precious Kitten Shower: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., $10 per ticket, purchase here

While Long Beach’s first cat café is tangled up in the red tape of zoning ordinances, they’re planning to shower you with kittens! Four one-hour time slots are available a limit of 25 guests per session. You can cuddle the cute kittens while you enjoy light refreshments, enter a kitten-naming contest, and win some winsome prizes. Please—children ages 7 and up only. Of course, since it’s a kitten shower, gifts will not be denied! New toys, treats made in USA, litter litter litter!

Dine-out at Mama’s, to benefit Seal Beach Animal Care Center: Wednesday, June 26, 8:30–9:30 p.m., Mama’s Comfort Food and Cocktails, 11122 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos, menu prices vary

Mama knows what’s good for you, and she also knows what’s good for cats and dogs—funding! Having lunch or dinner at Mama’s will make 30% of your tab available for food and medical treatment for the pets at Seal Beach Animal Care Center.

Foster the Fourth orientation for dog fosters: Saturday, June 29, noon, Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, free

Fourth of July is not a pet’s favorite holiday. Loud crashes and booms from pyrotechnics, “safe,” legal or otherwise, sends them hiding and often fleeing in terror. It’s also not a great time for the shelters—they fill up with lost cats and dogs, some of them injured, and there’s a threat to the other pets already in the shelter because of space constraints. Want to help out? You’d take a shelter dog into your house for only two to four weeks while the shelter locates the owners of the errant animals. This is the third year that Live Love Pets has organized this worthwhile project—it’s dogs only, so we hope to see you at the orientation.

Fix Long Beach Free CAT Spay/Neuter Clinic: Sunday, June 30, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Ramona Park, 3301 E. 65th St., Long Beach, free spay/neuter for qualifying Long Beach residents, with appointment; free microchips, shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each—no appointment necessary.

Newborn kittens are the most euthanized pets in shelters, ours included. The best way to stop a flood is to tamp the source, and that’s why we’re here. Our appointments are fully booked, but you can come for standby at 10:30 a.m. Appointments are available for future clinics—come make one. Full details are available here.

Celebration Sunday, Meow Edition: Sunday, June 30, noon–3 p.m., Pixie Toys, 3914 Atlantic Ave.; and Averyboo Art Studios, 3908 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, crafts from free to $12; Moon Cat Café visits, $12

“Childhood buddies” Averyboo Arts and Pixie Toys celebrate 10 years in Bixby Knolls with Sunday Celebrations, this one all about cats. Averyboo Arts will feature cat-themed cats and ceramics and an open-studio visit; Pixie Toys will offer kitty storytime, whisker face painting, and party favors and snacks; and Moon Cat Café will introduce playtime with real-live adoptable cats along with a locally sourced pastry and coffee that only the cats exceed in quality. A portion of the café’s door fee will benefit rescues.

Friends of Long Beach Animals 25th anniversary theater benefit: Thursday, July 11, 6:30–10 p.m., Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 Anaheim St., Long Beach, tickets $30

Don your boas and make sure that they’re not crafted with feathers or fur! Then, sashay on down to the Long Beach Playhouse for one of the most enjoyable benefits you’ll ever attend: divine piano playing, faaabulous finger food, ravishing raffle prizes and a production of La Cage aux Folles, which will set you on fire! Tickets, which include it all, my dears, are available here.

24th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals to benefit Seal Beach Animal Care Center: Saturday, July 20, 6–9:30 p.m., Los Alamitos Racing, 4961 Katella Ave., Cypress, $3 for general, free for kids under 17, $85 for VIP dinner packages, parking free

Enjoy the most, if not the only, humane dog race anywhere! Los Al will be wriggling with wiener dogs, i.e., dachshunds, at this whimsical event that has raised over $275,000 for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center since 1996, with $12,000 earned last year through ticket and T-shirt sales. The dogs will win prizes for themselves, and the nonprofit animal care center will get goodies for their animals, too! Purchase tickets at the Care Center in advance of the event or at the door the day of. For safety reasons, please do not bring your own dog. Call the Vessels Club at (714) 820-2821 for information about the VIP package. If you have a long little doggie—dachshunds only—and want to enter him or her, call (714) 820-2690—there are a few spots left.

Pinot’s Palette Fundraiser for Fix Long Beach: Sunday, July 21, 2:30–5 p.m., 470 Pine Ave., Long Beach, $35 per artist

Remember that silly book titled When Cats Paint? After a couple of glasses, you’re sure to do as well as any of the kitty Kandinskys and Kahlos in this ridiculous book. You’ll have a great time slapping the colors on the canvas—or whatever they use while sipping a good glass of wine and helping Fix Long Beach make sure that cats—and dogs too, of course—can still paint on paper but not paint the town red breeding kittens. Doors open at 2:30, so get your pawr of wine ready. Tickets are available here.

Ongoing

Kitten Super-Bloom: to June 30, P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, $20 adoption feline fee

Kitten season has seeded the pet gardens at the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services and spcaLA with beautiful little blossoms, big and little. Oh, enough with the flowery talk. Both facilities are bulging with cats, and they need to go home. This is the only time that you can pick a flower and have it thrive instead of wilt and die. Until the end of June, you’ll have the opportunity to pay a $20 fee as long as you meet the adoption requirements.

tiny scruffy Siamese kitten

Jellybean, courtesy of Long Beach Animal Services

Bottle feeders needed desperately at shelter

This is Jellybean, and he’s eating gruel (think 6-month-old baby human in a high chair). He needs help getting all his food in his mouth and then cleaning his cutie-pie face after he’s finished eating. Photo courtesy of Long Beach Animal Care Services.

This year’s kitten season has been a downpour. Last Saturday, about 40 pets (in one day!) were brought to Long Beach Animal Care Services, and over 30 of them were kittens, many just born. Our shelter and the Long Beach Little Paws Project kitten nursery need help badly and immediately, whether you are an experienced bottle feeder or have never had a cat before. Compassion happens when the rescuing begins—private-message the shelter on its Facebook page with your contact info to help kittens in our shelter, like Jellybean. Please share the post on that page widely. If you’re not in our area, your local shelter kittens need your help, too.

Feline Social Club’s Letter-Writing Campaign, through June 23

Fans of Long Beach’s first cat café who’ve been waiting at the mousehole for it to finally open will be satisfied if not overjoyed to learn that the gears are turning in the right direction. On Monday, June 24, the founders of the Feline Good Social Club will appear before the Zoning Commission for their public hearing. Want to bat along the effort a little? Send an email to [email protected] and state why Feline Good Social Club would be a great addition to Downtown Long Beach! The founders will collect all the emails and share them with the Zoning Commission. Meanwhile, go to the cafe’s website to find out other ways you can help: volunteering, donating, flyer distribution and light-duty construction.

Donations accepted for Pets of the Homeless

Pets of the Homeless’ home page gives a self-description as the only organization focusing only on providing food and care for pets belonging to homeless people. Businesses and other organizations across the country receive in-kind donations of food and other needs that the dogs and cats’ human families can pick up at outreach locations. The following Long Beach businesses will accept your donations:

Trendi Pawz, 255 Redondo Ave., Long Beach

Belmont Heights Animal Hospital, 255 Redondo Ave., Long Beach

Paw Shoppe Pet Center, Inc., 6416 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Food and supplies are available at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00 p.m.; and at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach,Thursday from 9-11 a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Shelter-enrichment supplies requested for ACS’s cats, dogs and rabbits: drop-off Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.–4:00 p.m., shelter side of P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Canned kitten food (Royal Canin), 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

Adopt, adopt, adopt

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]. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes.

Chase Bank, 5200 East Second St., Long Beach

 Gelson’s Market, 6255 E. Second 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.

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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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