Senior Week

Virtually Pets

Mutts Adopt a Senior Pet month

Mutts © 2004 Patrick McDonnell—Distributed King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Not that Senior Week, of course. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and I’m going to put in a few words in their favor for this week.

First, what constitutes senior? For a cat, it can be 8 years old. Since cats can live a long time (the oldest I knew was nearly 22, and two who lived with me reached 18), they’ve got a lot of good years ahead to share with you. A dog’s lifespan varies with breed and size—in general, the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. A PetMD article estimates that a Great Dane, for instance, would be considered senior at around 7 and a Chihuahua possibly at 20. Chihuahuas can and do, in fact, live to ripe old ages. (Remember Wheely Willy), the brave little dog of literary merit? He lived to be 22!).

Deb kiss willy1

Wheely Willy and his “Samuel Johnson,” humane educator Deborah Turner. Photo courtesy of Deborah Turner

Because puppies, kittens and young-adult animals are more in demand than are seniors, they get passed up. This is too bad, because the size and personality of a senior pet have already been developed and you’ll know what you’re getting, whether it’s a lap pet, a playful pal or both. And most of all, it’s an act of kindness to the pet, which is what a part of living with an animal is (the other part is how happy they make you feel). Yes, you’ll probably have fewer years with them than you will a young pet, but the quality will be the same. I wouldn’t trade a day of the 10 months I spent with Old Scratch, a 17-year-old brown tabby with a snout, one crossed eye, huge ears and a resemblance to Ian McKellan.

Of course, there are things you’ll have to take care of. If you need a pet sitter, Patti Moran, the President and Founder of Pet Sitters International (PSI), recommends that you keep them exercised (having two pets in the house is always a help!) and that you research any pet sitter to make sure that they have experience and creds for caring for senior pets. You’ll need to be on the lookout for signs of failing in your pet as well: weight loss, tooth gain, dental disease or signs of dementia. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has some good suggestions for caring for an older pet. And if you have adopted a kitten, a puppy or a young adult, they will eventually age as well. Aging isn’t a disease—the pet has given you the best years of his or her life. If you love them, you’ll return the favor.

If you need any more convincing, Patrick McDonnell, creator of the beloved Mutts comic strip featuring Mooch and Earl, is the best go-to source (Earl’s namesake, McDonnell’s Jack Russell, reached 19 years old but lives on in the strip).

Assuming that you’re at least considering adopting a senior, here are suggestions from Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS). ACS is located at 7700 East Spring Street in Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park. No parking fees charged to shelter visitors.

And bring the adoption paperwork to Thai Silk Restaurant within 30 days after adoption (see address on flier) and receive a huge $25 off a tasty Thai meal!

Thai Silk

By the way, just got great news: Lilac, the deaf pittie mix featured in last week’s Pet Projects, went home yesterday with her loving new family. This is the type of thing that makes our day!


Brownie (ID# A503699) is his name—so far. Brownie is a smooth-coated Chihuahua who has a lot of personality that will suggest a whole lot of brighter monikers for this little guy. At 9 years old, he’s got a lot of good years ahead, with countless walks and cuddles.


Doogle the poodle (ID# A596976) is up for a close snoogle with a loving human. Doogle is about 10 years old—again, plenty of good years. He looks so fluffy and sweet after a good bath!


Shelter staff and volunteers call this sweet guy their little man! His name’s Berkley (ID# A595022), which seems to fit him well. He seems wise and cultured, and trots along nicely. Again, at 12, he can enjoy many years with the right person.


Jade (ID# A596802)is a dear, sweet 10-year-old female brown tabby who’s had a life as a neglected mama. Can you change that for her? Brown tabbies make excellent companions in the autumn, when the sun glistens off their fur; in the winter (if we ever get one), curling up and purring on the pillow; in the spring, as their inner kitten awakens; and in the summer, despite the heat, finding the sunniest space in the room and going to sleep. Why try to figure them out? Just take one home!

Things to Do, Pets to Support

Fix Online Fund-Raiser

Online Fund-Raiser for Fix Long Beach

November 10–December 18 at this link

Here’s a charming way to support Fix Long Beach and get your holiday shopping done early. Custom Stepping Stones will create an artistic engraved stone to your specs for you, your pet, a loved one or all three! Simply pick out your stone and the coloring, input your wording on the drop-down menu and select “FIX.” A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to Fix Long Beach to help cover a spay or a neuter procedure for a dog a or a cat.

Fix Long Beach logoHope for Paws

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic

Saturday, November 11, 7:30AM–4:00PM, MLK Park, 1950 Lemon Avenue and PCH, Long Beach


The grassroots free spay/neuter organization Fix Long Beach invites you to make an appointment for your unfixed dog, or get vouchers for free procedures for your dog or cat! These clinics are generously sponsored through Hope for Paws and Eldad Hagar.

Visit this link for qualifications and an application for your appointment. There is also a donation button to help Fix Long Beach continue their efforts. Click the organization’s Amazon Wish List link to donate items, or bring them to the event if you find a better deal!

Let’s continue to help make Long Beach no kill, one pet at a time!


Walk with Friends of Long Beach Animals at the Veterans Day Parade

Saturday, November 11, 10:00AM, Setup at the intersection of 56th Street and Dairy Avenue, Long Beach

Free event

You are invited to march with or without your dog to help us honor and appreciate the veterans and canines who have fought so bravely to give us our freedom. Well-behaved, licensed dogs are welcome to join us, but keep in mind that there are loud bands, cheerleaders and horses. Consider whether your dog might be disturbed by the noise. The parade starts promptly at 10:00AM. Find our group by going to the Parade Formation Area at the intersection of 56th Street and Dairy Avenue and looking for the bright blue truck with red, white and blue balloons. We have limited space to in the truck for those that want to join us and are unable to walk the parade route. If you have any questions please contact us here

MoonCAT adoption event

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Moon Cat Café Adoption Event

Saturday, November 18, 11:00AM–4:00PM, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway (former El Torito location), Long Beach

Adoption fees apply; include spay/neuter, vaccines, vetting

CatPAWS is again partnering with the wonderful Moon Cat Cafe for another fun adoption event! Enjoy delicious gourmet coffee and fresh-baked pastries while hanging out with our amazing adoptable cats! Moon Cat Cafe is the first ever Mobile Cat Cafe and is one of the very few cat cafes here in SoCal! Come experience what it’s like to be in a mobile cat café, and make some new kitty friends!

Wag n Walk

El Dorado Park Wag ’n’ Walk

Saturday, November 18, 10:00AM, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway (former El Torito location), Long Beach

Adoption fees apply; include spay/neuter, vaccines, vetting

Bring your furry friends and join the El Dorado Dog Park Association in a 1.84 mile walk around the bike path on Saturday, November 18th at 10:00 AM. All participants (of the non-furry kind) will receive an event t-shirt, water-bottle, and photo. Tickets are $35 per walker and all proceeds will go toward new benches as well as additional water fountain features for the park. Tickets are tax deductible through Partners of Parks and can be purchased here.

Holiday Bone-anza - 8.5  x 11

Friends of El Dorado Park’s Holiday Bone-anza

Sunday, November 19, 10:00AM–4:00PM, Good Neighbor Park, 2800 Studebaker Road, Long Beach

Free to attend

This year’s Bone-anza will be a fun-filled event featuring food trucks, vendors for your holiday shopping, contests, a DJ featuring Christmas sounds, elves, your doggie’s photo with Santa, and a silent auction and a raffle featuring great gifts from our sponsors. All proceeds from both the calendar (see Countin the Days in Humane Ways) and the event will go to support enhancements of the El Dorado Dog Park.


Pet Adoption Event at PFE

Cat Adoption Center - Copy

Saturday, December 2, 11:00AM–3:00PM, Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach

Adoption fees apply

Find your new BFF and everything that he or she could ever want or need, in one place. Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) and other rescues will be bringing some wonderful dogs ready to go home with their new people. Everything is high quality at Pet Food Express, and that includes the adoptive pets! Check out the Cat Adoption Center, featuring fine felines from Long Beach Animal Care Services and Stray Cat Alliance.

Pet First Aid-CPR Flyer PFE Jan 20 2018

Pet CPR First Aid and Training

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 11:00AM–4:00PM, Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach

$75 registration fee

Register early for this inclusive workshop that will prepare you for emergency situations involving pets. The workshop is appropriate for individuals interested in working in the veterinary field, for animal shelters and rescues, as police officers, or simply as Good Samaritans and prepared pet owners. All materials will be provided. Early registration is recommended, as seating is limited. For more information, see flier above.



Available Now: Helen Sanders CatPAWS 13-Month 2018 “Show Us Your Kitties” Calendar

The new CatPAWS calendar, subtitled “Rescue Is Love,” is available for $10 at this link. All the pets are CatPAWS rescues, now in loving homes. Large, full-color photos for each month, plus honorarium thumbnails on individual days. A mosaic of all entries is included as well. All funds from the entry contest and calendar sales will go toward veterinary care, food and other needs of the wonderful kitties up for adoption (see them all here!). You may also pick up a calendar at one of our adoption centers in Seal Beach or Long Beach, California:

Petsmart, 12341 Seal Beach Boulevard, Seal Beach

Petco, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Free Pet Food Distributions

BEacon For Him

Papa, a big “teddy bear” of a dog, sits with his human in Ashlee’s Pet Care station at Beacon for Him.

Beacon for Him has extended an outreach for people experiencing homelessness and their pets. Pet food, primarily dog food, is available at their facility at 439 West Anaheim Street, Mondays from 9:00AM to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00PM. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control and, of course, pet food are always gratefully accepted.

Pet food bank

The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action. COA is located at 515 East 3rd Street, Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9:00AM to 11:00AM.

 Shelter Enrichment

Shelter-Enrichment Supplies Needed for ACS Dogs!

Drop-off: Wednesdays through Fridays, 10:00AM–5:30PM and Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00AM–4:00PM, 7700 East Spring Street, Long Beach

Individual donations requested

ACS is continuing our kennel enrichment activities for our canine guests here and could use so more donations (there are plenty for the cats!). Here is what’s needed:

  • creamy peanut butter
  • yogurt
  • beef broth (canned or in the box)
  • chicken broth (canned or in the box)
  • carabiner clips(heavy duty)
  • ice cube trays
  • pipe cleaners
  • toilet paper/paper towel rolls
  • corks
  • catnip
  • incense and essential oils
  • canned cat and dog food

Donations are tax deductible. Our pups say thanks so much!

 Shelter Shots

Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) Information for Low-Cost Vaccinations and Spay/Neuter Clinics

7700 East Spring Street at entrance to El Dorado Park (no fee for shelter visitors), Long Beach

Prices vary

Vouchers that take a big bite, so to speak, out of the cost of spay/neuter procedures are available at ACS during their public hours. Visit this link for information on clinics that accept the vouchers and for other spay/neuter assistance.

For low-cost vaccines, visit this link. Note that 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. Vaccination and microchip services are provided for pets residing in any city. Licensing is provided for residents within our jurisdiction at Saturday clinics; please bring your renewal notice and rabies certificate with you.

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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.”