Pets aren’t presents, but here’s a couple of gift certificates anyway

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

We’ve come a long way from the puppy or kitten in a giftwrapped box under the tree, with air holes punched in the container for the poor little guy to gasp through. The call of “Adopt, don’t shop!” has been sounded often enough for adoption numbers to increase significantly—in 2017, the ASPCA reported an 18.5 percent increase in national adoptions—a little over 3 million shelter animals yearly, up from 2.7 million in 2011. Long Beach Animal Care Services also reports a steady increase in adoptions through 2017; if the pattern holds—and I think it will—2018 stats will show increase as well.

OK, so now, people are adopting pets for holiday and birthday gifts instead of buying them from breeders, Craigslist and other social media (ugh), or pet stores, the latter of which will (ha ha) be illegal as of Jan. 1 unless the cat, dog or bunny comes from a shelter or a rescue.

That’s fine, but please, no surprises. I grabbed the graphic below from Operation Empty Cages’ Facebook page. Take into consideration everything it says, particularly “It was an unwanted pet.” Pets aren’t gifts. They’re friends and family members, and they have feelings, too. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make them part of your holiday tradition—after all, they’re joining your family or even making one. In that spirit, here’s the holiday gift certificate that you can give your loved one. What you do is present it as a gift and then accompany the prospective companion human to a shelter or a rescue—as many as necessary until he or she falls in love. Then, you pay the adoption fee, and you can also go on a shopping excursion for litter boxes, toys, leashes, harnesses, food, treats—pet accessories have become as wide ranging and delightful as toys and chocolate. Finally, you get to be the dogmother or kitty sitter or bunny bubbe for this delightful critter.

Graphic by Michelle Manion.

Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) make it even easier. For one-stop adopt, you can purchase a $50 voucher that will pay the fee of a cat, a dog or a rabbit at its shelter at 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter guests).

Graphic courtesy of LBACS.

And of course, the pets. Here are some fur buddies ready to go home from several shelters and rescues. I’d say that this is the best Christmas catalog ever—but again, pets aren’t presents.

LBACS, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Shadow (ID#A614577) is a loving senior German shepherd mix. He was brought to the shelter on two occasions—the second time, his owner didn’t return to bring him home. He’s 14 years old, knows all his commands, and deserves better than this in his late years. Could you bring him home for a holiday dinner and an extended stay, like forever? Shadow deserves his place in the sun.

Wrigley Kittens

This stunning silver tabby is Earl Gray. He was part of a litter of kittens who, along with their mama, were rescued in the spring of 2017. All his brothers and sisters and even their mom were adopted, but Earl is still in foster care after all these months. He is shy around humans at first, but he does warm up, and he loves other cats—you can see him here with his foster brother. Earl has the softest fur ever and gorgeous green eyes. His biggest wish this holiday season is a forever home. Is Earl Gray perhaps your cup of tea? To learn more about adopting Earl Gray, please email [email protected].

Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue

Her picture speaks for itself—Dream is a gorgeous Siamese flame point. Dream was discovered in a cat colony close to the 91 freeway entrance. She was new to the area and likely dumped, as a good number of colony cats are. She was found to be only a year old and likely had it rough on those streets. But Dream walked right up to the feeder and meowed for help. She had no microchip but had been fixed. Her family could not be found, and so she was vetted and combo-tested positive for FIV. This is not a death sentence, by the way, and she’s otherwise healthy. She loves kids and adults but doesn’t do well with other cats. If you want to give Dream her dream home, email [email protected].

Helen Sanders CatPAWS

Jeepers, creepers, and all that! Ripley was on her last day at a county shelter having been taken there when her family moved. Then, believe it or not, at the last minute, CatPAWS pulled her. She was adopted but became stressed and allergic to the resident dog. (Who knew that was a thing?) She developed asthma and hid. She is a dear and gentle girl who is a little anxious and hides but so loving once she feels safe. She needs a quiet home, perfect for someone who wants one kitty. Once she is relaxed, the asthma subsides. CatPAWS will waive her fee for an approved adopter and will send home medicine just in case. To adopt Ripley, fill out the application on this link and submit it.

Live Love Animal Rescue

Talk about Greek gods—Zeus is a gloriously beautiful, majestic Siberian husky, one year old. His rescuer said that Zeus is the most magnificent dog that has ever dogged. Note the ice-blue eyes in the Hollywood head shot. Zeus is being professionally trained at The Balanced Dog in Hermosa Beach because he’s super-smart and his human needs to keep up with him, both physically and mentally! If you’re active and want a companion to run and exercise with, Zeus is your guy. In fact, his trainer at The Balanced Dog wants to keep up with him. If you think you can, email [email protected].

Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA)

Loki is 5 years old and was living a lovely life until the landlord stepped back from the pet policy and said, “That cat has to go.” Poor boy wound up at the shelter, in a cage and missing his family, until he caught the eye of one of the FOLBA volunteers. He’s now at Bixby Animal Clinic, 3938 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, and is microchipped, neutered and vaccinated. Can you help Loki get lucky again?

Fix Long Beach

Can it get any cuter or sweeter than Peter? He’s adorable, but you should have seen the “before” picture! Peter is about 7 years old and has had a lot of medical work. He doesn’t look sick here, but that’s because he isn’t. He’s had several teeth pulled, but he doesn’t have any diet restrictions and is playful and sweet. Fix Long Beach has a way with healing, as you probably know. The final step is a forever home. If you’re interested, contact [email protected].

Sparky and the Gang

Uncle Eddie is a 5-year-old Jack Russell/rat terrier mix. He is in foster care because his human is terminally ill. He’s never met anyone he doesn’t like—he’s smart, well behaved, and knows a lot of cool tricks. Sometimes he gets stressed out if he’s left alone for a really long time and has had accidents, but regular walking helps with that. Uncle Eddie will bring along his very own crate, bed, car seat (he loves to go for rides) and leash. Contact [email protected] to adopt him!

Things to do, pets to support

Haute Dogs’ Operation Santa Paws: Saturday, Dec. 22, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS), 3950 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Santa Paws himself (you may know him as Justin Rudd) and his helpers (you) will bring toys and goodies to all the good cats, dogs and bunnies and cleaning supplies for the staff in three shelters: Long Beach Animal Care Services, spcaLA, Seal Beach Animal Care Center and Orange County Animal Care. (See the wish list here.) Participants will meet at LBACS’s parking lot, pass out items at the Long Beach locations, and either caravan to the other shelters or just do Long Beach, if preferred. If you or a business or organization you’re connected with wants to start an independent collection, download a poster here and follow the instructions on the Santa Paws website. All information is readily available there. Happy holidays to all critters and those of us who love them!

CAT CLINIC! Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic, sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA): Saturday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Cherry Park, 1901 E. 45th St., Long Beach, free spay/neuter for qualifying Long Beach residents; free microchips; shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each.

It’s the law to fix your pets in Long Beach and many Southern California cities. To add to this, cats can go into heat at 6 months old and have three litters a year, with an average of four kittens per litter. And those kittens have kittens. Who wants to do the math? Fix your cat instead! To provide this costly service to our Long Beach residents who otherwise couldn’t afford it, Fix Long Beach offers this service free of charge. Make an appointment through IM or email at [email protected]; include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) phone number, (4) pet’s name, (5) age, (6) sex, (7) breed, and (8) weight. Standby available at 8:30 a.m. Vouchers are provided through Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) Spay/Neuter Assistance Voucher Program for pets without appointments or dogs too large to fit on the vehicle—they may be used at specified veterinary clinics. For both spay/neuter and vaccinations, all dogs must be on sturdy leashes and all cats must be in dedicated carriers


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].

Petco Animal Supplies, Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave., Long Beach

PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange, 3871 N Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach

PetSmart Signal Hill, 2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill

PetSmart Cerritos, 12741 Towne Center Dr, Cerritos

PetSmart Compton, 1775 South Alameda St., Compton

PetSmart Garden Grove, 9835 Chapman Ave, Garden Grove

PetSmart Seal Beach, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach

Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach:

 Gelson’s Market, 6255 E. Second St.

Chase Bank, 5200 E. Second St., Long Beach

Long Beach Shelter forgives license penalties: through Dec. 31

Merry Christmas! Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) is forgiving all past license penalties and fines for Long Beach residents. If your pet’s license has lapsed, bring it  , visit: 7700 E. Spring St. Long Beach, CA 90815, call: 562-570-PETS or online at:

Long Beach Little Paws Project needs donations

The most vulnerable animals in the public shelter system are kittens under two pounds. These fragile babies, especially those not yet eating on their own, are typically euthanized on intake at most public shelters. In an effort to change the fate of far too many kittens, two non-profit rescue organizations, The Little Lion Foundation and Helen Sanders CatPAWS, have launched a joint effort to create and operate a kitten nursery. This nursery will give kittens too young to be adopted or those who need medical care a safe place to heal and grow. Newborn kittens are fragile and vulnerable. You can tell by those photos—if you look closely, you’ll see the beautiful cat that each of them will grow to be. Please read all about them here, and please, please donate.

2009 Pet Calendars!

Deck your walls with vows to rescue! We have a growing list of calendars that feature rescued pets who’ve found great homes! Your purchase of a calendar will help each rescue continue its quest to provide the best possible world for animals! All proceeds go to the rescue, not to mention paying for the printing. These are nice calendars!

Ordering information is on the links.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS “Show Us Your Kitties” calendar

Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation

Low-Cost Pet-Vaccination Clinics: For schedule, visit this link

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.

Free Pet Food Distributions

Pet food is available at Beacon for Him Ministries, 439 West Anaheim St., Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control meds and pet food are always gratefully accepted.

The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action, located at 515 E. Third St., Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Pets of the Homeless provides many collection places across the country to help homeless people to feed and care for their animals. Please support them through a cash donation, or bring pet food to the Long Beach-area drop-off center, Trendi Pawz Grooming, 3726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach. Access this link for resources and donation areas in SoCal and across the country.

Shelter Enrichment - Copy

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

Creamy peanut butter, 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 all are needed. Donations are tax deductible.

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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.”