And neuters too, of course. We met Adriana Rivas, her son, Dameon Casique, and her daughter, Maya Rivas, at the August 31 Fix Your Feline Day. The event was held at the Bixby Animal Clinic and offered spay and neuter free of charge to individuals with financial needs. Adriana and her family had brought in their two adult cats to be spayed, and also trucked along their new foundling, Spooky, to give him an idea of what he’ll be in for in a few weeks, when he’s old enough. Spooky, too, is a product of unchecked litters and, had it not been for the Rivas-Casique family, would have been a casualty of them as well.

“Spooky was crossing the street on Atlantic and Market,” Casique told us. “He’d been dumped, I guess. Cars were going right over him.”

Adriana Rivas stopped traffic on Atlantic, and Dameon scooped up the tiny kitten—one throwaway kid out of the hundreds of thousands who didn’t get so lucky.

The event was sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) and the Bixby Animal Clinic in Long Beach. In what seemed to be an appropriately scheduled stopgap for giving birth to unwanted litters, Fix Your Feline Day took place right before Labor Day. FOLBA distributed flyers in areas of Long Beach that have a concentration of low-income households and advertised in the Pennysaver in order to reach a population that had the desire to alter their cats but not the means to do so. Dr. Ata Abrishami and the staff of Bixby Animal Clinic gave up their Sunday—by all indications, gladly—to perform spay and neuter procedures on around 50 felines whose human companions’ hearts and senses of responsibility are bigger than their incomes.

The long line for the big fix

“We wanted to reach the people who really needed the help,” said Nona Daly, FOLBA vice president. “Today went really well!”

Adriana Rivas’s family agreed. They were delighted to have an opportunity to protect their pets and help control overpopulation.

“This is wonderful,” said Maya Rivas, an eloquent Long Beach elementary school student who wants to be—no surprise—a veterinarian. “It hurts me to see animals in the street. This will help a lot of unfortunate cats.”

Our next two articles will make up the second part of our series about Pet Overpopulation: Stewards and Organizations. In it, we will introduce Friends of Long Beach Animals and five other local spay/neuter organizations, as well as one doctor who helps make it all possible.

Ongoing Events and Adoptions

A Toy for Every Animal
The City of Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) receives many requests for ways to volunteer to help the animals at our shelter. Currently, Animal Care Services is promoting the slogan “A Toy for Every Animal” to improve health and wellness. Chew toys like the Red Kong toys help keep animals’ minds and bodies engaged, leading to greater health and a higher rate of adoption.

Young Abby is delighted to think of the pooch getting her donated toy

HOW YOU CAN HELP The City of Long Beach Animal Care Services has implemented a new program for collecting all sizes of Red Kong toys for shelter dogs at LBACS. The irresistible chew toy is indestructible and safe. It can be easily cleaned and disinfected after each use.

PURCHASING A TOY Purchase all sizes of Red Kong toys directly here or at most pet stores. Either 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

DONATIONS 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.

To view adoptable dogs, volunteer or donate, visit

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 (Long Beach Small Dog Adoption).


Sept. 6
Animal Acres Gala

Animal Acres’ unique “cowtail party” begins at 5 p.m. for mingling with celebrity hosts such as Carol Liefer, Ed Begley Jr. and Darryl Hannah, and watching awards presentations. Then it’s off to the sanctuary rose garden to enjoy a gourmet vegan dinner with desserts, and then dancing until 11 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Animal Acres Emergency Rescue Fund and will build a 14-stall barn to house saved lives. Registration deadline is Sept. 1. $150 individual, $250 VIP. 5200 Escondido Canyon Rd., Acton, CA 93510, (619)269-5404

2008 Gala Chair Darryl Hannah and Violet, courtesy Animal Acres.

Sept. 12–13
Basic Animal Emergency Services Training
Be prepared when disaster strikes. Learn about animal first aid, shelter setup and response, incident command systems and more. This course trains you to be able to assist in your community, and it is the first step to becoming an American Humane Red Star Animal Emergency ServicesT volunteer. You can make a difference for animals that are all too often left behind when disasters strike. This class will get you ready! Presented by American Humane. $85 members, $100 nonmembers. This class is at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA, 361 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105, (626) 792-7151
Click here

Sept. 18
Coffee with the Commander
Join East Division Commander Cynthia Renaud for a cup and a chat, and maybe a biscuit or two. K-9 Officer Winston will be there to discuss his career as one of LBPD’s top dogs, and his human partner, K-9 Officer Joe Valenzuela, will translate. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m. at Polly’s Bakery Café, 4680 E. Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach. Contact the East Division at (562) 570-5880.

Sept. 21
Sunday Night Live Comedy
Comedian Lynda Montgomery hosts two performances of rowdy comedy, and if any one can find the humor in animal rescue, it’s Lynda. Performances are at 6 and 8 p.m. and are accompanied by wine and a raffle. Buy tickets at AMRT Rescue in front of Petco on Sunday afternoons or at the Launderpets for $10, or pay $15 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Friends of Long Beach Animals and Animal Match Rescue Team for spay/neuter education and animal welfare. At Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach 90804

Sept. 27
Seal Beach Wag ’n’ Walk
The Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s annual event is a chance for you to take a healthy walk with your pet and raise money and awareness for the animals in residence at Seal Beach Animal Care Center. Long Beach neighborhood activist Justin Rudd and his bulldog Rosie will be grand marshals. Participants need not be accompanied by an animal. Fetch information at our Web site.

Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals
The Walk for Farm Animals is coming to Santa Monica, and the farm animals are depending upon you to step up and help raise awareness and funds for Farm Sanctuary’s vital rescue, education and advocacy efforts! Take steps toward compassion by participating in your local Walk. Walk begins at 9 a.m. at the Santa Monica City Hall Lawn, 1685 Main St., Santa Monica 90401. A post-walk drumming circle will follow. Companion animals welcome, of course!

Oct. 4
Interfaith Blessing of the Animals

The Interfaith Blessing of the Animals takes place at noon on St. Francis Day at Marine Stadium, Long Beach. The event is free to the public and their pets. Seniors, families, singles, and children are encouraged to bring their dogs, cats, birds, lizards, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, fish, tortoises and turtles, and other well-behaved pets. After brief orations from each of approximately seven leaders of various faiths in raiment representative of his or her faith, the menagerie of participants will have the opportunity to line up single-file to be blessed by any or all of the clergy. Olive branches and holy water will be available.

Compassionate Cuisine

Join in the celebration of World Vegetarian Day! Delicious vegetarian dishes to sample, music by Makena and appearances by special guest speakers. Tickets are $35 and available online; all proceeds will benefit Animal Acres, a framed animal sanctuary and compassionate living center. The event takes place 5–9 p.m. at the Second City Council Gallery, 435 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach 90802.

Oct. 19
Host a Humane Bloc Party
The 2008 elections are right around the corner, and the opportunity for animal advocates to form a “Humane Voting Bloc” and have an impact at the voting booth has never been greater. Join the Humane Society Legislative Fund as we party to get political for animals with our nationwide Humane Bloc Party on Sunday, October 19th! Party Animals is a fun and unique way to support the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The HSLF works at the state and federal level on animal protection legislation and also works to support humane candidates for office. By hosting a Humane Bloc Party, you can invite your friends, neighbors and co-workers to party with a purpose and become part of the Humane Voting Bloc! It won’t be a party without you.

Oct. 26
Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade and Pet Adoption Fair

See Pumpkin Pups, Masked Meowvels, Pirate Parrots and all the critters out for their own trick or treat. The parade starts at 2:30 p.m. on the sidewalks of 2nd Street.  Pre-parade entertainment, vendors and adoption fair will be held at Livingston Park, Belmont Shore and will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s the biggest Halloween pet event in the world! Presented by and Justin Rudd. (You might want to stay for the huge Kids’ Halloween Costume Contest at 4:30 p.m!)

Please e-mail any Long Beach-area animal-related events to [email protected].

Evening at the Stray Cat Club
The Stray Cat Alliance presents a gala evening of entertainment, vegan entrees and a three-course dinner, silent auctions, a masquerade and Stray Cat Martinis! The event takes place from 5:30–9:30 p.m. at the Historic Ebell Club, 743 S Lucerne Blvd, Los Angeles 90005. Enjoy pet patter from the evening’s host, Warren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show. Honorees include councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Richard Alarcon. Tickets online, $175, $200 at the door; proceeds benefit the Stray Cat Alliance. If you wish to donate an item for the auction or to volunteer, please call (818) 516-1622.