No More Long Hours in the Waiting Room: ACS To Hire Full-Time Vet

1:19pm | Animals at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) will no longer have to sit around scratching as they wait to be seen for inoculations or illness, and emergency care will be administered more efficiently. The Long Beach City Council’s May 2010 recommendation for approval of the recruitment of a full-time state-licensed veterinarian for the shelter will result in improvement in the health of animals—and people—throughout the city and other areas serviced by ACS. The effort began in 2009 with a joint recommendation of council members Suja Lowenthal, Gary DeLong and Patrick O’Donnell and was passed by unanimous vote by the entire council.

“Their leadership on this has been paramount,” said ACS manager John Keisler. “We can now provide the care needed for shelter animals. We’re moving from one hour of service a day to eight. And there will be significant cost savings as well as better care for lost and homeless pets.”

The shelter’s medical needs had been served for about 20 years by the Dr. Loren Eslinger, who passed away in December 2009. Dr. Eslinger had generously donated her time and later received hourly contract pay. Keisler said, however, that her private practice limited her to about an hour a day, during her lunchtime. At present, the shelter pays a local private vet as a contract worker. Emergency needs and spay/neuter surgery are handled by sending the animals to a veterinary hospital, also contracted through the shelter. The annual salary range is $85,000 to $105,000. Hiring a full-time vet will not only further implement the health of the pet but will also incur less cost to the city than contracting services out, although after-hours emergencies may still need contracted services.

Among the full-time vets responsibilities are routine and emergency for sick and injured shelter impounds; advisory to shelter staff, Department of Health and Human Services, and the public; quarantine and rabies testing and investigation; aid in investigation of animal mistreatment and abuse; directing and overseeing the humane euthanasia of animals; and providing for the health and welfare of animals during disasters. Human residents of the Long Beach area will benefit from the vet’s involvement in rabies investigation, quarantines, public information and the knowledge that a pet lost during a disaster will be well cared for and will be returned if he or she is properly licensed and microchipped.

“At the end of the day, this is where people’s license fees go,” Keisler said.

Keisler is enthusiastic about the developments that he hopes to implement, including attracting private grants to fund spay/neuter and other services. He also said that, now that the shelter has a state vet permit, veterinary medical students can perform their residency at ACS, which is a win-win for everyone and features shelter animals in the center of the winner’s circle.

Qualified candidates are invited to submit a letter of interest, a resume and a copy of their current veterinary license no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 21, to Patty Palmeri, Special Projects, Animal Care Services Bureau, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, CA 90815 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The position requires two years of progressively responsible experience in veterinary medicine, a valid license to practice veterinary medicine issued by the State of California Veterinary Medical Board, a demonstrated knowledge of herd health management, experience with shelter medicine, and excellent written and oral communication skills. For a complete list of responsibilities, knowledge, salary and qualifications, click here.

Literary lions reign at Apostrophe Books
Housecats were the fictional guests of honor on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Apostrophe Books. Authors Lee Wardlaw and P.I Maltbie and illustrator Eugene Yelchin signed their children’s books that feature cats, one as a genuine contender as man’s best friend and the other as—well, a cat, as related in Japanese poetic format. A portion of the sales were donated to Friends of Long Beach Animals.

Picasso and Minou
by Maltbie, beautifully illustrated by Pau (Pau! Ain’t that great for a draw-er of kitties?) Estrada, takes and runs on all four feet with the possibly apocryphal tale of the cat who brought Picasso a sausage every day. Minou, a feline who lived with the artist during his Blue Period, was said to have brought his master the Master his daily meat and helped them both to stave off starvation. In this story, illustrated with lovely renditions of the city of Paris and embellished with Picasso’s art and portraits of his friends, Minou is unceremoniously left to fend for himself because Picasso can’t sell any of his depressing blue-toned paintings. Spurned by bourgeoisie diners and waiters in a fancy restaurant, Minou happens upon a happy, carefree group of carnies who feed him stew and present him with a supplemental sausage, which he takes to a (thankfully) grateful Picasso.

No one knows where the actual Minou allegedly got the sausage, but Maltbie uses her literary devices of sausages and circuses to bring Picasso’s Blue Period into his Rose Period, during which he painted several carnival performers. She also leaves the reader, with a wink, at the Cubist Period as Minou turns up her nose at one odd example.

The appendix pages at the end include a photographic print of Picasso with the real-life Minou, a key to the personages in some of the drawings in the book, and a brief gallery walk through the three pages mentioned in the book. The author’s note clarifies the story elements for the reader. We highly recommend Picasso and Minou for school art programs as well as for introducing children to a great artist.

is a form of haiku poetry. Like Haiku, senryu has 17 or fewer syllables, but instead of facing the reader with nature or deep contemplation of an idea, its content is clever and playful and often pokes fun at the subject. Won Ton (not really his name, as he’ll tell you at the end in an Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats sense) is a shelter cat, and this neat little picture book carries him from The Shelter (“Just like home! Or so I’ve been told”) to The Choosing (“Free! Free at last! Yet, one claw snags, clings to what’s known”) to The Car Ride (“Letmeoutletmeoutletmeoutletmeout.”) and so forth up to ultimate love of his new Boy. If a picture book was ever multileveled, this is another. A young reader will learn of adoption, poetic form and, of course, a cat’s point of view.

The bankruptcy filing of Borders Books and the projected closing of two of its stores in Long Beach and one in Cerritos inspires us to combine saving our remaining bookstores—especially the wonderful independent ones sprouting up here and there—with helping animals. Bookstores, like libraries, are gathering places for discussion, art, events, and sharing like minds and learning from those that differ. They’re an invaluable connection to civility, and living without them is unthinkable. Visit Apostrophe Books at 4712 E. 2nd St. and buy one or both of these wonderful books. They have a number of paw-tographed copies still available.

Virtually Pets
Pets at Animal Care Services (ACS) were the happy recipients of valentines hung on their kennels during the Valentines Day Card Contest judging, and they were given special goodies and treats for the Yappy Hour afterward. Justin Rudd’s Haute Dogs nonprofit organization presented the event. Kettering third-grader Gigi Miller won the contest with a many-layered cardboard concoction that featured everyone she knew getting a dog, with a big thank-you to the city at the end.

Miss Southern California Nicole Dona stands at the head of a long line of heartfelt greetings.

We were hoping to take a few sharp photos of the pets in their cages so that you’d be enticed to adopt, but to tell the truth, they came out looking horrible—you couldn’t see the pets for the bars. The only one that developed was the odd-looking cat seen between the goodies table. It turned out to be Justin Rudd’s official photog, Jim “Woody” Woods, who was hoping to be adopted by one of the judges.

Do You Know This Fellow?

It looks as if Growltiger had wandered off the set of CATS, but this is actually a very sweet fellow who wandered into the Naples area a few days ago. According to one of the neighbors, he’s very sweet and seems to be tame, but he may need some basic veterinary treatment. If you know the owner or want to take him home, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Pet Projects

Cats partners with ACS and FOLBA in the interest of Cats—and Dogs, Rabbits, Miniature Horses….Feb. 11–27, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach
Musical Theatre West (MTW) is proud to announce its continued partnership with Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) for its upcoming production of CATS, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Patrons attending performances will be able to meet and greet ambassadors from Long Beach Animal Care Services and purr-fectly adorable cats who are looking for a new home. Long Beach Animal Care Services provides food, water and hospitality for more than 11,500 animals. Funding comes partly through licenses and fees, but is also reliant on donations from individuals and businesses. For tonight’s (Thursday, Feb. 17) performance, a percentage of the profits will go toward FOLBA’s spay/neuter, humane education and shelter care programs. If you love cats, CATS and FOLBA, please contact the Musical Theatre West box office. Carpenter Performing Arts Center is located at 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach. Separate litter boxes for men and women. Click here for tickets and price and seating info.

“Dining for Dollars” AMRT Benefit, Weds. March2, Belmont Shore Super Mex

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Super Mex will donate 20 percent of your check for its great Mexican food to benefit Animal Match Rescue Team To be part of this heartfelt program, print out the flyer and show it to your server when you go. Super Mex Belmont Shore is located at 4711 E. Second St. Click here for the flyer.

Low-cost Vaccination Clinic, Weds. March 12, Houghton Park
Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) will sponsor a low-cost vaccination clinic, offering vaccinations and microchips for dogs and cats at the Houghton Park Center for Families, 6301 Myrtle Ave., 10 a.m.–noon. For more information, click here.

FOLBA Meet and Greet, March 16, Long Beach Playhouse
Friends of Long Beach Animals will sponsor a Meet and Greet in the gallery of the Long Beach Playhouse on Weds., March 16, from 6:30–8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and there will be a no-host bar. Ralph Brunson will provide the evening’s entertainment at the piano. Attendees will be brought up to date on exciting plans for the upcoming year and will have the opportunity to give their input and to mingle with fellow animal lovers. An RSVP to (562) 9898-SNIP (7647) is not required but would be helpful in planning the evening. The playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach.

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