PET POST: Little Hero, Big Life

Deborah Turner with commemorative plaque for Wheely Willy in ACS’s Memorial Garden. Photo courtesy of Deborah Turner.
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In December 2009, book and animal lovers, both sound of body and with disabilities, lost a brave little soul whose spirit made him a hero.  

Wheely Willy was a Chihuahua who was found as a puppy in a garbage can with both legs useless; nevertheless, he trotted quickly to fame with the help of a specially made wheelchair and lived to the impressive age of 22. If you’re not familiar with the series of books that his mom, Deborah Turner, wrote about him or haven’t seen him in action on Discovery Channel’s "Animal Planet" or in classrooms helping to teach humane education, click here for his full story.

On July 10, Willy’s memorial plaque was officially unveiled at the Memorial Garden at Long Beach Animal Care Services. Comedienne Lynda Montgomery and former Friends of Long Beach Animals President Shirley Vaughan, also an ACS employee, emcee’d the show. Montgomery said she “knew Willy before he was a celebrity” and talked about the little dog’s climb to fame, which wasn’t as hard as it might have seemed, wheels notwithstanding. 

“As you remember, it was raining that day — God was crying,” Montgomery said, recalling the memorial held for him in January last year.

The plaque was ordered from a company that the ACS staff had found several years ago at the Orange County Swap Meet — no one could remember the name of the place, but if you like the look of the stone, go to the Orange County Fairgrounds on Saturday or Sunday and walk until you see a booth with a lot of pebbles made into designs. It will be installed next to the two stones created for the deceased Animal Care Services mascots.

“Willy wasn’t a mascot, but he was an ambassador for shelter animals,” Vaughan said.

Turner gave a quavering thanks to the guests for their presence, love and support.

“Willy made me understand that there are good people in the world,” she said.

The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. 


Virtually Pets

The little dog was found on the street in Long Beach near downtown. She had been roaming the area for two years and was scared to death of people. She weighed only 5 pounds and had not been spayed. She had had puppies (“Do we really need more Chihuahuas?” was the rescuers comment.) She’s been fixed and has had dental work and all her shots. 

Isn’t she gorgeous? She was found running around in the rescuer’s neighborhood. As above, she had not been fixed and of course had no tags or microchip. She’s about a year old and is ready to be spayed.

Both of the above beauties are available for adoption. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Maggie May
Yeah, yeah, we know — wake up, Maggie, we think we got something to say to you — and we hope that it’s that someone has fallen for you and is ready to give you a forever home. Mags was found paralyzed with fear in traffic in Vernon and needs a rescue (or home) to take her in. She’s only 3 months old and sweet as sugar. E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to adopt her.

Pet Projects

People bar in the Love Shack on Second Street; they’re welcome, too!

Love Shack in Belmont Shore — Bring Your V.I.Pooch
Attracted by a neat-looking pair of flip-flops, Kate walked for the first time into the Love Shack (5001 E. Second St., where the former 5001 stopped being venerable a few months ago) and found not only that the flip-flops sold for a more-than-reasonable 10 bucks and that there was a huge selection of stuff that she could indulge in — later — but also that there is a pet bar in front of the store that offers various goodies to waiting doggies who were dragged in by their (mostly) moms. This should be little surprise to those who know owner Roberta Bayrhoffer, who also owns Bungalow Bay and also is a generous lover of animals. There’s a little people café as well, with coffee (you’re looking at it), but you know who comes first with us.

More Beat-the-Heat Tips
Our last article addressed summer issues in pet care. Shae Sneed from Progressive Insurance (which has pet policies) adds these for Long Beach boaters:

•    Do a little research Call to make sure that wherever you’re heading allows pets and ask about their policies, as many require that you keep them on a leash and don’t leave them alone. Also, check with your boat insurance company to see if your pets are protected.
•    Assist their doggie paddle Fit your pets with a personal flotation device or life jacket. Find one with a lifting handle to make it easy and safe to lift your pets from the water. Give them time on land to get used to wearing the device.
•    Help them get their sea legs Gradually introduce your pets to your boat and the water. Give them a chance to explore their surroundings while the boat is docked. Turn on the engine so they get accustomed to its sound, smell and feel. Take short cruises and gradually build up to longer trips.
•    Combat the sun Protect your pets from the heat by providing shade and plenty of water. Wash the deck with cool water to protect their paws.

For lots more tips, click here . Thank you, Shae!

(Pet Post has not done business with Progressive and is including the tips for purposes of instruction)

Eat Your Eggs with Thought
The Humane Society’s Wayne Pacelle has announced a historic agreement that HSUS has reached with the United Egg Producer that could result in a complete makeover of the U.S. egg industry, improving the treatment of the 280 million laying hens used each year in the country’s egg production. The agreement will phase out battery cages and phase in humane treatment. Click here for information.

July 21–25, Animal Rights National Conference, Los Angeles
Animal Rights 2011 is the U.S. animal rights movement's annual national conference. It is also the world's largest and longest-running animal rights gathering, hailing back to 1981. The conference is scheduled at the Westin LAX Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd. in Los Angeles and will feature nearly 100 presenters from more than 60 organizations and several countries in seven plenary sessions, 50 workshops and a dozen rap sessions and campaign reports. Click here for information on all the programs.

Aug. 13 and 21, ACS Low-Cost Pet Clinic
The next low-cost animal clinic will be held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park,  6301 Myrtle Ave., from 10 a.m. to noon. A state licensed veterinarian from the Southern California Veterinary Vaccine Clinic will be onsite to provide the shots, including feline and canine rabies and all dog- and cat-specific diseases. Residents can process their license renewals onsite. Click here for the full schedule and details, and here  for a full listing of prices. 

Aug. 21, SCART Annual Pet Fair
The Surf City Animal Response Team will hold its sixth annual Pet Fair in the Park. The event will continue from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Long Beach Marine Stadium Park. Featured will be disaster information as it relates to pets, vendors, pet products, pet foods, opportunity drawings, low-cost dog and cat vaccinations, microchipping and a best disaster-ready dog contest. All proceeds go directly into supporting SCART’s response to disasters as well as training and educating the public.

SCART is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization founded to respond to animal needs, assist other agencies during a local or national disaster or crisis, educate the public in disaster preparedness for  animals before, during and after a crisis. SCART also assists local and national agencies by responding to a crisis with trained volunteers. For more information, click here.

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