“Tiny kittens need all the friends they can get,” said Helen Sanders CatPAWS volunteer Deborah Felin (yes, that is her last name). Felin knows this firstpaw—CatPAWS has been the benefactor to hundreds of cats and kittens since its organization in 2010.
Last week’s Pet Projects, “It’s Raining Cats, and We Need Umbrellas,” featured CatPAWS’s DIY Bottle-Feeding Kits that are handed out to anyone finding a motherless litter of kittens and wanting to take over for Mom. Last month, CatPAWS joined forces with The Little Lion Foundation, another organization that specifically cares for orphaned newborn kittens, to present Kitten Care Workshops to educate interested people in how to use the kits and obtain resources.
This column’s focus on adopting cats is a response to a yearly phenomenon called kitten season. The Humane Society of the United States defines kitten season as “the time of year when cats give birth, flooding animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation with homeless litters.” Litters start appearing in spring and peak in summer, ending in autumn. Birth numbers depend on weather, and naturally, in climates like Southern California’s, they begin early and end late. Considering the number of stray or homeless cats roaming around and the whoopee they may, that’s a heck of a lot of kittens.
“Every year across the country, animal shelters are inundated with thousands of frail little felines, but these shelters usually don’t have the resources or staff to give these tykes a fighting chance,” Felin said. “Newborn kittens are especially at risk in shelters because they are too young to take care of themselves—they are weeks away from being eligible for adoption, and they are more likely to contract and transmit disease than other animals in shelters.” Sadly, many of these babies are also put to sleep for these reasons.
But on a brighter side, communities step up in force, notably Long Beach’s. This month, national animal-welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society has taken serious note of the volunteers’ efforts to educate and equip the community at large to save the lives of baby kittens and has awarded CatPAWS a $2,000 grant to support the Kitten Care Kits program. That’ll provide a kit’n’kaboodle of bottles, warming discs, blankets, special formula and instruction pamphlets that go into that life-saving buckets, which can also be purchased.
“So, we really appreciate Best Friends,” Felin said “This funding comes at an important time, at the start of kitten season. With this $2,000, we can save even more little lives this year.”
These kits will be handed out at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) and by ACS animal-control officers to residents as an alternative to surrendering the kittens to the shelter, where they likely will be euthanized. This is the second year of this program, with 80 kits being handed out last year. Best Friends funds will cover 40 kits.
CatPAWS is a member of Best Friends’ No More Homeless Pets Network, which is made up of more than 1,800 shelters, rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations in all corners of the country actively saving animals’ lives and reducing shelter deaths locally. CatPAWS also has some great cats who used to be adorable kittens, and they want you to adopt them to make room for baby. You can meet them in person at PetSmart in Seal Beach inside the Shops at Rossmoor, 12341 Seal Beach Boulevard; and at the Petco in Long Beach inside the Marina Shores Shopping Center, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway.
Gibson is yet another cat surrendered by owner (so, so many of those) to a public shelter that was filling up fast. This handsome guy's time was running out. With his black tail and jaunty beret against his crisp white outfit, we think Gibson may have some exotic Turkish Van in him! He's just settling in, so please come meet him.
This sweet orange boy is Twix! He had bad teeth, so CatPAWS got him the dental work he needed, and he is feeling much better. He is a purring, cuddly love bug who just wants a safe, quiet home. He has a bit of a heart murmur, but it doesn't seem to cause him much issue.
Meet Gypsy! This spunky, funny girl loves to play! She is high energy and craves attention. She likes one-on-one time—and lots of it—and can get jealous of sharing her person with other cats. She would be great as an only diva! Come meet her today!
Mark Your Calendars (the People Way)
CatPAWS Bowling Fund-Raiser
Saturday, April 29, 3:00PM–5:00PM, Westminster Lanes, 6471 Westminster Blvd., Westminster
$40 per person
LET’S GO BO-O-O-OWLING—and help some kitties. The ticket includes a combo food basket and soft drink; two hours of bowling, including shoes; and an opportunity drawing. Prizes for lowest and highest score for a guy and a gal! All proceeds help continue Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescues from shelters, providing medical needs and foster care.
Animal Rescue Benefit Show
Sunday into Monday (whoo!), April 30–May 1, 10:00PM–2:00AM, Alex’s Bar, 2913 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach
$8 at door
When (OK, arguably) the most überhipster bar west of Brooklyn is throwing a fund-raiser for an animal rescue, you know you gotta be there. Drive or rideshare down to Alex’s and hear the Hardknocks, The Eulogy, Death Trap and Stand pounding out a sound storm for the pets who are lucky enough to be rescued and fostered by Live Love Animal Rescue.
Pet Adoption Event at PFE
Saturday, May 6, 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.
LA on Cloud 9 Fund-Raiser
Friday, May 12, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Baja Sharkeez, 211 Main Street, Huntington Beach
$20 per person
Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic
Saturday, May 20, 7:30AM–4:00PM, Houghton Park, 6500 Atlantic Avenue (near Jordan High), Long Beach
Free to qualifying residents; free microchips; low-cost shots ($10 each); $10 flea med doses
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!
spcaLA Friends for Life Summer Camp™ Registration!
Begins April 17, 10:00AM on this link
$350 for each camper
spcaLA Friends for Life Summer Camp is for kids 8 to 13. At camp, kids learn the basics of pet care and responsibility, respect for all animals, and the beginnings of dog training, all while making new friends! There are eight Monday through Friday sessions, running June thru August.
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
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.
Humane Education Presentation Signup
Throughout year, various school classrooms
Humane educator and writer (How Willy Got His Wheels, How Willy Got His Wings and others) is available to teach students about responsible pet ownership and kindness to all living beings. Turner also presents to adult groups as a special event for school parents. If you are a principal, a teacher, a librarian or other school official in the Long Beach Unified School District, reserve a date. See graphic for information.
Free Pet Food Distributions
Food for Pets in Need provides pet food to senior, homeless, low-income and homebound residents in Long Beach who otherwise may not be able to afford adequate food to take proper care of their pets.
The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action. See flyer for details.