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If a black cat crosses your path, expect bad luck. If you’re on a boat and a black cat comes aboard, expect smooth sailing. Kiss the black cat, ’twill make you fat; kiss the white one, ’twill make you lean.
For better or worse, black cats have been grist for the superstition mill, particularly around Halloween. They’re on cards, cookies, costumes and any kitschy stuff associated with the holiday. A lot of us in the cat-rescue field hold to the superstition, but for quite another reason: even as organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends have sought to debunk the myth and even Snopes published an article years ago stating that it was overblown, there’s still a lot of caution regarding black cat’s welfare and safety.
“I don’t think it’s that likely, but I have just enough of a healthy fear for me to personally not adopt out a black cat immediately before Halloween,” cat rescuer Kelly Lopes said. Lopes, in fact, did have a black cat up for adoption on Halloween—she wound up keeping it. Likely, it had nothing to do with Halloween—happens to the best of us.
Many animal shelters and even some private rescues do process black cat adoptions around Halloween. At most shelters, black cats are the last to be adopted, so saddling them with the additional baggage of taking them off the adoption roles for up to a month or more before Halloween makes no sense, Francis Battista wrote in an article posted on the Best Friends website. “Black cats and all cats in shelters have much more to fear when it comes to not getting out of shelters at all.”
Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) has this policy as well. Jill Prout, ACS’s adoption coordinator, said that adopters for black cats are thoroughly vetted around this time of year.
“It’s interesting because I just encountered this,” Prout said. “Studies have indicated that there isn’t the risk we thought, but it’s still really good to cover all your bases and be sure that the candidates are good for adoption. We have applications and verbal interviews with anyone applying to adopt any animal during any time, however, around Halloween, specific focus is put on applications for black cats.
“I’ve been in shelters 10 years this year and in that time, I’ve come across only one application for a black cat that could not be approved. A lot of shelters reject applicants, and I don’t think it’s good for the cat. We do our due diligence to protect the cats in our care and assure they find loving homes. If anyone is going to find an animal for nefarious purposes, they aren’t going to find it here.”
On that note, please keep your cats inside. There are dangers out there, be they human, nonhuman or inhuman.
On another note, it’s Halloween, so here are some treats, all doggies not because I’m superstitious about cats (I am), but you try getting a bunch of cats in costumes and keeping them intact as they’re being videotaped. Visit ACS at 7700 E. Spring St. in Long Beach at the entrance to El Dorado Park. No parking fee for shelter visitors. #LBadoptapet
Muffin (ID#A615975) is all dressed up and ready to trick-or-treat herself into your heart! This little 8-year-old shih tzu mix has always wanted to be taller, so she got into her giraffe costume and is ready to celebrate Halloween!
What would Halloween be without the Great Pumpkin! Dexter (ID#A614064) is not only a great pumpkin but also a great dog, as you can see! He has his jack-o’-lantern costume on and is ready to trick-or-treat with you this Halloween. He’s an 8-year-old English bull and absolutely adorable!
And we have not only the Great Pumpkin but also the Great Dane—in name and personality, anyway. Dane (ID#A613752) is all dressed up for Halloween and ready to go trick-or-treating! This handsome little 3-year-old has come a long way, thanks to the loving care of ACS volunteers, and is looking for a home.
King (ID#A551949) is a Dodger fanboy! This 7-year-old sweetheart of a pit bull terrier has hopes of joining the major league in a home of his own. He’s a kind, obedient boy, and he takes commands well. He’ll be on your team, for sure. Take him out to the ballgame, and watch him play!
Things to do, pets to support
Find Some Bunny to Love Adoption: To Oct. 31, shelter hours, P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach. $30 adoption fee.
October may not be the month when you typically think of rabbits, but no matter, all animals need homes and there’s no special day for that. Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) and spcaLA will be offering a special adoption rate of $30 per set of long ears for the entire month of October.
National Pit Bull Appreciation Day: Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Marina Vista Park, East Colorado Street, Long Beach. Free event; adoption and vendor price rates apply.
Come help these funny, misunderstood doggies and their friends at the inaugural National Pit Bull Appreciation Day. Live Love Animal Rescue is partnering up with Blockhead Brigade for an event featuring local vendors, a “pack walk,” food, yoga with your dog, adoptions and other highlights. All breeds, creeds and loving humans are welcome.
Haute Dog’s 18th Annual Howl’oween Parade: Sunday, Oct. 28, 12:30–4:30 p.m., near Colorado Lagoon, 5355 Eliot St., Long Beach. Free to spectate; entry registration and seat reservation information available here; a full schedule of information available here.
Will you go as the Hound of the Baskervilles? Cujo? Or a poodly princess in a pink petticoat? Justin Rudd and his Community Action Team along with Third District councilmember Suzie Price will present reputedly the biggest Halloween pet event in the world, and the most enjoyable! A vendor and pet-adoption fair takes place from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and don’t miss (as if you could!) the highlight of the day: more than 500 costumed dogs, parading a few blocks in front of a few thousand gawkers and a panel of judges. It costs $10 in advance for each dog who enters the parade, but there’s no charge for humans to walk in the parade with or without costumes and with or without pets. Free to spectate.
Live Love dog adoption event: Sunday, Oct. 28, noon–4 p.m., Pussy & Pooch, 4818 E. 2nd St., Long Beach. Adoption fees apply.
The “Pooch” part of Pussy & Pooch welcomes Live Love Animal Rescue and its adoptable doggies. The P&P team is ready to help you and your furry friend get started on the right path to health and wellness—everything from bones to beds to baths!
Thai Silk restaurant fund-raiser for Fix Long Beach: Friday, Nov. 2, 7–10 p.m., Thai Silk, 1506 E. Broadway, Long Beach. Menu prices vary.
Spice up your evening with a delicious Thai meal and know that 15 percent of the tab will go toward free spay/neuter procedures at Fix Long Beach Clinics.
7th annual Fall Fund-Raiser, to benefit No Stray Left Behind and The Cat Cove: Saturday, Nov. 3, 5 p.m., Eat at Joe’s, 7120 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach. $25 admission, menu prices vary; see flyer for details.
Dogs fostered through No Stray Left Behind and cats curled up at The Cat Cove want your attendance at this fund-raiser that includes live music, a menu of food and activities. Eat at Joe’s will also donate a portion of food and drink sales to the rescues.
Join Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) at the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade: Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m., Houghton Park, Atlantic Avenue between 55th and South streets, Long Beach. Free event; dogs welcome.
You are invited to march with or without your dog to help FOLBA honor and appreciate the Veterans and Canines who have served so bravely to give us our freedom. Well-behaved and licensed dogs are welcome to join in—keep in mind that there are loud bands, cheerleaders and horses. Volunteers encouraged to bring shelter dogs up for adoption. For information, text (562) 881-5156.
Inaugural Puppers Catsino Turnaround Fund-Raiser: Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m., Green Line Station, 12901 Hoxie Ave., Norwalk. $50 donation per seat.
Long Beach rescues The Little Lion Foundation and Live Love Animal Rescue team up with foster-care organization FARSide Journey for a fun run to Harrah’s in Rincon. Enjoy raffles and games on the bus and five hours in the casino. Proceeds go to the rescues.
Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic: Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Ramona Park, 3301 E. 65th 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 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
Pet Adoption Locations
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
- Helen Sanders CatPAWSpermanent adoption center, store hours
- Rabbit Rescue Inc., adoptable rabbits daily, store hours
- Live Love Animal Rescue, first Sunday of the month, 1–3 p.m.
Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave.
- Foreverhome Pet Rescue, Inc., Sundays, noon–4 p.m.
PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange, 3871 N Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach
PetSmart Signal Hill, 2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill
- Kitty Katchers, Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
- Stray Cat Alliance, permanent adoption center, store hours
PetSmart Compton, 1775 South Alameda St., Compton
- Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue,permanent adoption center, store hours
- Rabbit Rescue Inc., one adoptable rabbit daily, store hours
PetSmart Seal Beach, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.
Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach:
- Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center, permanent adoption center, business hours alternate weekends, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Fix Long Beach, occasional weekends
- Live Love Animal Rescue, first Saturday of each month, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
- Ozzie and Friends Rescue, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., alternate Sundays.
- The Little Lion Foundation, alternate weekends, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Zazzy Cats
Gelson’s Market, 6255 E. 2nd St.
Chase Bank, 5200 East Second St., Long Beach
- Long Beach Spay & Neuter Foundation, noon–4 p.m.
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 9:00 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00 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. 3rd St., Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 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 7th St, Long Beach. Access this link for resources and donation areas in SoCal and across the country.
Shelter-enrichment supplies requested for ACS’s cats, dogs and rabbits: drop-off Wednesdays through Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 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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