Please send any Long Beach or Seal Beach pet-related events or projects to [email protected]. Posting subject to approval.
Yes, they’re adorable, but hundreds and thousands of kittens are born every year with no guarantee of survival for most of them—therefore, no exclamation point in the title to signify adorable. There are TNR (trap/neuter [and spay]-release] programs, organizations, bottle-feeders and volunteers, but none aplenty—you’d need something akin to a military campaign to fix all the females and the toms who love them to have any effect.
Groups and individuals volunteer to bottle-feed and foster newborn kittens left without mothers or are erroneously thought to be orphaned. Helen Sanders CatPAWS, has provided bottle-feeding kits that are free to anyone wanting to save a few tiny lives and are available at our shelter, Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS).
And that’s nowhere near enough—CatPAWS and other organizations desperately need bottle-feeders and fosters during the next few months.
Nothing’s ever enough. Ever. Shelters, including our own, have to put hundreds of foundling baby kittens to sleep every year because of lack of resources, mainly human. Added to this are people who won’t fix their own cats and allow them to roam or have one or more of each sex in the house. What happens to those kittens if they can’t find homes? And if they do, what guarantee is there that those kittens will be fixed? Cats can become pregnant as early as 4 months of age, and at an average of five kittens per litter—well, do the exponential math.
If you find a nursing mother and you can safely get the whole family into a cage or a carrier, do so, or leave them outside and monitor the situation until the kittens are weaned and you can safely get them into a trap or a carrier and fixed—all of them. (More good advice here). If you find a litter that you think has been abandoned—keep an eye out for Momcat for a few hours to be sure that she isn’t just out scavenging for food—then either scoop them up carefully, locate a rescuer or, as a last resort, bring them to the shelter, knowing that there’s a big chance that they won’t get out alive. Our shelter’s staff makes efforts to contact cat rescues to pull the kittens, but rescues have limits, too. If kittens have a choice of dying from starvation and exposure or a quiet death, I’d pick the latter although it’s difficult for animal advocates, me included, to accept gracefully.
One thing you don’t want to do is to bring in a litter that you haven’t verified as abandoned or orphaned, or don’t care whether Mom’s around or is not. If she returns to find her kittens gone, she’ll wander and yowl, agitated as hell with mammaries swollen with milk. I saw an example last week while I was volunteering in the shelter—a well-meaning couple brought in two babies that they grabbed up while the mother was away. They didn’t want the kittens to grow up and breed more kittens, but removing them wasn’t helping the kittens, the mother, the shelter or the overburdened rescues. Luckily, one of those rescues rallied for the babies and found a foster (thank you, Carrie from ACS, CatPAWS, and Maureen, Melanie, Murlyn and everyone whose name I forgot at Seal Beach Animal Care Center, where I charged off as safely but as fast as I could drive, mindfully not resisting the urge to take my hands off the wheel to bite my fingernails. We got there in time.)
But next time? There will be a next time—several already, I can guarantee.
Here are the kittens who came in to ACS. Helpless, cold and hungry, they’re doing fine—but these are just a small sample. Please fix your cats. Besides, it’s the law here.
Incidentally, the kittens’ mother will become pregnant again if she isn’t trapped—the couple told us that they’ve been trying to trap her for three years. We sent them suggestions, and if any of you know a trapper, please contact me at [email protected]. We can try.
For the next few months, this column will feature kitten adoptions from groups who exhaust themselves in every way to save as many lives as possible. This week, it’s Wrigley Kittens, a group neighborhood effort that puts their own money and other resources into saving kittens’ lives. They could use some help as well.
Little white stars! Maia and Alya are 10-week-old twin sisters. They are all white with blue-green eyes and the sweetest personalities. They are very bonded, but both love other cats and dogs and are becoming very cuddly with their foster humans. They will follow you around and talk to you, and they’re just starting to jump up in laps when they want attention.
Smokey, Bandit, Louis Vutton and Johnny Cash were born to a feral mama cat under a house that was scheduled to be tented. Wrigley rescued the kittens and the mom, and they have been in foster care for just about six weeks now. They are available for pre-adoption only since they will need a couple of weeks more with Mom before we can separate them and get the kittens their vaccinations and other vet care. But interested adopters are strongly encouraged to apply now so they have homes to go to as soon as they are ready.
Please email wrig[email protected] for an application or more information.
As a friend of mine said of any issue animal, the problem is bigger than the solution. However, if you’re willing to keep chipping away at it, here are a few good resources. Please add any that I left out in the Comments.
Vouchers and Free/Low-Cost Spay Neuter
SNP/LA Veterinary Clinic, San Pedro (call to inquire about feral spay days)
Fosters, Bottle-Feeders, Help Needed from the Community!
CatPAWS and Little Lion to present bottle-feeding workshops
(If that seems like a lot of resources, multiply it exponentially—cats X litters X litters X litters X litters… . It isn’t.)
Things to Do, Pets to Support
Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic
Saturday, April 14, 7:30AM–3:00PM, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1140 Ximeno Avenue, Long Beach
Spay/neuter free with appointment and qualifications; vet appointment with voucher, minimal charge for dogs and cats; flea meds $10; shots and dewormer $10 each; nail trimming, $10
Fix Long Beach gives a heartfelt thanks to District 3 Councilmember Suzie Price and District 4 Councilmember Daryl Supernaw for fully funding this month’s clinic. Putting on these events costs in the thousands, and it couldn’t happen without the generosity of our donors.
It’s now 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. The spay/neuter truck will be at its new location at Scherer Park on this date.
Make an appointment through IM or email at [email protected] for your dog, and include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) phone number, (4) dog’s name, (5) age, (6) sex, (7) breed, and (8) weight, and Fix will see if they can schedule you. You can also come as a standby, but be there at 8:30AM. Make sure that your pet has had nothing to eat or drink past 10:00PM the previous night.
For both spay/neuter and vaccinations, all dogs must be on sturdy leashes and all cats must be in dedicated carriers. Fix thanks you in advance for being responsible for your pet’s health and for helping to reduce shelter overpopulation and euthanasia.
Little Lion Cat Adoption Event
Saturday, April 21, noon–4:00PM, Just Food for Dogs, 2200 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach
Adoption fees apply
Just Food for Dogs is hoping to help this great cat-rescue/bottle-feeder organization to find just homes for cats, and just in time for kitten season to start showering babies on us. Hang out with The Little Lion Foundation and JustFoodForDogs, meet the adorable kittens looking for forever homes, and speak with our nutrition consults about how they can benefit from our JustFoodForCats (yup, they got it!) meal once they’re full grown.
America’s Family Pet Expo
Friday, April 27, 10:00AM–6:00PM; Saturday, April 28, 10:00AM–7:00PM; and Sunday, April 29, 10:00AM–6:00PM, OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
$15 general admission, 13 seniors, $10 children 6–12, free to children under 5 and to active and retired military members with valid ID
The 29th annual America’s Family Pet Expo is the largest pet and pet-product expo event anywhere! Exhibits include retailers, groomers, hobbyists, rescue organizations, breeders and pet experts. BARK Therapy Dogs will be appearing there as well! It’s a great show of dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, and small and large animals, plus top-notch entertainment and attractions. For more information, visit this link. Oh—and please leave your pets at home!
BARK Therapy Dogs Pajamarama Event
Thursday, May 10, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Barnes & Noble, Marina Pacifica Mall, 6326 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach,
Kids—put on your favorite pair of pajamas and have a great read with BARK dogs who will also be in their pajamas—more than likely with Scooby Doo or Beethoven. What could be cozier, more adorable or likely leading to more reading?
Furry Friends Faire
Saturday, May 19, 10:00AM–1:00PM, Los Cerritos Park, 3750 Del Mar Avenue (across from Los Cerritos Elementary School), Long Beach
Free to attend
Don’t miss our all-things-animal event! We’ll have fun contests to enter your furry friends in, such as pet tricks, largest pet, smallest pet and most unusual pet. The poetry-award winners from Los Cerritos Elementary students will be reading their poems. We’ll have an array of service providers you can meet at the event for your pets: groomers, trainers, pet food, dog walkers and more! For more information and updates, visit us here!
Pets Ahoy Wine Fund-Raiser for Seal Beach Animal Care Center
Sunday, May 20, 1:00PM–4:00PM, Seal Beach Yacht Club, 255 North Marina Drive, Long Beach
$50; proceeds help to fund SBACC
Toast the animals at SBACC with wine, soft drinks and a buffet lunch. Enjoy silent auctions, a super-opportunity drawing for a $1,000 Visa card, and the knowledge that cats and dogs at SBACC will thrive and find good homes, thanks to you! Ticket sales information is available here.
BARK Therapy Dogs Reading with Kids
See website for information
Founded in 2007, BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids) is a nonprofit all-volunteer program that encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. Students sometimes find it intimidating to read in front of classmates but love to read to the non-judgmental, calming dogs. BARK now has 170 teams listening to kids in more than 100 schools and libraries in California—Long Beach libraries visited monthly are Bach, El Dorado, Bayshore, Brewitt and Los Altos; outlying-area libraries include Hawaiian Gardens, Iacoboni and Los Alamitos. BARK teams also visit nursing homes, senior living facilities and veteran centers. They even de-stress college students during finals week! For all events, check out BARK’s calendar. To find information about volunteering your furry buddy or to arrange a visit to your school, library or other community, contact the group at [email protected] or (562)235-8835.
Kitty Catchers Adoption Event
Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00AM–3:30PM both days, PetSmart, 2550 Cherry Avenue, Signal Hill
Despite the name, Kitty Catchers catches doggies, too, and some will be there along with the lovely fosters at this event! You’ll find your best friend there and anything else you’ll need to give him or her a good life from then on.
Pet Adoption Event at PFE
Saturdays and Sundays, Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach
Adoption fees apply
Find your new BFF and everything that he or she could possibly want or need, in one place. Long Beach Animal Care Services(ACS) and other rescues bring great cats and 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. For more information about which rescues will be present on any particular day, follow this link.
SNP/LA Mobile Low-Cost Pet Vaccines
Locations and dates vary; visit link in text
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. Low/cost spay/neuter information is also available through SNP/LA.
Free Pet Food Distributions
Papa, a big “teddy bear’ of a dog, sits with his human in Ashlee’s Pet Care station at Beacon for Him.
Beacon for Him has extended an outreach for people experiencing homelessness and their pets. Pet food, primarily dog food, is available at their facility at 439 West Anaheim Street, Mondays from 9:00AM to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00PM. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control and, of course, pet food are always gratefully accepted.
The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action. COA is located at 515 E 3rd St, Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9:00AM to 11:00AM.
Shelter-Enrichment Supplies Needed for ACS Dogs and Cats!
Drop-off: Wednesdays through Fridays, 10:00AM–5:30PM and Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00AM–4:00PM, 7700 East Spring Street, Long Beach
Individual donations requested
ACS is continuing our kennel enrichment activities for our canine guests here and could use so more donations (there are plenty for the cats!). Here is what’s needed:
- creamy peanut butter
- beef broth (canned or in the box)
- chicken broth (canned or in the box)
- carabiner clips (heavy duty)
- ice cube trays
- pipe cleaners
- toilet paper/paper towel rolls
- cat toys
- corks from bottles (for cat toys)
- canned cat and dog food
Donations are tax deductible. Our pups and kitties say thanks so much!
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