Cat rescue receives lifesaving grant from Petco charity

[Note: before we get into the weeds—or the catnip, anyway—scroll down to “To the rescue” to find microchipping stations for any pets you find during the firecracker season.]

Every year, from mid-autumn through early winter, unaltered cats breed prolifically and literally littering every possible nesting area with millions of newborn felines. These kitten seasons have shelters and rescues everywhere getting dizzy and burnt out from chasing their tails as they try to scoop the cats up, spay or neuter the ones they catch, and adopt out the kittens and docile adults and return the rest to their old haunts, to proliferate no more. It’s next to impossible, with the sheer numbers, recent shelter restrictions and lack of resources, as a recent article from the Signal-Tribune detailed.

Saving cat lives is a Gordian ball of yarn that involves spay/neuter, TNR (trap/neuter/return), medical care, adoption, and educating people about why do all this and how they can help. It’s exhausting, but every now and then, pet rescues get a little help from their friends. On June 30, cat rescue Helen Sanders CatPAWS received a $1,500 grant investment from national nonprofit Petco Love at Long Beach Marina Petco, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, on June 30, 2022. The grant was awarded in support of the rescue’s lifesaving work for animals in the Seal Beach and Long Beach areas.

Four women holding an outsize check for $1,500 stand, smiling, in a pet-supply store

“CatPAWS has been a great adoption partner doing amazing work in their community by taking in and adopting out more animals than years prior,” said Chelsea Staley, Petco Love’s director of lifesaving. “We’re proud to celebrate their impact by empowering them to maintain their lifesaving efforts with this grant.” From left, Petco employee Robin, Helen Sanders CatPAWS cofounders Annelle Baum and Deborah Felin, Petco employee Amanda. Photo by Kate Karp.

Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love, the Petco chain’s charitable arm, has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts, partnering with more than 4,000 organizations to help find loving homes for pets. The grant to CatPAWS, said Petco Love president Susanne Kogut, is part of more than $15 million awarded to rescues and organizations “as part of our commitment to create a future in which no pet is unnecessarily euthanized.”

“Happy, healthy, fluffy cats—those are the ones that shelters can get placed,” said CatPAWS cofounder Deborah Felin-Magaldi. “The ones who need help are the ones that cost money, quite frankly. This grant will help us help them.”

Any time a pet is pulled from a shelter and adopted out, euthanasia is no longer an option, especially if the animal has a condition that could render them “unadoptable.” CatPAWS pulls a good number of cats who would otherwise have been euthanized in shelters because of treatable medical conditions such as injuries, neglect, mange and ringworm, broken bones and other issues that can’t be effectively managed with the limited resources and staffing that public shelters often have.

“The sheer number is overwhelming and is attributable to a number of factors at different shelters—COVID related, staffing shortages, closing to the public,” Felin-Magaldi said. “And then there’s the lack of affordable and accessible spay/neuter—people couldn’t get in to get those cats fixed even if they wanted to. And the prices are prohibitive.”

CatPAWS has a spay/neuter fund as well, for people who cannot afford veterinary prices. This year so far, they have already provided 223 spay/neuter vouchers; 504 were redeemed last year.

“People who have the least care the most,” Felin-Magaldi said. “Those are the people who ask us for S/N vouchers.”

The CatPAWS founders and volunteers expressed their appreciation for the longstanding partnership with Petco love and to the Marina Shores store in particular.

“The staff has been supportive and wonderful to us,” said CatPAWS cofounder Annelle Baum. Go grab some kibble there while you still can!

Building a Better Long Beach: 4 projects near 2ND & PCH to revitalize city gateway

Virtually pets

Access Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption page to see adoptable cats and to fill out an adoption application. There’s a volunteer page, too, and one for donations for the rescue’s expenses.

The cats you’ll meet here are the “after” photos of cats with one issue or another. You’d never know it, especially if you don’t give Pebbles a close look!


Two sleek black cats lying cheek to cheek with heads up

C’mon, can you resist this? Koopa and Princess Peach are another brother-and-sister duo in search of a family that would love to have two snuggle bugs as their forever companions.

Dear Doogie and poor Pickles. They were both adopted and in a home for a couple months. Then, the children’s nanny suddenly became allergic, so CatPAWS took them back. It’s really too bad, because they loved the kids and it was meowtual.

cat with orange mask, back splotch and tail, with white legs, rump and chest lies on a light-color hardwood floor looking at camera

Doogie is a wonderful little guy, very friendly, loves his belly rubs, purrs on contact. He deserves a great home!

glossy black cat with big green eyes stands on light hardwood floor, looking at camera

PIckles is a wonderful little guy, too, with his cute kinked tail. He’s friendly and playful, and he loves kids!

Pebbles needs little introduction because she’s been featured here before. But this is her first “action shot”! She’s an example of CatPAWS’ mission to give every cat a good life. The rescue pulled the young tortie girl from a county shelter’s euthanasia list—she was born with a mild case of cerebellar hypoplasia, otherwise known as Wobbly Cat Syndrome. Pebbles’ neurological development was impaired while she was developing in utero, and she has trouble with balance. The condition isn’t life threatening and will not worsen—it’s simply a congenital condition to which she has adapted beautifully. She uses her litter box just fine and has a terrific time with that elusive red laser dot, as you’ll see in the video that her foster put together!

Perhaps because Pebbles instinctively knows she can’t easily run away or defend herself because of her condition, she can be a little hesitant and guarded in new environments. Once she knows she is safe, though, she is dear and loving. She would do best in a quiet, adult home as an only kitty. Adoption fee will be sponsored for an approved adopter!

To the rescue!

Long Beach Animal Care Services provides pet-scanning services

If you find a cat or a dog during fireworks season, the businesses and city departments on the graphic have offered to scan them for microchips. Finders should not expect to leave pets at these locations—they’re for chip scanning microchip only. Pets can also be scanned at Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St., during open hours. Finders with animals that are sick or injured should call animal control for emergency pick up at 562-570-7387.

Friends of Long Beach Animals’ free microchip clinic: through July 3, Bixby Animal Clinic, 3938 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, 562-426-4066, appointments preferred but not required

The Fourth of July—or rather, the unbridled fireworks season that should start (or continue) any day now—is the worst holiday for animals. Every year at this time, dogs and cats fill shelters in disturbing numbers after they’ve been startled by a crack or a boom and go running off. The best way to put the odds in favor of your pet getting a ride home is to provide them with a microchip. Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA) is once again living up to its name by providing free microchipping for your dog or cat. Please take advantage of this opportunity if your pet is not currently microchipped—it may mean the difference of being reunited with your pet. Pass on this information to everyone you know so FOLBA can microchip as many pets as possible in Long Beach and the surrounding areas.

Great Furballs of Fun

District 1 Independence Day Dog Parade: Saturday, July 2, 10 a.m.–noon, Lincoln Park, 101 Pacific Ave., Long Beach, free microchips provided for attendees’ pets.

Celebrate Independence Day in Downtown Long Beach to honor pets and vets for their service. District 1 will honor five individuals—veterans, police officers and firefighters—and their dogs for their dedicated service to the community. No dogs other than those previously registered may participate, but if yours is well behaved, dress them up for the Fourth, and get them a free microchip provided by Friends of Long Beach Animals.

25th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals: Saturday, July 16, first race at 6:30 p.m., Los Alamitos Race Course, 4961 Katella Ave., Cypress, $3 per ticket.

Aaaand, away they—wait! Get up! The finishing line’s the other way! No, don’t eat that! Enjoy an all-in-fun “race” in which little, low-to-the ground hounds will just be themselves as they vie for prizes and championships! It’s hilarious fun for the entire family. Event T-shirts and raffle tickets will be on sale at the track, with all proceeds supporting the welfare of our fabulous Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s resident cats and dogs. Purchase your tickets at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center business office during office hours. All bets are off—literally. This is simply for fun and good!

Foster for awhile—or furever!

If you’ve always wanted a pet but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a lifetime (the animal’s) commitment, or if you’re past the pet-roommate days for any reason, fostering might be a great way to go, especially with one or more of the kittens popping up during kitten season. Every one of the organizations listed below is in desperate need of fosters who’ll social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!

These nonprofits also regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.