Amnesty for first-time pet licenses and late-penalty fees has now been extended from Aug. 31 to the end of the calendar year, thanks to a resolution passed at the Sept. 6 City Council meeting.

Councilmember Al Austin coauthored the resolution with District 3 Councilmember Suzie Price and District 5 Councilmember Stacy Mungo Flanigan. The resolution was designed to help local residents most economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who live in areas where they are more likely to be economically vulnerable. Residents of the Community Development Block Grant Program area—specifically, neighborhoods in Downtown, Central, West, and North Long Beach, with other neighborhoods scattered throughout East Long Beach—will have until Dec. 31 to apply for a license waiver.

Anyone residing in any CDBG area who has an unlicensed pet can access information here for obtaining a waiver. Application must be by mail, in person or over the phone. There is no online option.

 Renewals for existing licenses are still subject to collection.

Austin called the resolution “a net positive for the entire city, its residents and its pets.”

“The pandemic brought with it an uptick in pet adoption as well as financial struggles for many communities,” Austin said. “And licensed pets are required to be vaccinated and are easier to return to their owners when lost. Taking those factors into account, an amnesty program seemed like an appropriate way to remove a barrier that would help people with late fees and also encourage new pet licenses.”

Austin said that several of his constituents told him that their financial situation was their main barrier to obtaining a license. No one’s income, he added, should determine whether they can legally have a pet.

“Having a pet should not be a ‘privilege’—it should be a relationship that any kind and caring person who wants access to it can have,” Long Beach Animal Care Services manager Staycee Dains agreed.

Dains said that the amnesty program seems to be working. When the pandemic started, adoptions went up but there were fewer license applications.

“At the start of the pandemic, there were 1,533 new licenses, which was pretty typical,” she said. “In 2020, the number had dropped to a little under 1,400, and in 2021, under 1,000. With the new program came a resurgence—the number went up to 1,531, equal to pre-pandemic.”

Austin believes the amnesty program will lead to awareness of pet health and the reasons for licensing and also encourage a bond with LBACS.

“The program is not only a reprieve for our residents but it increases awareness and utilization for our amazing Animal Care Services Bureau. Their staff is a devoted team committed helping as many animals as possible,” he said. “This program is an opportunity for people to engage with the ACS team and learn more about what they do. Often, their work goes unnoticed, or people don’t know just how many services are provided by ACS.”

Community outreach

 Dains said that LBACS will conduct community outreach regarding licensing compliance using social media, a website campaign and supportive events in communities of need. Austin said that his office and those of other districts will support community outreach by hosting and supporting popup events like the one scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Scherer Park as a group effort of The LIttle Lion Foundation, Friends of Long Beach Animals and Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation. There, the District 8 office will partner with local animal groups and Long Beach Animal Care Services to have a free pet-wellness and adoption event. The event started out as a free spay/neuter, vaccination and microchip clinic organized with the hard work of The Little Lion Foundation and its volunteers, with pet food handed out to participants; however, those appointments filled rapidly, evidencing the need for such services. The free pet food will still be available.

“We are expecting to serve nearly 200 pets that day with vaccinations, spay and neutering, and microchipping,” Austin wrote on his district’s website.

The Little Lion Foundation and Jellicle Cats will be there to manage the clinic and to distribute free pet food.

Virtually pets

And of course, this is a great segue to a few adoptables and their splendid rescues and volunteers!

The Little Lion Foundation—adoption info at link


Squirrel and Badger are two of their adorable, adoptable candidates. Here they are, demonstrating brotherly love. They’re looking for a home where they can stay together.

Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation—adoption info at link or email

Orange cat with one ear hidden peeps out from under a throw rug.
Julius is learning the nuances of kitty hide-and-seek. This gorgeous, golden-eyed orange tabby was  abandoned in a park next to a freeway. Once we got him into a safe foster home, he wouldn’t stop purring, and he quickly gave up his belly for a rub. He’s so ready for a forever home of his own! This gentle giant with the tiny cat voice is quite the mush, with a great love of cuddling in bed, and he will head-butt you gently as you drift off to sleep. He enjoys being brushed, and he loves to eat. He also likes drinking from the sink—he’s a little goofy! He likes being around other cats and is especially friendly with kittens.
Fluffy gray cat with left eye missing and mark above head, with tongue sticking out, looks at camera
No cat anywhere suggests “hopeless case” to Jellicle Cats. Sunny was taken in from the street by a Good Samaritan. Boy, was he a hot mess! He was covered in fleas and battling an upper-respiratory infection and had an infected eye and a mass on his tongue, both of which the vets at Primary Care successfully removed his eye. Look at him now! With some TLC from his foster mom. Yolanda, and some excellent medical care from those vets, Sunny has a clean bill with nothing to remind him of his previous troubles except for a permanent blep. Sunny is around 12 years old, loves to be petted, and will chirp at you to let you know when he wants attention. There’s a perfect home out there for him—maybe yours!

Long Beach Animal Care Services—adoption info at link.

 Meet a few pets who will visit in the Adoption Waggin’. If you want to come in to the shelter at 7700 E. Spring St. Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m., you can speed the process to adopt or foster any pets by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also call 562-570-4925.

German shepherd puppy sits on grass looking at the camera, with open mouth.
Jason Bowwoa is a so-sweet 7-month-old German shepherd pup who wants to grow up to be a loyal, companionable dog!
Gray pit bull with white blaze and pink collar stands against fence, mouth open and tongue hanging
Linda Barkhart is a small pittie who recently gave birth, but the shelter volunteers don’t know where her puppies went. Sometimes, though, she carries toys like puppies on her walks, which is both sweet and sad. She has had some skin issues too and deserves the kindest, most loving   adopters ever.
A helping paw

Adoption event and charity drive benefitting local rescues: through Sept. 30, information available for Long Beach here

Coldwell Banker Realty is again holding a celebration of our furry friends in support of the Homes for Dogs Project. You have the option to deliver supplies to a participating office or make a monetary donation online. Local Realtor and animal advocate Jennifer Peterson is making it easy for everyone by reaching out and offering free in-person pickup of stuff or at your own house. Call her at 818-203-5234 for details. Of course, if you’re ready to take the leap, they’re also hosting adoption events so you can bring home a new family member. Coldwell is collecting pet items such as bowls, clean bath towels, pet-safe cleaning products, unopened pet food, newborn milk replacement and, of course, toys. Donations to the Long Beach and Seal Beach offices (see link) will benefit K9 Kismet Dog Rescue, Long Beach Animal Care Services and Seal Beach Animal Care Services.

 Great furballs of fun!

 Book launch for Katy Cable’s ‘Party with Your Pup”: Saturday, Sept. 17, 2–4:30 p.m., Caffé Luxxe, 6420 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, free event, books at a discount

Be the first in the dog park to have your pooch brag about their human being a party planner! The book gives party tips for every month of the year and includes recipes for menus that you and your dog can enjoy! Enjoy free samples from the recipes; a limited number of advance purchase VIP PAWTY Packs are available, which include an autographed book, pet food, CBD samples, a pet teeth cleaner, five raffle tickets, discount coupons and a free beverage from Caffe Luxxe!

 Pet Food Express Pet Fair, online at this link through Sept. 30, with in-store live weekend Sept. 24–25, free event, books at discount

The pet-supply store that carries only food with high-quality ingredients and every accessory your best buddy needs has announced the dates for this year’s Pet Food Express Pet Fair. The Fair will follow a hybrid model—you’ll be able to adopt online from local shelters and rescues throughout September on the Pet Fair page and also in person at the big Live Weekend, featuring pets from local rescues, taking place Sept 24 and 25. The weekend event will also include live streams and informative seminars both online and in person on the weekend. Fresh food samples will be available at all stores the entire month. Stay tuned for more information about the new location opening in Belmont Shore!

Pets Ahoy! wine-tasting fundraiser for Seal Beach Animal Care Center: Sunday, Sept. 18, noon–3 p.m., Seal Beach Yacht Club, 255 North Marina Drive, Long Beach, $60 prepaid, $70 at the door

Hail ye, doggie paddlers and moggie maties! Enjoy a scrumptious luncheon, enticing wines (non-alcoholic beverages included), and chances at a treasure chest of cash prizes and fabulous auction items. Our opportunity drawing offers three lucky seafarers the chance to win Visa gift cards for $1,000, $500 and $250. Tickets are limited so be sure to sign up soon at this link! Donations are tax deductible and help us feed, house, and care for our animals.

Help nonprofits

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.