The Haute Dogs’ Howl’oween Parade is Sunday, check out our pets’ costumes (plus dogs for adoption in Long Beach)

Halloween’s back to near prepandemic proportions. Kids have their costumes ready for trick or treat (I give out pencils, so I don’t expect many visitors), haunted mazes and scary attractions once again beckon with bony finger, people are queuing up at movie theaters to see the umpteenth chapter of the “Halloween” franchise, and humans are dressing up their pets as pirates, princesses and anything that they think the poor things will suffer gladly or suffer through. Some of the creatures haunting the homes of Long Beach Post team members are also dressing up and look cuter than a Krampus minion in a tutu.

orange cat wearing a lion's mane and ears has an adorable, confused expression on face

Senior reporter, beachcomber and tiki enthusiast Kelly Puente tricks up her cats in island-themed outfits as often as the mood strikes her. For Halloween, however, the kitties are in full costume mode. Sidney is going as Mufasa or maybe the Cowardly Lion. Either way, he looks completely bewildered.


black-and-white cat with Madonna Mole and wearing bat wings sits with an angry look on his face

Jonesy is simply not amused.



bewildered-looking pit bull sits on a green piece of furniture. She wears a jester's cap.

You don’t hang at the Post for five minutes without hearing about Mango. Her humans, city hall reporter Jason Ruiz and his wife, Kristina, adopted her from Long Beach Animal Care Services a few years ago. Jason shows off photos of her like your neighbor does with photos of the grandbabies, except Mango’s are way cuter. She’s dressed as a jester because, as Jason said, she’s a clown and thinks she’s funny. Best doggie deadpan ever.


a large black cat in a Dracula cape and a smaller one in bat wings sit on a cluttered table.

Two of my personal demons, Duncan (in Dracula cape) and Shax (in bat wings) sit amongst the clutter on the dining room table waiting to be shed of their shackles. Black cats on Halloween, they say, need no costume.

Orange bearded dragon sits on decorative piece of wood. He wears black wings. A pumpkin saying "Happy Halloween" on it is next to him.

Austin Rivera, who lives with community-engagement editor Stephanie, has morphed into a winged dragon, surely a fantasy of bearded dragons everywhere. Steph says that he’s pleased with the look, but I’m not sure how you can tell.

black and white pit bull mix blends in to black-and-white tile floor

Jasper Grobaty, one of senior columnist Tim’s two canine buddies, has decided to go this year as T-1000 from “Terminator 2,” rising from the floor to wreak havoc on his human’s carpet slippers.


The best place to bring your dressed-up pets on Halloween is the Haute Dogs Howl’oween Parade, now in its 20th incarnation! Justin Rudd, who has deservedly won the Best of Long Beach Community Leader award, is once again heading up the gala. It’s grown from a rollicking procession down Second Street to a grand event that includes the multiple awards for best costumes for dogs, kids and adults and for best float; an adoption fair; and vendors of anything your pet could want or need. Proceeds from the event help fund nonprofits.

All information, rules and so on are available here. Read them thoroughly and carefully.

You still have time to enter your dog, but whether you live with one or do not, you can still spectate. You can bring a chair for free or rent a seat. Better yet, if there’s no dog in your house, the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services has plenty. They all need forever homes or loving fosters. Please contact [email protected] or call 562-570-4925 for information about any of them on this link.

Virtually Pets

Shelter dogs are all ready for Halloween, too, thanks to all the volunteers, particularly costume designer Ricky. Check out their beautiful selves and read their bios.

Things that go bump in the night (no fear—it’s the cat knocking the phone off the nightstand again)

Photo by Justin Rudd

Haute Dogs Howl’oween Parade: 12:30 p.m. until the last pumpkin drops, Sunday, Oct. 31, Marina Vista Park, 5355 E. Eliot St., Long Beach, registration and seat-purchase information here.

The world’s largest Halloween pet event, according to those in the know, is back—and it’s on the actual Halloween, yet! There are all kinds of prizes for humans and dogs (you can probably get by dressing up a cat or a pig) along with an adoption fair, a vendor fair and of course, the parade, in which over 450 dogs, including floats, are expected to participate! Spectators are welcome—you can bring your own chair and watch for free or reserve one for $5. This event also has the world’s largest set of details, so please click the link above for all of them. Note: Haute Dogs’ policy is to treat people with honor, dignity and respect regardless of their beliefs, gender, age, race, creed, sexual orientation, special needs and ethnicity. In this respect, no Native American costumes will be permitted.

Just fur fun and fur-ther education

Meatball Fundraiser for Lulu: 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30, Seal Beach Animal Care Center, 1700 Adolfo Lopez Drive, Seal Beach, donations of any value gladly accepted

Meatball lunchies both regular and vegan will be served in the SBACC parking lot, rain or shine! The proceeds will support Lulu’s trip to Pennsylvania, where she’ll surely enjoy at least one Philly cheese steak, or the doggie equivalent. Read Lulu’s story on the graphic—it’s a worthy paws cause.

Comedy and Cats: 8–9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach,, $25, reserve your seat here.

Here we go again! The Salty AF crew of comedians and the Lounge cats will wrestle for the microphone and spotlight in which the only competitive element is who’s funnier, cats or comics. The group cannot wait for another bout with the kitties. Along with MC and Salty creator Holly Anabel Brown will appear Neel Nanda, featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Comedy Central and Amazon Prime’s “Inside Joke”; international touring comedian Dalia Malek, winner of multiple comedy festivals; ABC and YouTube performer Jose Barrientos; Chris Bryant, who appeared on Netflix’s “Cooking on High” and Amazon’s “Out on Stage”; and Hannah Rose, LA’s “Top Comic Competition” finalist.

Help wanted, help given

Bark-tober Specials: throughout October, office hours through appointment, Fix Long Beach, 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, prices vary.

Check out the specials on the graphic—cherry-eye surgeries have been added for Tuesday, Oct. 26, $650 per eye. All appointments must be booked and completed within October, so book one here. Open to residents of all cities.

Volunteers of many stripes needed at Helen Sanders CatPAWS

Want to spend a few hours playing with cats? How about brightening the day of a bunch of senior citizens with kitten visits? Fostering cats because you aren’t sure you want to keep one but wish you could have one ever so briefly in your life (and yes, you could change your mind and keep them forever). Delivering pet food to needy shelters? Assembling do-it-yourself newborn-kitten-care kits, and maybe bottle-feeding a few? Kennel cleaning (whee!)? Lend a paw to CatPAWS—fill out the volunteer application at this link.

Volunteer walkers needed for senior citizens’ dogs

Ida’s Walkers is a program of The Heart of Ida, a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving the older-adult population in and around Long Beach. Ida’s Walkers offers dog-walking services to low-to-moderate-income seniors who are hospitalized, have limited mobility, or are at risk of falling. If you want to help senior citizens keep their beloved pets as long as they are able to live at home, call 562-370-3548.

Fix Long Beach low-cost pet-services clinics: selected days and times, 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, services available by appointment at

Fix Long Beach is taking appointments for low-cost spay/neuter, dental, vaccines and other vet needs for cats and dogs. Vaccination clinics take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Visit their webpage or Facebook page for details.

DIY Kitten Care Kits available free at Long Beach Animal Care Services

Kitten season is still in bloom, and shelters and rescues are scrambling to save little lives, get them fixed, get them adopted. It isn’t unusual to find nests of young, seemingly abandoned kittens during kitten season. It is a natural reaction to want to help, to save them. If you are interested in obtaining a Kitten Care Kit made possible by Helen Sanders CatPAWS, please email [email protected]

Spay/neuter vouchers available at shelter

Long Beach Animal Care Services has spay/neuter vouchers available. They’ll take a healthy nip out of the cost of a procedure. Residents of any of the five cities served by the shelter can telephone the general number at 562-570–7387 to request a voucher.

 Spay/neuter appointments available at SNP/LA

The Spay/Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP/LA) offers free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and they’re extending the hours of their vaccination clinics. The San Pedro clinic will give shots between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. every third Thursday at 957 N. Gaffey St. Call 310-574–5555 to see if you qualify for services.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag

Pets of the Homeless’s home page gives a self-description as the only organization focusing only on providing food and care for pets belonging to homeless people. Businesses and other organizations across the country receive in-kind donations of food and other needs that the dogs and cats’ human families can pick up at outreach locations. The following businesses will accept your donations:

Trendi Pawz, 3726 E. Seventh St., Long Beach

Belmont Heights Animal Hospital, 255 Redondo Ave., Long Beach

Paw Shoppe Pet Center, Inc., 6416 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Food and supplies are available Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach; and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach, Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

In-furson events

Long Beach Animal Care Services’ Adoption Waggin: 10 a.m.–2 p.m., second Saturday of each month, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; 10 a.m.–2 p.m., last Saturday of each month, VBurger, 420 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, adoption fees apply

 The shelter’s favorite glamping vehicle for cats and dogs has been making the scene twice a month. Adopt at the locations and find either everything you need for your pet or a fine vegan lunch.

Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sundays., Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

This adoption center is a much-needed satellite operation of Long Beach Animal Care Services. Julie and her team pull adoptable cats—”adoptable,” to these guys, means any cat in a shelter kennel! The team socializes the kitties until they’re adopted, which takes less time than you could imagine!

Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption centers: viewable daily during store hours, playtime Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 3 p.m., PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach; Petco Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, third Saturday of every month between 1 and 3 p.m., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Window-shopping’s a neat pastime and likely has become more common during the pandemic. Helen Sanders CatPAWS has applied window-shopping to cat adoption; you can peer at several of the fine felines through the windows of the PetSmart adoption center in Seal Beach, and now, you can finally visit with them, scratch their little ears, and rub them under their chinny-chin-chins on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Visitors to Petco  Marina Shores every third Saturday of the month can see them running around their playpens and cuddle them, too. Volunteers will answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.

two dogs and a cat on one border, two cats and two dogs on other. Caption says, "May we couch-surf at your place?"

May we couch-surf at your place?

Nota bon-e—fosters are needed everywhere!

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. Fosters are needed for kittens as well. 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.


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Kate Karp is the Pets Columnist for the Long Beach Post covering the world of animal activism, pet adoptions and lots of cute cats. She’s called Long Beach home since 1994 and has written for the Post for about 10 years. Kate’s day job is as a copyeditor, which she discovered a love for during her 30-year tenure as a teacher. She describes the job as “like taking the rough edges off a beautiful sculpture.”