The new normal is creeping up like a cat after some random scrap of cardboard on the floor. People are venturing out, dogs are dining on restaurant patios, and cats are staying at home and napping. Some things don’t change.

Unfortunately, shelters and rescues are filling up again with stray and discarded animals after an eye-popping run on adoptions and fostering. The term “pandemic pet” was coined when people decided to get some company during their involuntary exile and made adoption rates soar, not just here, but nationwide. Our own facility, Long Beach Animal Care Services, virtually emptied last year after rescues made a major effort to pull as many pets as they could and find fosters for them. As hoped, many of the fosters became permanent residents in their new homes.

VIDEO: ‘The world changed’: Near-empty animal shelter means pets safe at new homes

This was a great help during kitten season, but the new normal in shelters and rescues is starting to look like the old version. To some rescues, it seems worse. Adoptions have tapered off, and fosters are even more badly needed. Cat rescues and animal shelters are pleading for people to help house cats and kittens.

“This kitten season has been especially difficult, with many more kittens in our community,” said Claudia Marie, founder of The Little Lion Foundation cat rescue and head nurse at the Long Beach Little Paws Project kitten nursery. “We believe that the pandemic affected this because most veterinary offices and shelters were operating at a very limited capacity, so lots of kittens were being born on the streets. This year, there seems to be an increased need to help these precious felines.”

Marie stressed the reliance on both her rescue and other rescues to find care for their charges, giving them, as she said, the home experience that will transition them to being regular ol’ house cats—the best thing any feline could strive to be. Please access this link if you can help foster kittens for The Little Lion Foundation, and check out the links in the Adopt, adopt, adopt section for other rescues and shelters in need. You’re not required to keep the cat, but as with any normal, no one will refuse you. It’ll be up to you. And the cat.

The Little Lion Foundation also needs volunteers to help clean kennels and socialize the kittens.Apply at this link.

Virtually Pets

All of these kitties are in fosters now. They’re ready for you if you want to make a forever commitment and at the same time make space for another foster or fosters. Adoption information is available here.

 Of course, donations and wish-list fulfillments are always welcome!

fluffy, white cat meatloafs on a rug and looks at camera. She has a black smudge near her right ear.
Molly—a huge, amazing, 2-year-old white floof! She’s a sassy girl who likes to be petted on her terms, but those terms are pure, purring love. She’s an absolute doll!


Belly and Balloon are a brother-and-sister bonded pair that survived panleukopenia as 4-week-old kittens. They need to go home together.

Gray tabby looks at camera, his eyes bright and staring upward.
Belly is an easygoing and confident gray-tabby boy who isn’t afraid to ask for what he wants. He loves to roll over so that you’ll have easy access to his striped belly and can give him belly scratches. Whenever he needs anything, be it food, water or just a little attention, he’ll let you know with his sweet, melancholy little grumbles and meows. He is a big fan of stealing bottle caps from right under your nose! He is an amazing boy who’s ready to be your forever cuddle bug!


Sealpoint Siamese kitten lies seductively on side, playing with a toy and staring at the camera.
Balloon, who’s bonded to Belly, is a tortie-point Siamese—a sensitive girl who is both adventurous and a little bit timid. She’s a great climber who will always go straight to the top of the cat tree to survey the world with her big, green eyes. Although she’s not a huge fan of being picked up for an extended period, she adores being petted and getting back scratches. She’ll grow to trust you if she knows you can respect her personal space. Then, of course, she’ll proceed to invade yours by sneaking into bed with you at night and curling up against your chest.


Orange cat sprawls on a gray bed and stares into camera
Achilles, a sweet orange floof kitten, came to Little Lion from a public shelter after being attacked by another animal. He’s had surgery to clean up the wounds, and he made a full recovery. Achilles wants all the love. He’s royalty and is not afraid to show it. He will look at you with curious eyes and will never leave your side—he’ll follow you everywhere you go and will purr incessantly. Achilles has a lot to say, and he won’t take no for an answer. He has loads of energy and will do well in a home with another outgoing young cat.


Just fur fun and fur-ther education


Flaunt Your Paws fundraiser for Sparky and the Gang and The Fix Project: 7 p.m., Saturday, June 12, Club Flaunt at the Executive Suite, 3428 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, $10 cover charge.

Join up for the re-launch of Club Flaunt, a monthly get-together to bring the fun, the music and the good times back while also helping to support local organizations and special causes. Opening night will feature the amazing all-girl band Cause for Concern and will benefit dog-rescue group Sparky and the Gang and The Fix Project (Fix Long Beach), a nonprofit organization offering free and low-cost spay and neutering services to individuals who could not normally afford them. Ladies, this is your night to howl! Well-behaved (or not) guys are welcome, too!

Help wanted, help given

woman in face mask stands next to a pillar in front of a light-blue building next to a large pile of blue boxes.
Long Beach Animal Care Services manager Staycee Dains receives a shipment of DIY kitten-care kits to hand to residents who agree to care for found newborn kittens. DIY kitten-care kits contain powdered formula for newborn kittens, bottles, syringes, probiotic powder, nipples, a warming disk or a hot water bottle to regulate the kitten’s body temperature, a fleece blanket, and information on newborn-kitten care and how to obtain free spay/neuter vouchers. The items are packaged in plastic sterilized containers that are the perfect size for the caregivers to bathe the little guys.


Foster2Furever needs foster homes for large-breed dogs

If you love big doggies and want to help socialize one for a forever home, fill out the application here, and Foster2Furever will contact a respected rescue who’ll match you to a king-size lovebug. Big homes and big yards aren’t required—just big hearts and a big desire to learn. Contact Foster2Furever here with any questions.

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 the number on the graphic.

Fosters needed at Long Beach Animal Care Services

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. Long Beach Animal Care Services now has a foster program aimed at saving some little lives and socializing them. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing.

Fix Long Beach low-cost pet-services clinics: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday, 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, services available by appointment at

Fix Long Beach has reopened and is taking appointments for low-cost spay/neuter, dental, vaccines and other vet needs for cats and dogs. Visit their webpage or Facebook page for details.

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

Kitten season is here, and shelters and rescues are scrambling to save their 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) is back in business for 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

Feline Fine in the Summertime adoption event: 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Saturday, June 26, and 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday, June 27, Pet Food Express, 9220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Masks off, kitty-cats! Join The Little Lion Foundation for the first big cat-and-kitten adoption event since before the pandemic. Find your perfect companion, whether it’s a kitten, two kittens, an adult or a sweet senior. Then, you can run around Pet Food Express and spoil them rotten!


 Long Beach Animal Care Services’ adoption event: 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Saturday, June 12, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply

Welcome Long Beach Animal Care Services’ whimsical Adoption Waggin’, which will be bearing tails all the way down to the newest pet-supplies store in town! Adopt one of these great critters and then check inside Pet Supplies Plus for everything your new buddy may need and want!

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 center: viewable daily during store hours, PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal 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. Sadly, no ear scratching or chin rubs at this time, but volunteers can answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.

Links to loveables

The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As 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.