“She is amazing! So sweet!” exclaimed animal-shelter volunteer Patty Mysior as Angel, the Dog of the Moment, pranced around the dais during this week’s City Council meeting.
Video by Laura Amaya-Morga
Angel’s appearance marked the second Long Beach Animal Care Services Pet Adoption event at a City Council meeting. The first one took place at the April 4 meeting—it featured a pit bull named Mrs. Howell, who was adopted immediately by a member of the city manager’s staff. She also took home Mrs. H.’s daughter Mary Ann.
The events had been staples of the council meetings before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Megan Ignacio, LBACS’ community outreach coordinator, praised the events and their contribution to high adoption rates and said that the shelter plans to continue them on a regular basis.
Shelter director Staycee Dains said that the focus for the foreseeable future will be on big dogs. They comprise the largest population in the city’s overflowing animal shelter and face a higher danger of euthanasia for space than cats and smaller dogs. The publicity about shelter overcrowding combined with events like the council appearances, Dains said, have saved the lives of big, healthy dogs who would have been otherwise put to sleep.
“Right now, we’re doing it every other Tuesday, but we’re hoping to do it every Tuesday,” Dains said. “We ‘re just trying to get the flow going with the council. And it’s fun. Everybody loves the dogs!”
Like every pet in the shelter, Angel has a backstory. She was brought in as a stray, and her microchip scan revealed that the person who had brought her in was actually her owner. Dains said that people in dire situations often relinquish their dogs to the shelter, which can be heartbreaking for everyone involved.
“When people are struggling with their pets, instead of giving them up, contact us for resources,” Dains advised. “We might know the veterinarians who fit into somebody’s price range. We can get them connected with dog trainers, litter supplies.”
Long Beach Animal Care Services has a resources tab at the far right on the newly designed shelter home page. She also encouraged fostering pets such as newborn kittens and dogs like Angel, who could go home with someone for a weekend “shelter break.”
“Lots of research has been done that shows that fostering lowers their cortisol levels—stress hormones—and that they never go back up to the level that they were before,” Dains said.
Of course, there’s the off-chance of not wanting to give the pet back after fostering. Sneaky? Sure, but so what? Fostering, Dains added, is the pathway to adoption.
Mysior also stressed the need for volunteers for the many programs that the shelter offers.
“I’ve worked in a lot of shelters all over the country, and Long Beach has one of the most amazing communities,” Dains said. “We can only do what we do because our community is so great. I want to say thank you—what city brings dogs into the council chamber?”
Well, ours does, anyway!
Long Beach Animal Care Services is located at 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park. There’s no parking fee for shelter visitors. Visit their website to see the pets and learn about the process of adoption and fostering.
Shelters often handle sensitive and, at times, tragic situations. The two cats featured below are from a hoarding situation. Long Beach Animal Care Services recently took in and cared for 14 cats after their elderly human passed away and there was no responsible person or relative to claim them. The initial flea infestations and URIs have been taken care of, and they’re now doing well and are ripe for the picking—each cat was named for a fruit, so … Check out the whole crop on the shelter’s cat page—you’ll recognize them by their names—and apply to take home one, or maybe a pair—or as cat volunteer John said, a pear. They may have had a seedy beginning, but we see a lush future.
Great furballs of fun!
Pet Supplies Plus adoption events: Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 N. Bellflower Blvd. Adoption fees apply.
Long Beach Animal Care Services usually presents this event on the third Saturday of each month, but this month, it’s on the fourth Saturday because April has an extra Saturday. Thanks to the events calendar on the newly designed shelter website, you can dispense with any confusion and just click on the events link, with which we’ve cheerfully provided you. You can also dispense with the schlep to get food, toys, leashes or litter for your new furever friend because Pet Supplies Plus will have everything they could possibly need or want.
Same time, same place, same perks for the pets, and with different dogs. Check out the pooches from Sparky, too. Maybe you can take one home from each rescue. If you’re looking for someone furry to take home, chances are good that you’ll find them.
Cinco de Meow festival: Saturday, May 6, 3 p.m.–5 p.m., Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7500 E. Spring St. It’s a free event, and there’s no parking fee for shelter guests.
How do you like kitty personalities? Mild? Spicy? Through the ceiling? Our shelter has them all. Celebrate the spicy cats program and Mexican heritage with music, taco trucks and all the felinos y felinas you could want to see! ¡Andale, orale, hijole, gatitole!
Tap 24 Trivia Time: Sunday, May 7, noon, Tap 24 Bar & Grill, 4750 E. Los Coyotes Blvd. Free event.
Enjoy an epic pub quiz and support kitties from The Little Lion Foundation and The Cat Cove. You can win free drinks or products from Hide & Scratch, but the definite winners will be the cats in the rescues. No reservations required—everyone is welcome.
Foster for a while—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. Keep in mind that the rescues are self-supporting and need donations and volunteer help. Most of them cannot accept found or unwanted pets. Contact Long Beach Animal Care Services for options.
German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
Long Beach Animal Care Services
Long Beach Spay and Neuter Foundation
Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center
Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue