“Omigod, they’re so kyoot!” Drag queens don’t get upstaged often, but glam gals Jewels, Jasmine Masters and Borgia did not mind at all.

The artists had been performing at Hamburger Mary’s weekend brunch, and they enthusiastically agreed to pose with pups to help get the word out for the Drags for Wags fundraiser, which takes place this Saturday at the iconic restaurant and bar. The event, which would have been the fifth annual if the pandemic hadn’t shown its ugly face, will feature naughty shows and raffles with glittering prizes such as artwork, pet supplies, Halloween décor and a few pieces of singular jewelry that’s not, shall we say, for the pursed of lips.

Putting on the dog for you will be the presenters, Long Beach Imperial Court, and as cohosts, the dee-liciously legendary Big Dee and Dani Carter, who defies attribution—even “over the top” is modest. They promise you nothing less than a raucous and hilarious blast.

Here’s Dani herself braving the ambient street noise to tell you all about it. Critter cuddlers in order of appearance are Oakley with comedian Jasmine Masters, who was a contestant on the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race; Nelson and Jewels, whom Dani and a lot of other people call “the philanthropic face of the Imperial Court,” and Whiskey with Borgia Bloom, who’s over the moon to be back performing for beloved audiences, mask or no mask.


Jewels will be one of the entertainers at the fundraiser; Jasmine Masters and Borgia Blossom aren’t scheduled for it, but everyone wanted to take part in the video. Drag Queens may perform impersonations, but generosity among them is 100% genuine.

Dani has no problem projecting her voice, but if you couldn’t make out everything she said, scroll down to Just fur fun and fur-ther education. In case you missed it, every cent of the proceeds will benefit dogs and the occasional cat at Sparky and the Gang. What more could you ask?

Virtually pets

These dogs appeared in the video and are ready to go on the road permanently with you. Check them out along with the other hopefuls here, and contact [email protected] for adoption information.

a brown puppy stands and looks in the camera. A fluffy one with tan fur and a beige muzzle and legs cocks his head and looks at the camera. The name Oakley, for the brown dog, is printed in green letters.
Oakley, a chocolate Lab/beagle, and his siblings are part of the “O” litter. He’s pictured with his littermate Okie and without Jasmine Masters because he was off on a bathroom break during the photoshoot, but as you saw, Jasmine was utterly jazzed  by him. Sparky and the Gang names their litters in alphabetical order, which helps them keep track of everything. They have a beautiful, sweet mom named Olivia, who also needs to go home. They were all found in a warehouse and were a lucky little family when Sparky showed up.


smiling woman in sunglasses, hair bow, black T-shirt and shorts stands against a background of Crayola-color squares holding a little tan doggie with pricked-up ears.
Nelson, a German shepherd/Lab mix, was also discovered in a warehouse along with his mother and his siblings. They were all covered with fleas and ticks and in desperate need of TLC. Now they’re clean, healthy and ready to go home, and of course, their names all begin with “N.” He can be yours if Dani and Jewels agree to hand him over!


large drag queen in brown wig, heavy eye makeup and a bright-yellow dress holds a tan puppy, who's licking her face
Whiskey is just a big, big puppy who seems to want to do nothing but cuddle with the big girls. Don’t be fooled by that—he wants to play as much as he wants to cuddle, and he so wants to do both in a forever home! Please adopt him before he licks off all Borgia Blossom’s eyeshadow!


Just fur fun and fur-ther education

Drags for Wags fundraiser: 3:30 p.m,, Saturday, Sept. 25, Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach, $10 suggested door donation

It’s back—finally! Hosted by Long Beach Imperial Court, the longest-running LGBTQ nonprofit in the area, and presented by Reign 48 Princess Dani Carter, the fifth iteration of this event features Long Beach’s glamorous Drag Queens, who will wag their tails across the dog walk and give dazzling performances for everyone! Enjoy raffles for great prizes; all funds will go to Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue. Get there early or make a reservation on the Yelp page—they sold out last time!

Pet Food Express Virtual Pet Fair: through September, find registration information here

Pet Food Express stores across California are hosting the biggest virtual pet fair ever. Every adoption is a win-win-win—you get a swag bag of goodies, the rescue will receive $25 from the adoption and an additional $20 if you redeem the coupon in your swag bag at any Pet Food Express store, and the cat, dog, bird, bunny, cow (two of them were adopted at a previous fair) or whoever goes home with you wins big. Of course, so do you.

Free Pet Wellness day: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25, Houghton Park, 1170 E. Harding St., Long Beach, make an appointment here or use the QR code on the flyer.

Family wellness keeps the ball rolling, and since pets are family, the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Long Beach Animal Care Services have teamed up with rescues and organizations to provide families in need with vaccines, food and other good things for their furmates. Be sure to make an appointment.

Paint and Purrs fundraising event: 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $45 per person, purchase tickets here.

Set free your inner Meowndrian at the Feline Good Social Club’s “Me and My Cat Over the Rainbow” social night! Participants will create a themed painting in the company of the best muses ever: the Club’s adoptable cats. All funds from the event go toward maintaining the club and its residents so that they may continue to thrive and inspire. Face masks for humans are mandatory.

Haute Dogs Interfaith Blessing of the Animals: 5:45 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3, Granada Beach’s concrete boat ramp next to Rosie’s Dog Beach, 1 Granada Ave., Long Beach, free; parking is free after 6 p.m.

“It’s important to recognize and honor the great bond and relationship between pets and their people,” said Justin Rudd, founder of the Interfaith Blessing of the Animals. And so, humans and their families are invited to bring their furry, feathery, scaly, gilly and whatever they were born with to be blessed by any of a variety of interfaith ministers.

Make sure that dogs and large lizards are leashed and that cats, rabbits, pocket pets, spiders and anything crawly are in some kind of secure carrier. If your pet has passed, is ill or prefers to stay home, bring a collar, a toy or a photo that represents them—they can participate in that way.

Everything from hamster to horse has been blessed at this beautiful event—not that they need blessing, but it sure makes their humans feel blessed to know or have known them. More information available here.

Sound Healing fundraising event: 4:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, Nov, 9, Dec. 4, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $30 per person, purchase tickets here.

Bring your yoga mat, blanket, pillow, water bottle and anything else you need to keep you comfy and experience the healing effects of the sounds and vibrations of tonal instruments as cats wander around, over and on you. You can adopt one of these kitties and experience daily the best sound healing ever—purring. Wear comfortable clothing; masks are mandatory for humans.

Best Friends’ Strut Your Mutt fundraising event: details and events here.

Ready to start building a team or just strut your stuff solo? Best Friends, a nationwide organization whose intent is to save every animal life possible, has started its registration for its Oct. 23 Strut Your Mutt Day virtual walk. The goal is to raise $2 million for both the organization and animal shelters and rescues nationwide.

Access this link for instructions on how to build your team or register yourself, and participate in virtual events such as pig yoga or meeting the animals at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as you move along the time line. Mutts and all manner of mammals will thank you!

Comedy and Cats: 8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $25, reserve your seat here.

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 is funnier, cats or comics. The group cannot wait for another bout with the kitties.

Calendars: 365 days of furry love

CatPAWS’ 2021 calendar, back

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties 2022 calendar contest: entries accepted up to 5:00 p.m., extended to Friday, Sept. 24.

Calling all stage cat mommies and cat daddies! Now’s the chance for you to buy the way of your ridiculously adorable ridiculous feline into the spotlight. Helen Sanders CatPAWS cat rescue is again holding its annual photo contest in which you can enter your own cat and get your friends to donate funds to vote for a cover or month photo position on the calendar.

It’s a lot less fattening than asking them to buy your kids’ fundraising chocolate, and the money taken in will pay more medical bills for cats, put together more DIY newborn-kitten-care kits, and fund all the good things CatPAWS does—the goal is $10,000, but they’ll settle for more. You can also reserve a special day for a kitty whose memory you want to honor. CatPAWS will attempt to place every photo received somewhere on the calendar. Grab all the details here.

2022 Seal Beach Animal Care Center Calendar Contest: entries and votes accepted through 11:59 p.m., Oct 22, enter here.

Only $1 needed to enter your cat or dog into SBACC’s contest! Votes start at $1 (5 vote minimum). You enter and vote for your best friend and then encourage your family and friends to cast votes for them. People can vote as many times as they want.

Two separate calendars, one for the cats and one for the dogs, will feature your pets, and the top 13 dogs and top 13 cats (with the most votes) will be showcased in the calendars, with the first-place of each species as the cover guy or girl. Thumbnail photos of all entrants will be featured in the calendars, even if the pets are not in the top 13.

Help wanted, help given

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? Delivering pet food to needy shelters? Assembling do-it-yourself newborn-kitten-care kits, and maybe bottle-feeding a few? Kennel cleaning?

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 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 www.fixlongbeachpets.com.

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. But before you jump in, consider these steps outlined here. 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 call 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 Long Beach businesses will accept your donations:

Trendi Pawz, 3726 E. 7th 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 9:00 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00 p.m. at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach; and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Animal Care Services


Long Beach Animal Care Services’ Adoption Waggin: 10:00 a.m.–2:00:p.m., second Saturday of each month, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach; 10:00 a.m.–2:00: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 3:00 p.m., PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach; Petco Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Hwy., third Saturday of every month between 1:00 and 3:00 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 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?

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. Each of the organizations listed below is in desperate need of fosters who will social them and help save their little lives.

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.