Small, but stretched out is how Nici Daniels describes K9 Kismet, the dog rescue she serves on as board member. You won’t find the nonprofit’s furry protégés at adoption events—they’re all with loving fosters in Southern California, sometimes forever, living out a life that might otherwise be denied them.

“Most of the dogs we bring into rescue come to us from Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) or Orange County Animal Care,” Daniels said. “Many have been overlooked or deemed less adoptable due to their age, health, emotional state or breed. We rescue, rehabilitate and help them find loving, permanent homes. When permanent placement isn’t an option, usually due to cost-prohibitive medical needs, we care for them for the remainder of their lives as K9 Kismet Forever Fosters.”

“Kismet” well describes the conflation of circumstances that bring dog and rescuer together. K9 Heart or K9 Compassion might be more accurate, but they’re nowhere near as snappy. The rescue began in Los Angeles in 2015 and moved its base to Long Beach three years ago. They foster around 15 dogs at one time in homes from Los Angeles to north San Diego County.

“For us, it’s about finding the best foster for each dog—sometimes, the best fosters are far away,” Daniels said. “We keep our numbers small and have a realistic understanding of our abilities. We don’t rescue a dog unless we know we can give the dog everything it needs to have a life of love, care and compassion. We can’t afford to let our hearts lead, but our hearts speak loudly to help inform our decisions.”

K9 Kismet pays for all food, medical care and training. Some of the dogs are readily adoptable, others are waiting in fosters for their adopters to come, and still others will stay for the remainder of their lives because of issues too challenging for many people to handle—except for the ones who eagerly show up.

“That’s what inspires me—the fosters who say yes,” Daniels said.

K9 Kismet pulls from over 20 shelters, but Daniels has been focusing on LBACS because of the large number of dogs and small staff size. During the last few months, K9 Kismet has found fosters for 15 LBACS dogs who are considered unadoptable. Daniels admires the efforts and initiative of the shelter’s volunteers and has become one herself, conducting meet-and-greets and adoption counseling sessions.

“The volunteers are loving, committed, compassionate,” Daniels said. “The group works as a cohesive unit, and it’s amazing to watch. I’m very lucky—I’m able to call them friends.”

K9 Kismet’s compassion extends to humans, helping them keep their loved pets. Their community programs include K9 Kismet Amigos Program, which provides financial support for medical care, including urgent, lifesaving treatment, for both people’s pets and shelter dogs; and Cooking with Asher, which provides pet food for families in difficult financial situations. A spay/neuter program is in the works.

K9 Kismet relies on grants, fundraising and independent donors to run their program.

“Because we’re all volunteer, 100% of the donations we receive go directly to the dogs we serve,” Daniels said.

And of course, fosters are vital to success. If you have the heart and the compassion, you can make kismet happen for the dogs who desperately need it.

Donate to K9 Kismet here. To foster a dog in your home, contact [email protected] or 562-438-8500.

 Virtually pets

These dogs have either been pulled from LBACS or are in the shelter where K9 Kismet is providing for their needs. They need out of the shelter and into the homes of fosters or adopters willing to care for the Whole Dog. To apply to foster or adopt, contact [email protected] or 562-438-8500.

Kylo’s original name at LBACS was Tommy. He’s a 7-month-old Lab-mix puppy who had a fractured elbow and a bacterial skin infection when he was turned in to the shelter as an emaciated stray. K9 Kismet raised the funds needed for his surgical and medical care, and now, he’s happily loving his fosters and leaning in for cuddles. He loves belly rubs and yummy snacks. Kylo is just a happy little dude! Photo courtesy of K9 Kismet


Blonde woman in green volunteer apron with shelter's name on it sits on white bench next to a white pit bull with a heart thought balloon at the top of his head.
Here you see Diesel, ID#A558974 at the shelter and an obvious favorite of Nici Daniels. Nici is also a favorite of Diesel. Diesel, like his name, is high powered and needs some leash training—he’s a puller—but he’s also a love and adores treats and his stuffies, which he gladly shares. Diesel has been in our shelter for six months. When he entered, he had a skin infection that affected his entire system. Tests showed untreated allergic dermatitis. It’s under control now, but he needs a caring foster or adopter to really heal him inside and out! K9 Kismet will support the new family with skin meds and resources for leash training. Photo by LBACS volunteer Mary Agugliaro


Hippopotamus, #IDA669784 at the shelter, is an adorable, squat little pittie who badly needs a medical foster. Daniels calls her a “cute little boo.” Hipps has had some unusual bloodwork results and symptoms, and the diagnostics are ongoing. She needs out of the shelter and into a foster home, where K9 Kismet will continue providing medical tests and treatment. Photo courtesy of LBACS


Furballs of Fun

Stand-Pup Comedy online benefit: 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 23, online via Zoom, tickets $20 early bird, $25 same day.

What’s funnier than stand-up comedy—aside from your dog trotting in something embarrassing from the bedroom while company’s visiting? This family-friendly event, produced by Comic Cure, features comics and magicians from shows like “Funny or Die” and “Penn and Teller’s Fool Us,” and best, if you buy your tickets online, shelters and rescues nationwide will benefit from your purchase! (Not to tell you whom to support, but local cat rescue Helen Sanders CatPAWS is among the beneficiary choices.) Information and ticket purchase available here—Zoom link will be provided on the day of the performance.

Sound Healing with Cats: 5:30–7 p.m., Friday, March 11, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $30.

Long Beach’s only kitty club is again prepping to get your entire being purring! Club partner Illuminate Life will use Tibetan bowls and other sound-making instruments to relax you as completely as a cat is. The lounge cats will provide invaluable assistance. and our fabulous Lounge kitties are sure to make your Friday night perfect. Grab your tickets here!


Helping paws

blonde woman with white apron and red-striped shirt holds smal brown dog in e-collar as dog's person looks on. Man is wearing mask.
Jacqueline Blackstock greets dog person Bob Gary with his newly spayed doggie, Sam. Gary found Fix Long Beach on the internet after looking everywhere in Los Angeles County and could find no appointments, anywhere, and his own vet wanted $600. Sam said she was ready to go home.


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.

Foster for awhile—or furever!

Long Beach Animal Care Services’ Adoption Waggin’ will roll in, and the volunteers will show you all the wonderful animals aboard.


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.