Free microchips for pets available at Fix Long Beach clinic. Masks for humans are required.

Virtually Pets

This year’s fireworks seem to be louder, nastier, more ubiquitous and more frequent than last year’s. More likely you’ve noticed, and so have your pets.

Thanks to a bunch of residents on their last collective nerve and a group of city government officials who heard them plead for relief (and who doubtless heard the day-and-night detonations where they themselves live), the City Council passed a June 23 motion to request the recommendations of the Illegal Explosives and Fireworks Action Plan. We humans now also have a portal on the city prosecutor’s website to report locations of the blasts.

What do dogs and cats have? Microchips!

small electronics receiver on finger. REceiver is black at the base, clear on top, and has a gold-color bar. It is a microchip for pets.

Microchips, for those whose pets don’t have them, are teeny integrated circuits that get implanted under an animal’s skin. Each chip stores an ID number that will bring up the animal’s information—name, phone number of owner, and so forth—that the owner enters when they register the chip online. Stock photo


White oval-shaped hand-held device with glas window is held to the neck of a brown dog. It is a microchip reader.

Veterinarian checking microchip implant under Rhodesian ridgeback. If an animal should be lost or stolen and winds up in a shelter or someone’s backyard, a shelter employee, a vet tech or anyone with a scanner can read the information, and the animal can go home to their family. Simple. Stock photo


Even indoor pets are susceptible to beating it out the door unexpectedly. All my cats are prisoners of love, and they’re all chipped. They also wear breakaway collars with ID tags (except for Mildred, who refuses, but she has that chip). Chips aren’t substitutes for tags—they’re what’s called an extra layer of protection. A microchip can’t fall off or be removed the way a collar and ID tags can be, and it will immediately identify your pet as yours if fireworks noise causes them to run off.

Fix Long Beach is going to make it easy for you to help ensure a safe return for your cat or dog. On Saturday, June 27, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, they’ll be hosting a free microchip clinic at a private business at 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach. Low-cost shots, flea meds and nail trimmings are also available. Complete information is available here. For everyone’s health and safety, dogs must be on sturdy leashes and in well-fitting collars or harnesses, cats must be in carriers, and humans must be in masks.

A chip won’t shield sensitive, furry little ears from the startling cacophony of fireworks, but there’s a far higher chance of your pet going home if they’re equipped with one. The Fourth of July and mainly the silly season surrounding it is generally the time that the shelter fills up with pets. Despite the efforts to empty it, they’ve been coming in. Some haven’t been either claimed or chipped, and you have the opportunity to do both. Check out these videos.

Because the shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email. Contact [email protected] to meet any of these fine animals.


Stormy (ID#A643487) is a 3-year-old neutered white Alaskan husky mix. This perfect-size companion is up and ready to go home and explore with his new owner. His stunning looks, mild temperament and great disposition make this guy a shelter favorite!

Thor (ID#A577670) is a 4-year-old German shepherd. This larger-than-life hunk is looking for a strong handler to accompany him on power walks, runs at the beach and hikes through the mountains. He can’t wait to meet you!

Fritzy (ID#A643977), a 2-year-old sweet and loving cat, came to our shelter because his owner passed away. He’s somewhat sad but very gentle and kind. He’s looking for a new home to call his own.


Pet Projects

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

West Coast Toyota of Long Beach bought $3,000 worth of pet food last month to deliver to people in need in our community. If anyone you know is in this position, take a photo of the food you give to your pet, and include your name, contact information and a brief description of your work situation to [email protected]. Fix’n Fidos will deliver the food to you or arrange for you to pick it up.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS offers, through specific private donors, e-gift cards for people struggling during the crisis to buy food for their pets. The CatPAWS Spay/Neuter Fund, also privately funded, has vouchers available for anyone not able to go to the shelter for them. They also accept donations.

Pets of the Homeless‘ 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. 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 at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach, Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m.; and at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach, Thursday from 9 to 11  a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Just fur fun

$5 donation fundraiser for Helen Sanders CatPAWSThrough June 30, $5 minimum donation.

Nothing like having some extra spending money! If you’re a lucky winner in the CatPAWS donation fundraiser, you’ll have $100 worth of AMEX gift card to spend! Every $5 you donate gets you a chance at the prize. If you aren’t selected, no matter—every cent of your donation goes to help orphaned and abandoned shelter cats become healthy and adoptable! Donate and help a kitty here.

 Annual 4th of July Tiki Pawty for Dogs: Saturday, July 4, all day, Joyful Paws Pet Hotel and Daycare, 1701 Fashion Ave., Long Beach, $6, RSVP at 562-684-8610. Available to boarded furry guests only.

Some humans who live in areas where illegal fireworks noise is unbearable opt to board their pets for the most intensive days. If your pet already has a reservation or you’re planning to make one, RSVP for this fun event. Dogs will enjoy a day in the pool with pupsicles and puperazzi to snap photos. Cats, of course, are welcome but likely wouldn’t enjoy the pool; however, they’re entitled to a Tiki photo. Of course, no fireworks will mark the festivities.

New-Dog Basics Classes: Saturdays, July 11–Aug. 15, 4 –5 p.m., Trots Headquarters, Long Beach, $395 for the series, inquire at [email protected]. Address given out after registration.

Are you one of the wonderful humans who gave a new dog a new home during the pandemic shut-in? You love the doggie but not some of their habits? These dog psychology classes are just the right thing: walking, boundaries and other necessary things to know. Animal behaviorist Jo Stanford does such a good job of guiding you through a dog’s mind that pretty soon you’ll be staying off the couch, too!


Help wanted, help given

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—(see above)—can telephone the general number at 562-570-7387 to request a voucher.

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, located at 957 N. Gaffey St., will give shots every third Thursday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call 310-574-5555 to see if you qualify for services.

Adopt, adopt, adopt
Woman with short black hair and sunglasses on top of her head, wearing a bright-orange shirt, cuddles newly adopted orange cat.

…to X-tatic!
Photo by Eden Amans.

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

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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.”