Some of Long Beach’s  most glamorous performers will put on a bow-wow of a benefit for their besties at Hamburger Mary’s Downtown on the evening of Aug. 24. Drags for Wags will feature glitzy shows, games and raffles all for your enjoyment and mainly for the benefit of the dogs from Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue. The ladies are donating their time without asking so much as a Blue Buffalo Bit in exchange.

“I have never in my life had a problem getting them to help,” said Dani Carter, Ms. Long Beach Gay Pride 2013 and organizer of Drags for Wags. “They donate their time, they donate their performances, and they even donate raffle prizes. After the first event, it’s like, no no, I want to help, I want to volunteer.”

Three drag queens and one woman pose with dogs. The queens have colorful, bright clothing and the woman has short magenta hair and a T-shirt that says "Drink tequila! Pet dogs!"that says
Drags for Wags will present some of Long Beach’s best performers volunteering their time to help recued dogs. From left, Roxy del Valle, Nebuer, and Syren. Dani Carter, center, organized the event. Photo by Andrea Estrada.

Every March, Pride greets a new International Imperial Court of Long Beach, an LGBTQ nonprofit with a charitable and fundraising mission. When each court is formed, it’s the duty of each monarch to get involved with the community at large and select a charitable organization or effort to support for the year of their reign. Carter is a dog obsessive in the same way that some people you may know are about cats, and she wanted to involve local animal advocacy in her mission during her reign. She had been a longtime dog walker and foster with Sparky and the Gang and admired founder Sherri Stankewitz and her ability to turn matted masses of hurt into beautiful, loving pets. Sparky and the Gang, then, was an easy choice.

“It’s a tiny, independent rescue,” Carter said. “I love the larger organizations, but they have the ability to get way more funding, and Sparky doesn’t have as much opportunity to get it. I could bring awareness, get more dogs adopted, and get more money for them.”

Carter organized the first Drags for Wags at Hamburger Mary’s former location in Alamitos Beach when it first opened. She wants to repeat its huge success this year at its location on Pine Avenue and do more for Sparky. Performers Roxy del Valle, Syren and Nebuer jumped at the chance—a challenge in those heels—to a preview at Mary’s, holding some of the adoptables. Three of Sparky’s volunteers—Linda Josey, Louise Montgomery and Jille Lucier—toted four little fosters they were caring for, and the performers jockeyed to pose with them with shrieks of “Ooooh! I want this one!” “He’s so kyooooot!” and “He’s coordinated with my outfit!”

The dogs were delighted to doze off in the décolletage and make the photos a little more family friendly.


To adopt any of the following doggies, email [email protected]. The queens may come home with you, too, if you provide more-than-decent champagne.

Woman with short magenta hair holds a little black poodle mix.
Dani Carter holds Olive, a 2-year-old poodle mix. Photo by Louise Montgomery.
woman with magenta-and-blue hair, in black tank top, holds little black dog. Woman's arm is tattooed.
Dani Carter with Sammy, a 4-month-old Chi mix. “My love of animals started probably when I was in the womb. I foster-failed a dog from the street. I have a Newfie, a Bernese mountain dog, a German shepherd mix—and a Chihuahua/corgi mix. and a chihucahua Corgi mix.” Photo by Andrea Estrada.
Drag performer with flowing blond hair and a bright pink dress holds a little black dog.
Roxy del Valle and Sammy: “I’ve always loved dogs. I have two Chihuahuas at home and a cat—they’re my family. Me and my husband want more. I see little puppies in the street…heartbreaking.” Photo by Andrea Estrada
Drag performer with bright-red hair and a long, red sequinned dress holds bulldog mix
Syren and Axel., a 4-month-old English bulldog mix. “I’m doing this out of my love for animals. I was born to a family that already had two big dogs. We then adopted a couple of shepherd/chow mixes and a cat named Pork Chop. My parents started adopting Shiba Inus—all rescues. Before I moved out, we had a spaniel mix, a purebred beagle, and two cats. When I moved out with my husband [likely to give his parents room for more dogs], we adopted a dachshund mix named Freddie, and he’s our little baby. His full name is My Lord Frederick von Stuff’n’things. We won’t get up when the vet calls us unless they pronounce his full name right.” Photo by Andrea Estrada.
Drag performer with bright-red hair and an ornate silver necklacepearls holds an English-bulldog mix wearing pearls.
Syren reveals a touching expression of love for a voiceless creature, shared by everyone present. Photo by Andrea Estrada.
Drag performer wearing a blue platter hat and a matching blue dress holding an English bulldog-mix puppy.
Nebeur and Axel, a 4-year-old English bulldog puppy. “I had dogs growing up—my family named them all after food. We had Salsa, Chocolate, Chiquita Banana, Mocha, Mousse, and now I have a little Chihuahua named Chewy Granola Bar. I love animals—all kinds.” Photo by Andrea Estrada.
Things to do, pets to support

 Please send any Long Beach or Seal Beach pet-related events or projects to [email protected]. Posting subject to approval.

Southern California Bulldog Rescue calendar photo contest: Aug. 1–Sept. 3, $25 per entry

How’d you like that beautiful, drooly, jowly face that you adore to be a pinup girl or guy for the largest bulldog calendar in the world? Join in the photo contest for Southern California Bulldog Rescue’s 2020 No Bulldog Left Behind calendar! Entry fees will earn you a complimentary calendar and a chance to win by collecting as many pledges as possible. The top pledge getters will each have a month, and one will have the honor of being the cover photo! New this year is the opportunity to claim a special day to honor a birthday, a memory, an adoption day or any day that’s special to both of you. Visit the website for rules and details; contact [email protected] or [email protected] for questions. Only squatty little slobberers may apply!

Fix Long Beach Free DOG Spay/Neuter Clinic, sponsored by Justin Rudd: Saturday, Aug. 10, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Marine Stadium, 5255 E Paoli Way, Long Beach, free spay/neuter appointmets for qualifying people; free microchips, shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each—no appointment necessary.

The best way to mitigate shelter euthanasia is to tamp the source, and that’s why we’re here. Our appointments are fully booked, but you can come for standby at 10:30 a.m. Appointments are available for future clinics—come make one. Full details are available here. Thank you, Justin Rudd, for sponsoring our clinic and making our community a safe place for pets.

Summer Is Cooler with Kittens fundraiser: Saturday, Aug. 10, 4–8 p.m., Long Beach Creamery Downtown location, 222 E. Broadway, Long Beach, menu prices vary

Take some licks for the kitten-cats! The Little Lion Foundation, a co-parent of the Long Beach Little Paws Kitten Nursery, will introduce you to their adoptable felines, many of whom have been bottle-fed by the organization’s volunteers since they were just hours old. Long Beach Creamery will give a percentage of the tab to Little Lion to fund the project, so get two scoops! Get three! Take home one cat! Two! Or…

Pet donations for Fix Long Beach at Moonlight Movies on the Beach: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 8:15 p.m., beach at Granada Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, 5000 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, free movie and free parking

Wondering what the three stars of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is doing in a pet column? It’s not Matthew Broderick’s rebuked-puppy face but a new community effort by Alfredo’s Beach Clubs, teaming up with tireless community organizer Justin Rudd, for the Giving Back Project. Long Beach Transit, the Port of Long Beach and Long Beach Stuff sponsor the event, and they’ve picked Fix Long Beach as the beneficiary. Fix Long Beach is asking for donations of food, treats and new toys for dogs and cats. Dinner, snacks and, of course, popcorn are available for purchase, and parking is (whee!) free after 6 p.m. Bring a blankie or a beach chair, and enjoy a film! Check all events here.

Benny’s Big Birthday Bash: Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Camp Run-A-Mutt South Bay, 945 W 190th St., Gardena, $15 regular admission, $20 for admission and Quartermania

Benny is the little cat who went through hell, was stuck in limbo for a while, and then reached a deserved paradise (you can read his story here.) Benny’s paying it forward, back and in every direction he can jump, which are surprisingly quite a few. Enjoy wine-and cheese tasting, quartermania, vendors and adoptive kitties, all of whom should go to as good a home as Benny has. All proceeds from the event will benefit Benny’s benefactors: Helen Sanders CatPAWS and Long Beach Animal Care Services. Tickets and more information are available here.

Drags for Wags, to benefit Sparky and the Gang: Saturday, Aug. 24, 4 p.m., Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach, $10 donation

Some of the greatest ladies of the town will put on a show for their very besties—the adoptable doggies at Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue.s Raffles and giggles all evening long! More information is available here; to reserve a spot, call 562-436-7900.

Image courtesy of- @3aussienbrothers.

Doggie Paradise: Saturday, Sept. 14, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, $25 general admission for 4 years old and above, to include one dog; $20 for each additional dog; $50 VIP admission

Even though they won’t be boarding the ship, humans will envy the cruise-type amenities offered this afternoon in September: splash pools, mutt-fashioned souvenirs for their humans at the arts-and-crafts table, a ball pit to go all Fido in, and, of course, a spa in which all the pooches can get shampoos and manicures. Enjoy contests for your pup and workshops for you puppy parents.The Cutest-Dog contest sure beats karaoke demos, and Instagram photos, vendors and other contests promise a fun-packed day. Don’t have a dog? Adoptable and fosterable pets from the Seal Beach Animal Center and Long Beach Animal Care Services can take care of that. Get the long version of the event here.

Shelter Shenanigans

Have an overnight with a kitty with Foster Fridays! The shelter has kittens coming out of the walls—literally. The shelter manager constantly has a few in her office! Every Friday from 2-5 p.m., shelter staff is inviting residents who have the necessary accommodations—a safe space, time to feed them and play with them, and a propensity to say “Awwww!” every 15 minutes—to take a healthy, weaned kitten home for a while. Shelter will provide food, litter and a carrier and will cover any offsite medical. Time commitment is two weeks, with an option to adopt—of course! Foster fail! Have questions? Contact the shelter director at [email protected].

The Kitten Super Bloom and Bunny Adoption Special continue, featuring  $20 cat, kitten and rabbit adoption fees at Long Beach Animal Care and at all @spcaLA locations until fur-ther notice. Check out shelter manager Staycee Dains’ video. Again.

Your old towels and blankets wanted and needed at Long Beach Animal Care Services

Stop! Before you toss away the old towels or use them to sop up the oil on your garage floor, consider our shelter  animals! gently used hand towels and regular-size ones clean up messes in the kennels and dry off pooches and kitties after baths. Don’t forget small and medium-size blankets, too. Cats curl up on them and dogs are warmed and comforted. Drop by the shelter with them, and a shelter staff member will help you take them in.

Bottle feeders needed desperately, ongoing

This year’s kitten season has been a downpour. Last Saturday, about 40 pets (in one day!) were brought to Long Beach Animal Care Services, and over 30 of them were kittens, many just born. Our shelter and the Long Beach Little Paws Project kitten nursery need help badly and immediately, whether you are an experienced bottle feeder or have never had a cat before. Compassion happens when the rescuing begins—private-message the shelter on its Facebook page with your contact info to help kittens in our shelter, like Jellybean. Please share the post on that page widely. If you’re not in our area, your local shelter kittens need your help, too.


Strut Your Mutt

Register for Strut Your Mutt Los Angeles

Best Friends Animal Society is teaming up with our partner rescue groups, shelters and animal-welfare organizations to help save the lives of homeless cats and dogs at Strut Your Mutt. Local Long Beach groups such as The Little Lion Foundation are participating, and animal advocates and lovers will be coming from everywhere. Register for the Walk or donate if you have a pet who just won’t be walked—cats come to mind. All funds raised go directly to lifesaving programs such as spay/neuter, adoption, and a KITTEN NURSERY! This year’s event is on Oct. 26 at Exposition Park in Los Angeles—all information is available here.

Donations accepted for Pets of the Homeless

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, 255 Redondo Ave., 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 9:00 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00 p.m.; and at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. 3rd St., Long Beach,Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. If you’re a Long Beach-area rescue and don’t see your adoption event listed here, please email [email protected]. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes.

Chase Bank, 5200 East Second St., Long Beach

The Farmer’s Marketplace of Long Beach, 5000 E. Spring St. (Spring and Clark), Long Beach

Gelson’s Market, 6255 E. 2nd St.

Kahoots Pet Store, 18681 Main St. #102, Huntington Beach

Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach:

PetSmart Cerritos, 12741 Towne Center Dr, Cerritos

PetSmart Compton, 1775 South Alameda St., Compton

PetSmart Garden Grove, 9835 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove

PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange, 3871 N. Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach

PetSmart Seal Beach, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.

PetSmart Signal Hill, 2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill

Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave.