Foster or forever, or a combination? You choose!


The coverage of the Los Angeles shelter with the details of overcrowding, underfunding and dogs sitting in kennels for weeks and months with no exercise breaks the hearts of animal lovers and advocates no matter where they live. Long Beachers naturally turn their thoughts for whatever reason to our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services, which is again bursting at the seams with cats and dogs and could use more funding itself. LBACS isn’t perfect, but thanks to the efforts of volunteers and staff, exercising, cleanliness and socializing animals are in their own section in the Venn diagram. The LBACS shelter volunteers devote themselves to walking and playing with the dogs and cuddling and socializing the cats and to falling in love with every pet they interact with. Every synonym I’ve located for “awe inspiring” falls short of describing them.

You as community members can help the situation by visiting LBACS first if you want to adopt a pet, but if you’re not ready for a commitment—yet—LBACS now has a foster program. Recent hire Tabare Depaep, who came onboard in March, heads the program as foster coordinator. If you have room, time and heart, please let a cat or a dog crash on your sofa—you’re under no obligation to adopt them (but of course, we’re hoping that the animal convinces you otherwise).

This weekend, LBACS is waiving fees for pets who’ve been at the shelter for a long time as well as for the pocket pets and bunnies. Adopters will fill out the usual paperwork, but it’s worth it for the pet. The shelter is located at 7700 E. Spring St. at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for LBACS guests). Meet all the animals this weekend—and please consider fostering at least one. See A helping paw for Friends of Long Beach Animals’ medical care bonus for adopters.

Of course, if you’re ready for furever, check out the pets here and fill out an adoption application to speed the process, or contact [email protected].

Virtually pets

All the photos and most of the comments were contributed by our volunteer team. Some of them have been at the shelter way too long and need out. Feel the love. Feel the fur, too.

Blond woman in blue cap stands, smiling open mouthed and zanily, with a dark-gray pit-bull mix, his tongue hanging out. They stand in front of a fence.

Me and my Shadow (ID#A671564)—volunteer Cheryl is mad for this 3-year-old Lab mix. Volunteer Kimberly said that Shadow’s a “sweet, regular dog who often gets overlooked,” likely because of his muted color. If you’re a runner, though, Kimberly thinks that because Shadow loves to run around the playground, he’d be great for a runner. You might wonder who’s shadowing whom!


tan German shepherd with right ear flapped over sits smiling on the grass.

Volunteers don’t pick favorites—not single favorites, anyway. They have their packs, though, and Freezy (ID#A672061) is one of volunteer Gusti’s best buds. Freezy is a 3-year-old German shepherd, a breed that’s described as intelligent, loyal, confident and courageous. We’ll add overbred, abandoned and dumped in shelters. Gusti said that Freezy is a wonderful dog who needs a little “get to know you time” before he blossoms out into all the positive descriptors and then some.


White-haired woman in cap, glasses, short-sleeve shirt, slacks and green apron sits on bench cuddling a black pit bull with white muzzle, chest and legs.

Panda (ID#A671087) and volunteer Ellen are BFFs! Panda is a 4-year-old American pittie who loves affection and playing. You may have to play tug-of-war with Ellen to take him home! (Actually, it would delight Ellen to no end!) Volunteer Mary took the photo.


beautiful gray cat lounges on a gray blanket with a blue water dish next to it, in a kennel.

Volunteer John said that every cat in the shelter—and there are cats aplenty—need to find homes. Smokie (ID#A673837) is one of them. Smokie is 3 years old and is as soft as she looks. She was surrendered on May 1 because her owner died and there was no one to take her in. Volunteer Janet, who took her photo, said that Smokie is very sweet, very loving but is showing signs of kennel stress by not eating at times. She needs to once more feel safe in a loving home. Can you foster her now and furever?


And then there’s Jericho, a 3-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever and husky mix and another fun running partner. Doggie volunteer Susan took this video of Jericho, which shows his stuff as an absolute goofball. He loves attention and grabs it by doing zoomies around the play yard. Volunteer Kimberly is another Jericho fan. “I would love for Jericho to find a home,” she said. “He’s so goofy, but I think there’s someone out there who would fall in love with that goofiness.”



A helping paw

Friends of Long Beach Animals offers vet-med bonus for shelter adoptions through July

The most venerable animal-welfare organization in Long Beach has partnered with PAWP online vet clinic to offer a free year of unlimited access to a veterinary team and a $3,000 pet emergency fund for any dog or cat adopted from City of Long Beach Animal Care Services. The program comes with no deductibles and covers up to six family pets.

Council District 8 announces 60-day amnesty for new or late pet licensing fees for designated residents

A resolution introduced by Councilman Al Austin and passed by the City Council provides a temporary amnesty program that waives a first-time pet licensing fee and late penalty fee for an expired pet license for residents of Community Development Block Grant-designated areas in Long Beach can apply to an HUD grant program that will waive fees for new and late pet licenses until Aug. 23. Access this map to determine whether you live in a CDBG zone, or call 562-570-1326 or email [email protected].

12 months of pets!

 The pet calendars are getting an early start! Enter your own calendar grrrls or purrrrls and help fund rescues and their good works!

Show Us Your Kitties!, Helen Sanders CatPAWS, votes $5 each, reserved days $15 each, closes Aug. 20

Help Helen Sanders CatPAWS raise money to save cats from public shelters! Submit a photo of your kitty, or vote for your favorite feline in the contest. You can also submit a kitty photo for a special day on the calendar. The top vote winner at the conclusion of the contest will have their choice of month to feature their cat as a pinup on the calendar. The next 12 top-vote recipients will become Helen Sanders CatPAWS Calendar Cats for each of the remaining calendar months between January 2023 and January 2024. Up to six runner-up photos after the top 13 vote recipients will be featured with larger photos and name on the front cover! Enter now at this link!

 Foster for awhile—or furever!

Man lies on plaid blanket with neck-to-toe cats

Photo courtesy of Nancy Cohn

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.

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