Halloween villainy and revelry, all for rescue pets!

The nonprofit organization International Imperial Court of Long Beach has raised over a million dollars since its establishment in 1971. Organizations relating to autism, AIDS and LGBTQ military veterans are regular beneficiaries of the charitable work that’s the court’s mission. Somewhere during the last few years, they’ve taken pet adoption and welfare into the family—no surprise for a group that advocates for the voiceless.

I don’t know when it became a thing for drag queens to rustle their ruffles for Rover, but we have two more this month, one of them associated with the court. Three or four years ago, Jewels, Sabreena and a couple of other performers put on a couple of Drag Queen Bingo shows to benefit Fix Long Beach. They took place at the now-defunct Paradise Café on Broadway, and I went as a Fix Long Beach volunteer. It was a lot of fun—Mayor Robert Garcia ventured in with a coterie of companions during one event and we wasted no time in wheedling him for a donation. He was darn generous, in fact.

Jewels and Sabrina even came to one of our spay/neuter clinics along with Empress Mia Farrow, Imperial Court board member Cory Allen, Mx. Long Beach Thaddeo Miguel and a few others helped us set up and take down tables and pop-ups at one of our spay/neuter clinics—not in full dress, of course—and assisted us with the animals. Afterward, they charged off to another volunteer event. Their stamina matches their collective heart.

In August, Drags for Wags brought in a few thousand for dog rescue Sparky and the Gang. For Halloween month, not that any reason is needed, the court will fill The Cat Cove’s kitty at the Villains for a Cause FUNdraiser and will again have some treats for those little beggars at Sparky and the Gang (see Things to do, pets to support for details). Disney-themed bad guys and girls will run around Hamburger Mary’s terrorizing the guests—there’ll be a themed dog contest, and dogs are welcome on the patio, but best not to bring a Dalmatian.

As we segue into the adoption section, which features cats from The Cat Cove and dogs from Sparky and the Gang, keep your pets safe indoors on Halloween and the trick-or-treat candy safely away from them.

The Cat Cove

Visit The Cat Cove’s website to fill out an adoption application for any of these cats or the others in foster care. Meetings can be arranged as well! All have been spayed or neutered, and all have been vaxxed. Adopters will get coupons from PetSmart to get items for your new buddy.

Medium-furred black cat with right arm down relaxes on the arm of a gray chair, with cabinet in background

Savannah Georgia is 2 years old, with long, black hair that has a reddish tint. Savannah is shy at first, but give her a minute to trust you, and then you’ll have a buddy forever—and if you look away for a second, she’ll tap you on the feet (claws in) to remind you she’s there! Doggies are no problem as long as they don’t get too close. Then, it’s hissy-face time. Savanna Georgia has tested positive for FeLV (feline leukemia virus, which is contracted by saliva). This is an immune-system and bone-marrow disorder, and cats carrying it can still lead a normal, healthy life if their health is taken care of. It is contagious to felines only, but only through a deep bite. If you have the heart to take her home, her foster mom will even travel outside the state to a good home.

brown tabby sleeps in the lap of someone wiht a black-and-white-striped shirt and jeans, on a wooden bench

Hear ye, hear ye—brown-tabby fanatics! Leon is 4 years old and a great lap warmer for the (hopefully) upcoming chilly nights. He loves a lot of attention and being in the room where it happens! He has a lot to say, but he’s a good listener, too. He gives the best kitty hugs ever, and the strongest head butts! If you have a brush, it’s his now! He loves listening to you, no matter the topic. A super-adorable guy!

orange tabby in hammock with toys at the bottom

Romeo has been a part of The Cat Cove for many years. He lived outside and was part of a feral colony that they maintain. Over the years, he’s become increasingly friendly, and this year, he went into a home as a foster. He’s learned how to be an indoor cat, which is ideal. Romeo is still shy around strangers and will probably always be an independent guy, but he does love to be near the ones who care for him—in fact, he’s become quite spoiled. Romeo does fine with other cats who will give him his space. If you’re willing to open your home to a nice senior guy, Romeo is your man.

striped cat, brown tabby, with white chest and paws, sitting tall and looking to right.

Betty Rubble is a great name for a cat, and Betty’s a great cat in the first place. She’s fun, active and adventurous, and she’s looking for an awesome home that can keep up with her. She’s about 4, so she’s long outgrown the pesky kitten stage and has moved to more sophisticated adventures. Young children are not in her wheelhouse, and neither are other cats and dogs. She wants all your attention and to be recognized as the queen of her castle!

Sparky and the Gang

To adopt or request a meeting with any of these dogs or the ones on Sparky and the Gang’s website, contact [email protected] or 310-621-1417. All dogs are vaccinated and spayed or neutered.vaxxed and S/N.

tan Chihuahua with brown ears and white body sits on light hardwood floor, looking into camera

Poor little Dobby was found sleeping in an alley in an Industrial park. A kindly worker took him home and posted lost-dog notices, but of course, no one came to claim this 9 pound lovebug. He’s just fine—only a puppy, and he loves to play with other dogs or snuggle to watch a movie with you. Dobby’s a dachshund/Jack Russell terrier mix.

Little brown dog with white chest cocks head at camera. She's sitting on a baby-blue-print blanket wiht a tan patterned pillow behind her.

K-Koa loves playtime and life in general. Sparky and the Gang like to think that it’s because she survived parvo as a puppy. She’s a real sweetheart, and has learned to sit and sleep in her crate at night. K-Koa is a 5-month-old Lab/Staffordshire mix who came from an unwanted litter. We have a strong feeling that someone will want her!

Small fluffy white dog with underbite and mustaches looks at camera

Luigi was found wandering helplessly around a train station, waiting for someone to save him. By the looks of him, including the two-pound tumor dangling off his tiny leg, he had been severely neglected for a long time. He was infested with fleas, and his hind legs and inner thighs were covered in tar. Fundraising $2,400 and quick trips to the vet turned him into the pet-in-waiting in the photo. Luigi is typical of the seemingly hopeless cases that Sparky and the Gang regularly takes on and turns into a beautiful, happy pet.

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.


Seal Beach Animal Care Center 2020 Calendar: through Oct. 20, $1 for each vote, $5 minimum

Has your dog been waiting for that walk down the runway? Has your cat been waiting to be discovered as the star they know they are?  It is now their time to shine! The 13 cats and 13 dogs with the most votes will become a monthly model, with the top cat and top dog as cover pets. Whether you’re a winner or a beloved entrant, the pets at Seal Beach Animal Care Center will profit from your entry—all funds will go to their care. Details available here.


Long Beach Imperial Court’s Villains for a Cause FUNdraiser:  Saturday, Oct. 19, Hamburger Mary’s, 330 Pine Ave., Long Beach, $10 at door

You never know what those Imperial Court witches are going to pull off next! This time, it’s a costume party that will benefit Sparky and the Gang dog rescue and the Cat Cove—cats, of course. Get ready for an evening of cartoon Disney villains, raffles and drag shows, featuring two of the best witches in the village: empresses Mia Farrow and Reign! Hamburger Mary’s has a dog-friendly patio, so costume up your cutie and enter them in the Lola the Royal Saint’s first-ever doggie parade!

Mutt Strut Halloween Party:  Friday, Oct. 25, SteelCraft, 3768 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

Halloween month features a lot of opportunities for doing family stuff with your dog—the cats prefer to relax at home—and socializing them with other dogs! Dress up your fur fellow, or let them be Muggle Mutts in their own fur—all are welcome. The winning costume, its wearer and the human will receive a prize.

Lauren’s Fab 50th Fundraiser for FOLBA: Saturday, Oct. 26, 6:30–10:30 p.m., Expo Arts Center, 4321 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $20 minimum donation at the door, includes a beverage coupon

It’s gotten to the point at which you say, if you want to help a bunch of animals, call a drag queen and her friends. And boy, do they ever help! You know you’re in for a good time at this birthday party for the benefit of Friends of Long Beach Animals when you’ve got Jennifer Corday performing, Dani Carter MCing, drag queen Cassie Love sashaying, and Justin Rudd special-guesting. Wear your cocktail black-and-whites—it’s gonna be real fancy. All profits will go to Friends of Long Beach Animals to continue their spay/neuter and animal-welfare efforts.

Pit Bull Appreciation Day: Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Marine Stadium, 5255 Paoli Way, Long Beach, free

And it’s 2! $4! 6! 8! Who do we appreciate? Those silly, goofy, misunderstood-but-getting-better-by-the-moment pit bull dogs and mixes! Have fun rolling around with Rover on a yoga mat, trotting in a pack walk, learning about foster and pet care, purchasing raffle items and doggies to adopt. The event is brought to you by Blockhead Brigade, Live Love Animal Rescue and Lucky Dog Humane Education.

Haute Dog Howl’oween and Vendor Adoption Fair: Sunday, Oct. 27, 12:30 p.m., Marina Vista Park, 5355 E. Eliot St, Long Beach, $10 advance for each canine participant, $5 for a front-row chair, free to stand and spectate

OOOOOO! OWWWRRRROOO! Zombiedogs and pooch pirates and superhero mutts, all in the cutest costumes you’ll ever see! Justin Rudd and his Community Action Team (CAT) host what’s touted as the biggest Halloween pet event in the world! Shop for your best buddy at the vendors, or adopt one if you don’t have one or want a friend for your pal, and delight at a parade and judged contest featuring over 500 costumed dogs! The contest winner will get dog food for a year! Registration will open soon.

Mod Pizza Fundraiser for Fix Long Beach: Sunday, Oct. 27, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Mod Pizza, 4230 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, menu prices vary

Grab a slice, a whole pie, a salad or anything, and get everything on it! Fix Long Beach will get 20% of the tab to help spay and neuter our animals!

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic: Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., 1500 E. Carson St., Long Beach, free spay/neuter appointments for qualifying people ; free microchips, shots, flea-med doses, dewormers and nail trimmings $10 each.

The best way to mitigate shelter euthanasia is to tamp the source, and that’s why we’re here. Our shelter and rescues are packed with cats and dogs, and everyone doing rescue is chasing their tail trying to get them all adopted. The best way for our community to help out is to turn off the taps at the other end so that more won’t be born. Remember: it’s the law to fix your pet in Long Beach, and Fix is here to help you do just that. Appointments are available for future clinics—make one at [email protected], or PM us on Facebook. More information is available here.

Sparky and the Gang’s Fourth Annual Black Dog Tan Chihuahua event: Saturday, Nov. 16, 4–10 p.m., Elinor, 250 N. Tribune Court, Long Beach, entrance TBA

Prohibition-themed event to raise funds for Sparky and the Gang dog rescue. Dress up in your dapper flappers. Can we say barkeasy? Al Ca-Bone, maybe? More information available here.

Live Love Animal Rescue Adoption Event:  Saturday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m.–3 p.m, The Circle, 1755 Ximeno Ave., Long Beach, adoption fees apply

See Live Love’s wonderful little adoptables, and get a discount on CBD veterinary products.

Sign saying "Animal Admissions" at left between two pillars in front of a blue building. At right is a banner saying "Adopt at Long Beach Animal Care. Adoptions Save Lives" in blue, black and white.

Long Beach Animal Care Services is located at 7700 E. Spring St., at the entrance to El Dorado Park. This banner marks the shelter’s entrance.

Shelter Shenanigans

Pick Your Price Adoption Promo at the shelter continues through Oct. 31, where you can bring home a new best buddy and cuddle during the cooling days of autumn. Cats, dogs, rabbits—and if your kid has been pestering you for a horse, don’t worry. We haven’t any.

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! The shelter is at capacity, especially where cats are concerned, so fosters are sorely needed. 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].


Feline Good Social Club: 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, open daily 10 a.m.–7 p.m., $15 for an hour session, $8 for a “quickie” half-hour

There’s just too much stuff going on in this wonderland for moggies! Bring your lunch and socialize with the friendliest and most entertaining group of cats you’ll ever meet (especially Fancy Feet and his giant hamster wheel), or sign up here for one of the many activities: Cats and Mats yoga, Sound Healing, Kids Club—all of it. Fill out an application to adopt! All proceeds go to maintaining the Lounge and, of course, the cats!

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 October 26, 2019 at Exposition Park in Los Angeles—all information is available here.

Instructional Pack Walk: First Saturday of the month, 10–11 a.m., Bixby Park, 130 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, free, donations accepted

The public is invited to take part in a walk sponsored by Trot’s Dog Walking and Training that will help you and your best buddy learn proper leash manners and focus on each other instead of the distractions of the “real world.” Trot’s experienced pack leaders are there to guide you through the process. Meet at the park at the corner of Ocean and Junipero at 10am.

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 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.

tiny black newborn kitten with white paws and white marks on chest sits up with his legs splayed out as he's fed from a bottle
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 E. 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 Drive, Cerritos

PetSmart Compton, 1775 S. 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

PetSmart Towne Center, 7631 Carson Blvd., Long Beach

Unleashed by Petco, 600 Redondo Ave.

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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.”