Put on the dog at Black Dog Tan Chihuahua’s Roaring for Rescue!

Dog rescuer Sherri Stankewitz, founder of Sparky and the Gang rescue, can be counted on to save animals that are in the most horrible of conditions and turn them into the best “afters” ever. She’s found homes for dogs with four, three and two working legs or one eye at adoption events, on Sparky’s website and social media pages, and regularly scheduled adoption days at Gelson’s and PetSmart (see Adopt, adopt, adopt). She and Sparky’s hardworking rescue team make forays on edgy areas and grab dogs off the sidewalk, the street and, too frequently, freeways. During the 2017 Canyon Fire in Orange County, Stankewitz spontaneously mobilized friends and headed for the Orange County Fairgrounds, where they ID-tagged horses who’d been brought there for safety.

As everyone in rescue will tell you, it all costs money, and Stankewitz’s fundraisers take a left turn at the “Put the FUN in fundraising” and the ubarkquitous GoFundMe and Facebook donate buttons. Five years ago in the parking lot of the Seaport Marina Hotel, a place that threatened to become a Googie-esque historical icon had it stayed up any longer, Sparky and the Gang hosted a 12 Days of Christmas dog adopt-a-thon that actually did go 12 full days. For the rescue’s benefit, The Imperial Court of Long Beach put on Drags for Wags and Villains for a Cause parties at Hamburger Mary’s.

On Saturday, Stankewitz and Sparky and the Gang are nearly outdoing themselves by putting on a kids’ party for grownups—a Roaring Twenties-style speakeasy at Elinor’s Downtown—details below in Things to do, pets to support. Cupcake bar, sleight-of-hand magic by Christopher T. Magician, and, straight from their last performance at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor—the very naughty Rasputin’s Marionettes, with a wooden performance in the good sense of the word. Oh, and a bar, too—what’s a speakeasy without flowing booze?

Ticket sales and raffles will benefit all the dogs at Sparky and the Gang, with food, fosters and soaring medical bills. Here’s a few of the little mugs now—late arrivals that just came in. To adopt anybody, contact [email protected]

little white Chihuahua terrier with black ears, black eyes and brown cheeks, with the name Jester in white letters on purple background, sitting on wood floor.

Sparky and the Gang found Jester tied up in the heat to a pole Downtown. No owners. No tags. No collar. No chip. The rescue hopes to remedy that real soon.


white bulldog puppy looks out from a brown cove bed on a white blanket.

James Dean, 5 months old, was pulled from Long Beach Animal Care Services the other day. He’s got deformed legs, an eye injury, and an intact heart and spirit. He’ll need medical attention, which is a huge part of the need that Sparky and the Gang has for funds.

Black Chihuahua with white muzzle wearing a pink bib relaxes in tan bed.

Sparky and the Gang makes a practice of shelter rescues that have injuries or deformities. This girl is one of two black Chihuahuas taken from our shelter. Each has a missing eye. They are being fostered by a loving rescue team member and are ready for adoption.

Six puppies curled up on floor, three tan, two black and one white

Puppy pretzel! One of Long Beach’s cat rescuers found a poodly mom and her six poodlish puppies under a trailer. The owner no longer wanted them, so the rescuer took them. Mom is housebroken and very playful. We couldn’t get a photo of her yet as she’s being fostered, but these guys were pretty simple to snap.


One black puppy and one white one held up in a hand, with mural behind.

Ain’t dey kyoot!

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.


Sip Shop & Adopt! fundraiser for SAFE Rescue Team Friday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Timeless Treasures Boutique, 6905 Warner Ave. at Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, item prices vary.

Champagne will flow all day at this pop-up artisan fair. Fortunately, there’s coffee available as well. Every sale will donate 5% of the price tag to SAFE—Saving Animals from Euthanasia, and 100% of the donations will go to SAFE as well. Of course, there will be adoptions until 6 p.m.! Live music, free parking, and lots of great ways to start the holiday shopping season!

GZ Safari Park Reptile Rescue presents at Turtle and Tortoise Care Society, CTTC Long Beach chapter:  Friday, Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., University Baptist Church, 3434 Chatwin Ave., Long Beach, free to turtles and tortoises and their well-behaved humans

All too often, people purchase or otherwise obtain reptiles with no forethought other than “Gee, what a groovy pet.” That’s where reptile rescues step in and rehabilitate and adopt them out, if they can. One of the club members will talk about what it takes to care for these animals, finding them homes and understanding proper care.

Sparky and the Gang’s Fourth Annual Black Dog Tan Chihuahua event, Roaring for Rescues

Saturday, Nov. 16, 4–10 p.m., Elinor, 250 N. Tribune Court, Long Beach, tickets $45.

Dress up in your dapper flappers and raise funds for Sparky and the Gang dog rescue! Enjoy an adult-slanted performance by Long Beach’s Rasputin Marionettes and sleight of hand from a magician. Food from Gelson’s and cupcakes from Miss Priss will tempt your Prohibition sensibilities. Can we say barkeasy? Al Ca-Bone, maybe? Tickets available at [email protected] at PayPal. Make sure you specify tickets in note. More information available here.

Fall bake sale benefiting Jellicle Cats :  Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Long Beach Coffee and Tea, 480 Pine Ave., Long Beach, goodie prices vary.

If you like peanut butter and jelly on freshly baked loaves, adding Jellicle to it guarantees wonderfulness for you and for the cats at Jellicle Cats Rescue! Support all the cats needing homes, including Phoenix, the little cat rescued by Long Beach firefighters during last week’s brushfire in North Long Beach.

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.

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic—CATS!—sponsored by TransMark: Sunday, Nov. 24, 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.

Thanks to Deborah Felin, CFO of Transit Marketing Group and cofounder of Helen Sanders CatPAWS, for sponsoring our cat clinic through her business. TransMark may not put the wheels on the bus for Long Beach Transit, but they get a lot of other stuff on it, and Deborah wants to put as many Long Beach cats on our bus as pussible. 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. Female appointments are booked, but you can arrive early around 7 to be on the waiting list. Spaces still available for males, and they’re complicit in kitten making! Appointments are available for future clinics—make one at [email protected], or PM us on Facebook. More information is available here.

Holiday Paint & Purr event: Friday, Dec. 6, 7–9 p.m., Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $45.

Break out the tempura! Paint a festive snowcat while hanging out with the FGSC cats and mostly having fun in the best environment possible. All materials will be supplied and instructions provided. You’ll leave the session with a piece of festive cat art you can proudly hang on the wall, and maybe even with an adoptive buddy! Purrchase tickets here.

Chloe’s Birthday and Christmas Party Fundraiser: : Saturday, Dec. 7, 4 p.m., 5931 E. Fairbrook St., Long Beach, donations accepted.

It stinks that you have to have a sad story to lead to a happy ending, but it’s nice when you get one, anyway, because they’re so few. Readers may remember the story of Chloe, who was found nearly dead in a Dumpster, covered in food waste and human urine. Chloe recovered and was adopted by a wonderful local couple, who have been saying thanks and passing all the good stuff forward ever since Chloe went home. They’re throwing a party for what they figure is her birthday, and in the holiday spirit are asking for donations to Fix Long Beach, the organization responsible for the little dog’s recovery. The celebration will include food, drinks, a silent auction, door prizes and live music. As for Chloe, she’s going to be wagging her tail and enjoying her happy ending, which will likely be forever after.

The front page of the Ador-a-Bull bulldog calendar, wtih a tan-and-white bulldog face and to his left, black, orange and blue surfboards with a black dog's silhouette in front.


The 2020 pet calendars are ready to wag in the new year, with favorite pinups on each month.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties calendar: $10 each, available here.

Southern California Bulldog Rescue Ador-a-bull Calendar: $25 each, available here.

Seal Beach Animal Care Center 2020 Calendar: available here.

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 monthly models, 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.

Sign between two pillars, saying Adoption Center. Blue building behind.

Long Beach Animal Care Services is located in the P. D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). Long Beach Animal Care Services shares a space with spcaLA, a separate rescue. To reach the shelter side, enter through the Adoption Center entrance, go to adoption desk, take a left at the adoption desk and exit, then take an immediate right to go to the Long Beach Animal Care Services side of the building (yeah, we know it’s confusing!). The Long Beach staff at the adoption desk can guide you as well.

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! 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].


Cats and Mats Yoga: Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, every Saturday in November, 11 a.m.–noon and 5:30–6:30 p.m., $20 per person.

Can you side-plank on a mat? Can you do it with a cat? That’s the idea at Long Beach’s Feline Good Social Club, where you can have their resident kitties join you in asanas, which is really the best way! Bring a mat and wear comfy clothes that you don’t mind getting fur on. For ages 10 and up. Reservations are recommended and may be made on the events page.

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 10 a.m.

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, 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 9:00 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 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. Second 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 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

PetSmart Towne Center, 7631 Carson St., 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.”