At Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue, every cat is Zazzy.
Zazzy’s founder, Jimmy Naccarato, picked the name for the nonprofit after watching an otherwise shortsighted and ill-informed episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” In the show, Sheldon named his horde (and very close to hoard) of cats after Manhattan Project Scientists—Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, and other mouthfuls—except for one tabby whom Sheldon named Zazzles “because he’s so—zazzy!” The name struck Jimmy as funny and cute, and perfect for a kitty nonprofit.
The name is the only thing Zazzy Cats has in common with the episode. The volunteers—the rescue’s all-volunteer and gets by financially by a whisker—scoop high-risk cats—injured and curably ill animals, pregnant mothers, bottle-feeding kittens—from shelters and streets mostly in Long Beach and get them veterinary care and spay or neuter them.
“We have a lot of people reach out to us to try to keep cats out of the shelter,” said Laura Altmann, the board of directors’ secretary. “It helps alleviate some of our shelter’s pressures and financial burden. If we can assist with that by keeping more cats out, it helps a lot.”
All the cats go to fosters who bottle-feed orphaned kittens, play with the cats, continue with any medical needs, and love them to the outer planets and back. By the time they’re ready to adopt—and the volunteers are more fussy than Sheldon was about homes—they’re healthy, beautiful felines. And plenty zazzy, too.
Roni Naccarato, Jimmy’s sister, is cofounder of the organization. She works with the team to go over adoption applications and submit them to the fosters, many of whom have known the cats from scratch. During the pandemic, Zazzy board members have done Zoom or FaceTime meet-and-greets with the potential adopters; if everything goes well, Zazzy meets with the adopters in a closed-off location, with everyone masked and appropriately garbed.
“We’re constantly cleaning, and you’re not around a million people at once,” Altmann said.
During “normal” times, Zazzy Cats and other rescue groups have regular adoption events at pet-supply stores where people can see, cuddle and play with kitties. They won’t be able to do that for a while, so The Scratching Post has been posting videos as a distant second. You’ll still find them all so—zazzy.
Like all grassroots nonprofits, Zazzy Cats needs donations to cover food and medical expense. Access their donations page here.
Donate during the pandemic
Stray Cat Alliance is prepping up for kitten season, which has already started. They’re going to need bottle feeders, formula, spay/neuter procedures for the cats they trap and lots of cat-related things. Join them on their social media link on May 5. Details on event and donation available here.
If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:
Fix’n Fidos is a nonprofit established by KTLA reporter Kacey Montoya to provide free spay/neuter to Southern California residents who can’t afford the procedures. Since there’s been a crimp in the mobile clinics’ availability, Montoya has shifted focus to people who may have trouble finding food for their friends. 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 at a local pet-supply store. Monetary donations made on the organization’s page will help the effort along.
The Dog Bakery, remaining open for pooch pastries and doggie desserts, will also help people who have lost their jobs and are in financial distress to give their dogs a basic meal. Health-care employees and other essential workers can apply for this. During the stay-at-home order, the owners, Rocky Kanaka and Kelly Hannaford will deliver dog food to people who are struggling with job loss, can’t leave their homes or deserve appreciation. Access this link to fill out a form if you need food for your dog or wish to donate to the effort. Check out this video for more details.
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, offers vouchers to cover spay/neuter procedures to anyone living in the five cities in the Long Beach shelter’s service area—Long Beach, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Signal Hill and Cerritos.
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.
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.
Adopt, adopt, adopt
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.
- Bunny Bunch
- Cat Cove
- Friends of Long Beach Animals
- Fix Long Beach
- Foreverhome Pet Rescue, Inc.
- Feline Good Social Club
- Helen Sanders CatPAWS
- Jellicle Cats Foundation
- Kitty Katchers
- Live Love Animal Rescue
- Long Beach Animal Care Services
- Long Beach Spay & Neuter Foundation
- Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center
- Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue
- Stray Cat Alliance
- The Cat Cove
- The Little Lion Foundation
- Zazzy Cats
- Zoey’s Place Rescue
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