Ready to find your new best fur friend? It’s National Adoption Weekend.

Shelters and rescues are more crammed with cats, dogs, rabbits and other pets than they have been in a while. National nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society, best known for its mission to get every domestic pet into a home or a foster and end unnecessary euthanasia, estimates 100,000 more dogs and cats are living in shelters nationwide compared to this time last year.

“Partially because of the pandemic, more pets are entering shelters, fewer pets are being adopted, and shelters are over capacity and short-staffed,” according to the organization.

May has been designated National Pet Month, and some animal-related nonprofits are offering special adoption days to help animals get forever homes and (maybe forever) fosters. Best Friends is observing May 20–22 as National Adoption Weekend, and hundreds of shelters and rescues nationwide are participating. The Bounty corporation, of paper-towel fame, is helping to mop up and absorb expenses for both adopters and rescues by donating $50 to each rescue and shelter for every dog adopted there, and $25 for each cat. Check out the map on the link for all participants (SoCal’s area is a tad jam-packed, but that’s a good thing—just run the mouse over the pawprint furball to find a shelter or a rescue near you).

Have a great weekend with your new best fur-end!

Virtually pets

Kitten season lasts longer than Christmas season, which only extends from the end of August, when the decorations go up in the dollar stores, to the beginning of February, when the neighbors finally take down the inflatable Santas. Cat rescue extraordinaire Helen Sanders CatPAWS wants you to meet their adult cats, which often get overlooked for kittens.

In addition to the reduced price of $25 that Best Friends is offering all adopters this weekend, CatPAWS is offering a reduced adoption fee of $25 for cats over 6 months old and a $10 PetSmart gift card that will go toward anything your new friend needs. Look here to see all of CatPAWS’ cats and fill out an application for the special fees.

silver tabby with white chest and paws lies on a rug with black, tan and white patterns and stares at camera.

He’s movie-star handsome, with bright, amber eyes and a white bib against elegant gray stripes! Meet Bellamy! He was rescued along with his sister, Nisha, from a city shelter. He’s an affable guy, ready for his next adventures in a home of his own!

gray tabby lying on blue rug with head upright

Nisha is a near-ringer for her brother, Bellamy. Her kohl-rimmed golden eyes reveal an inquisitive and youthful spirit. Smart and engaging, Nisha was rescued from a city shelter along with her brother, Bellamy. She’s a perfect age—beyond the sometimes frenetic (dare we say destructive?) energy of kittenhood but still young and full of energy and joy. Ask about adding this beauty to your home!

tortie cat standing on light-color floor looking up at camera

Meet Pebbles the Wobbly Cat! She has a mild case of cerebellar hypoplasia, a non-progressive condition that arises typically when the mom cat is exposed to a virus while pregnant, which interferes with the kitten’s neurological development in utero. Whew! That was a mouthful. But Pebbles doesn’t care about all that! She is full of personality and is loving and cuddly. She can use a litter box just fine and scampers after that jumping red dot from the laser! She loves to talk and rub against you with love. The only special need this precious girl has is to be loved forever.

Two sleek black cats lying cheek to cheek with heads up

C’mon, can you resist this? Koopa and Princess Peach are another brother-and-sister duo in search of a family that would love to have two snuggle bugs as their forever companions.

Great Furballs of Fun

Sound healing (with cats, of course) presented by Illuminate Life: Saturday, May 21, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, tickets $30.

Join FGSC for a relaxing 45-minutes sound bath with crystal and Tibetan bowls, chimes, drums and more! There will be a 20-minute cat-cuddling session after the bath for even more relaxation. You’ll love it, especially with the sound bath’s enhancement of purring!

Bring mats, blankets and pillows and wear loose clothing for your comfort. Tickets are available here.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

Long Beach Animal Care Services is open five days a week, with no appointment necessary.

Please make our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Service your first stop for adoption—it continues to fill with dogs and cats. LBACS is now open without any appointment necessary Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for adoptions and for intake of healthy stray dogs. Appointments to adopt one of these sweet animals are also readily available at [email protected] or 562-570-4925.

The shelter is also for redemptions of personal pets during regular business hours and also accepts any sick, dangerous or injured animal without an appointment during regular business hours.

Foster for a while—or fur-ever!

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

Meet a real cat dad—he’s fostering for Helen Sanders CatPAWS, and he’s not lying down on the job, no matter what he looks like. All cat foster parents are encouraged to fill out a form to take home a kitten and socialize them for the adoption center! It’s just temporary. Really. Unless… 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 socialize them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-a-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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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.”