Remember Me Thursday: an observance for pets whose luck ran out

For the hundreds of newborn kittens brought to shelters in the well-meant but mistaken belief that they were abandoned by their mothers, without the knowledge that they’d likely perish or be euthanized;

For the innumerable pit bulls and Chihuahuas and huskies and others, and mixes thereof, thoughtlessly bred and unsocialized, who die in shelters every day waiting for someone to claim them as theirs;

For the brown tabby hit by a car on a freeway on-ramp who was carried to a vet by my rescuer friend April, but too late for him to survive:

We jump up and down like a dog after your sandwich when a pet, especially perceptibly hopeless, “unadoptable” ones, find forever homes, whether they’re in full-to-bulging rescues or open-admission (read “Yes, we take everyone’s failures but we can’t guarantee that they’ll find homes before we run out of room and have to put them to sleep”) shelters. There are so many others, though, who run out of time or have died of neglect or outright cruelty, and unless it’s high profile, they’re not often considered by many people, let alone remembered.

There is, however, a movement created out of awareness for these forgotten animals as well as those waiting in shelters and rescues for homes. #RememberMeThursday is a creation of Mike Arms, an animal-adoption and -welfare organizer on the grand scale. The annual event takes place this year on Sept. 26, and participants will shine a literal light on adoption as a way to bring a pet into one’s home and to remember those whose time ran out before they found one.

Arms extends his compassion to shelter employees who are obliged to end an animal’s life.

“My heart breaks for those beautiful people working in animal welfare who are forced to take the lives of the pets they love,” he wrote on Remember Me Thursday’s website. “I believe lighting a candle for the orphan pets will be a way for people to let the world know how much they love them, and the awareness can help in increasing adoptions and decreasing euthanasia.”

This year, Helen Sanders CatPAWS, The Little Lion Foundation and the Long Beach Little Paws project—Long Beach’s first kitten nursery—will host a local Remember Me Thursday event in the sand on Ocean Avenue and First Street in Seal Beach (see Things to do, pets to support).

The event will take place near the memorial plaque for CatPAWS’ namesake Helen Sanders. Sanders spent her life riding around the jetty area on a pedal vehicle feeding the feral cats who lived there and getting them spayed, neutered, vaccinated and occasionally adopted. It’s a fitting location.

In the interest of safety, the “candles” will be LED lights. Even if you don’t directly participate, you can submit a photo of a beloved or remembered pet to Remember Me Thursday’s contest.

Every Friday, Pet Projects spotlights shelter and rescue animals waiting for their homes. This time, we’re giving you a few little guys who did make it out of the zone. Here are two graduates of the Little Paws kitten nursery and Little Lion and two more who are being helicopter-mommed by a particularly loving but unrelated adult cat. All are waiting at CatPAWS’ foster homes and adoption center until their someones come.

Brown tabby with paw on edge of white box, with black-and-white pillow

Twix and Kit Kat are two of the snack-themed kittens, and they are treats indeed. Twix is a riot, not to mention one of the most beautiful brown tabbies I’ve met. He’s a constant source of entertainment, and when he’s done tearing around, he’s content to snuggle and give kisses. confident kitten who loves to play and interact with people. gives kisses and is a constant source of entertainment. He is great with other cats and would be good with dogs. He and his brother Kit Kat are also working on their leash training! Visit him at Petsmart and apply to adopt at

black kitten sprawls in blue box

Kit Kat, Twix’s brother, also loves to play and later curl up go to sleep, purring up a storm. He’ll cuddle in bed with you through the night. He and his brother are receiving leash training! The “snack brothers” are good with other cats and are used to dogs.

White cat with black marks on head and rump lies and looks up near a green wire toy.

Matilda had kittens in the shelter and then lost them all. She then became surrogate mother to every kitten who comes her way! She’s got interesting markings—she has a smudge on the left side of her head that looks as if she was marked with a wide-tipped felt marker. We hope she’s also marked for adoption. Besides being motherly with kittens, she gets along with other cats as well. Take her home, and bring along a kitten for her to helicopter.

tortie kitten looks up from a bed.

Pippa is one of Matilda’s proteges. One look at her tortie coat, and you’ll imagine her saying, “Tortitude? Moi?” She’s lovely.

tortie kitten wearing a red-rimmed fancy cone

And then there’s Megan! She’s also been to Ms. Matilda’s Finishing School. She rocked that red-and-white cone! Of course, she’s not wearing it now, but it looked so good on her that we figured we’d do a fashion show! Wanna pair of tortie kitties?

You can see most of these kitties at the PetSmart Adoption Center, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach. Fill out an adoption application here.

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.

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties calendar photo contest: through Sept. 30; $5 per vote, $10 to feature your cat on a specific date

Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescues cats and kittens from shelters and finds each of them loving homes. You’ll see quite a few of them on next year’s calendar, but your kitty doesn’t have to be a CatPAWS alumnus or alumna to be a part of this 2020 vision (heh). Choose a date for $10 for a thumbnail, or enter the contest to feature your little buddy. You can enter as many votes as you like for your cat, and perhaps he or she will be the Moggie of the Month! Details available here.S

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’s Pet Food Express joins up with all the other PFE stores to get so many adoptions and rescues in one place that it’ll be impossible to not find your new friend! Check the list under Adopt, adopt, adopt! for examples of who’ll show up!

Turtle and Tortoise Care Society, CTTC Long Beach Chapter meeting, featuring pancake tortoise talk and actual pancake snacks: Friday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m., University Baptist Church, 3434 Chatwin Ave., Long Beach, free to turtles, tortoises and their well-behaved humans

On the right: to eat. On the left: not to eat. Dr. Michael Tuma will speak about his experiences and research on this singular species of shellback. Pancakes will be served, which is in itself a singular choice. The club will provide the snacks and is asking club members to come early to help mix the batter and bring toppings. Shelling out tips and donations is encouraged.

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic, sponsored by Justin Rudd and the Community Action Team: Saturday, Sept. 21, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Recreation Park, 4900 E. Seventh 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.

Party with a Purpose fundraiser for Fix Long Beach: Saturday, Sept. 21, 12:30 p.m., 4505 California Ave., Long Beach, jewelry items for sale

Enjoy lunch with live piano accompaniment (you’re encouraged to request “Hound Dog” or “Kitten on the Keys”), get some fashion tips, and purchase Park Lane Jewelry items to go with them. Fix Long Beach will receive 25% if the sales. RSVP at 808-443-6533.

NY Cat and Dog film festivals, sponsored by City of Long Beach Animal Care Services: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m. for the Cat Film Festival, and Tuesday, Oct. 1 for the Dog Film Festival, 7 p.m., Regal UA Long Beach 6601 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach.

 Have you had enough cute-cat and silly-dog videos? Yup, thought not. From feral to fawned over, from critters in costumes to workers who help prison inmates find a reason to continue upward, these couple of hours will be a real treat. A portion of the ticket sales will go to the shelter.

Remember Me Thursday: Thursday, Sept. 26, 6–7:30 p.m., on the sand at First Street and Ocean Avenue, Seal Beach, free

Join this intimate ceremony on the sand near the Seal Beach Jetty to remember the pets who waited for homes but no one came, and to rededicate our efforts to saving those we can and celebrate the lives we have saved. Share your stories and contemplate your memories. Flameless LED candles and cookies will be provided.

Home at Last! pet adoption event: Saturday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies, 4700 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, adoption fees apply

Coldwell Banker’s fifth annual pet-awareness and –adoption event will help raise awareness about the situation of cats, dogs and rabbits in our shelters and rescues, and will give the community an opportunity to take one (or two) home. Enjoy games and raffles, the proceeds of which will fund the participating shelters and rescues.

Music for Mutts and Cats: Thursday, Oct. 3, 5–9 p.m., Steelcraft Long Beach, 3768 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, in-kind and monetary donations accepted

Actually, the music is for you, and the benefits will go to Long Beach Animal Care Services to help care for the dogs, cats and bunnies who are waiting there for homes. Bring along pet toys, cat litter, blankies, towels, food and anything you think a pet would like. Cash donations, of course, are welcome. Steelcraft will donate 10% of the evening’s tab to the shelter.

Community Action Team Interfaith Blessing of the Pets: Sunday, Oct. 6, 5:45 p.m., Rosie’s Dog Beach, 1 Granada Ave.., Long Beach, free

Cats, dogs, bunnies, goats, lizards, mini-horses, ducks—voiceless creatures don’t need blessings as much as their human companions may. But this quiet evening on the beach as the sun sets is easily the most communal feeling anyone could have. A variety of clergy will be present to administer blessing to you both. If your BFF can’t come because of nerves in the crowd or if they’ve passed away, please bring a photo or something they loved to play with or wear. Justin Rudd’s nonprofit Community Action Team (CAT) sponsors the event.

Boats n’ Barks Fundraiser Cocktail Pawty: Sunday, Oct. 13, 5–10 p.m., Boathouse on the Bay, 190 N. Marina Drive, Long Beach, menu and drink prices vary; auction prices vary

Join Live Love Animal Rescue and their sponsor, the Karen T. Hilburn Foundation, to help them float their boat and rescue as many pets as possible. Take a Duffy boat ride (all electric and won’t hurt the fishies), make a champagne toast, participate in a silent auction, and listen to heartwarming rescue stories!

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.

Sparky and the Gang’s Fourth Annual Black Dog Tan Chihuahua event: Saturday, Nov. 16, 4–10 p.m., 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.

Shelter Shenanigans
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.

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].


Visitor Dean Case finds a friend in Wally at the Feline Good Social Club on August 29, 2019. Photo by Valerie Osier.

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 9:00 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.

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 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 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.”