Video-binging with Mom this weekend? Enjoy two hours of adoptable leash and heartstring tuggers!

If necessity is the mother of invention, you can say the same about pandemic stay-at-home orders. A violinist goes to neighborhoods to play on strings and heartstrings for free; gondoliers cruise the Naples canals evoking Italy before COVID-19; and performers and gallery owners hold events online.

In the furry sector of the community, a handful of nonprofit rescues placed a wagonload of cats, dogs and rabbits into foster homes—some are staying in them forever. Nonprofits Live Love Animal Rescue, Blockhead Brigade pit bull advocates, and The Little Lion Foundation, with Helen Sanders CatPAWS also pulling needy kitties, animated an eager community of pet lovers to step up and foster, leaving the shelter with a mere, manageable trickle. The kennels are relatively empty, which it hasn’t been since it operated as the city pound over a century ago.

Long Beach Animal Care Services operates as the City’s intake bureau and so still takes in sick and healthy strays and abuse cases. The rescues continue to pull and somehow find fosters for the healthy ones and even a couple of sick ones. At this point, over 200 animals are in temporary or permanent housing.

It was a lot of work, but it seemed to generate even more creative energy. Live Love and Blockhead Brigade, comprising the doggie side of the four-footed feat, had its first virtual adoption events on April 18 and 19, inspired by an idea from Laura Vena, Blockhead’s founder.

“We workshopped the logistics as a group,” said Angela Robinson, board member and grants coordinator with Live Love. “Our fosters are always onboard to show off their foster dogs in new ways!”

Apple, a mellow, friendly senior, loves nothing more than a hot dog with her humans. She was a debut performer at the intial virtual adoption event. Video courtesy of Live Love Animal Rescue.

For over two hours, dogs and their loving fosters danced, played, gulped down treats, and relaxed as a Zoom audience watched. A couple of viewers completed online adoption applications. You may not be able to touch the pets, but live video allows you to see how an animal behaves in a home situation and how they interact with humans.

Live Love hosts a virtual adoption event on Saturday, May 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on this Instagram link and on Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at this Facebook link. Even if you aren’t in the mood to adopt, you’ll learn about the rescues and how much fun the fosters have, both human and animal, and how close they get to each other. Of course, we’re not in any way trying to play with your emotions, especially on Mother’s Day …

About 100 dogs are in foster homes right now, and the rescue is in need of food and money for vet bills and supplies. Financial donations can be made on this link, and in-kind gifts from their Amazon wish list. Contact Live Love at [email protected]  if you want to drop off donations of grain-free, single-protein dog food to their rescue headquarters in Long Beach.

Meet some of the performers:

Cali, 8 years old, is a beautiful, loving soul. She is your typical lounge buddy—she loves to steal your attention for some tummy rubs or head pats. Cali is very affectionate and caring, and she’s sweet to all people she meets. She possesses a calm indoor energy and perfect manners: no begging or jumping on the furniture. She’s a strong gal and needs a confident human on the other end of the leash. She can be reactive to other dogs and cats, so a little caution and guidance are musts on walks! But she’s responsive to commands, so redirecting her isn’t too much of a challenge and we know she’ll only get better as she learns the behavior that you want from her. Beautiful, smart, loyal and ready for her forever home. That’s Cali!

Meet the beautiful Hannah! This 7-year-old gorgeous gal loves being active and thinks of herself as a fitness guru. Hannah like walks and playing in yards, but inside the house, she’s usually pretty relaxed…unless she smells food! That would be a highlight for any good dog, amirite? Hannah also loves hard toys to chew on—Nylabones are her favorites! She would love to join a busy household where she can be a part of everything that’s going on and enjoy some adventures with her humans. Then, at day’s end, she’s more than ready to snuggle up next to you for some rest and relaxation. If you’re looking for a friend who’s up for anything, Hannah is the gal for you!

Smiling little girl with brown bangs, wearing a bright-pink top and bright-blue skirt, kneeling in grass,pats happy little brown dog, who's smiling at the camera with his mouth open.

Meet Hawthorne! He’s 6 years old and a 12-pound bundle of snuggles and fun. He loves walks, car rides and just hanging on the couch with his family. Hawthorne had a difficult life before coming to us, so his foster family is working on building up his confidence. We are happy to report that he’s getting more self-assured with each day! Hawthorne loves other dogs, likes little kids (as you can see), and is learning how to be a centered, happy fellow from his current canine foster brother. Hawthorne can be shy with new humans at first, but after he gets used to his surroundings, he’s the sweetest dog there is. Check out his foster mom’s Instagram page @christinefostersdogs for more adorable Hawthorne content!

husky with bright blue eyes, black mask and back,black nose and white face looks at camera with mouth open. He sits near a sliding glass door on a light-blue-patterned carpet.

Knocked down by life and bouncing right back—that’s Timber. No pity party here! Losing a leg doesn’t slow him down—he’s on the mend and ready to live his best life. Timber’s resilience and good nature are scoring high points with his foster parents. Is it any surprise that this all-around great guy gets along well with his foster brother? Of course he does! Timber is going to make the best of the good life he has now—at only 3 years old and with so much wisdom, he’s friendly, happy and up for anything. A car ride? A walk? Sure! Everything sounds great! Timber can feel that there is nothing but good times ahead—he’s getting ready for that forever family, and he can’t wait. Are you ready for all that kind of Timber love? Timber thinks you are!

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

Friends of Long Beach Animals has organized a food drive and you can help by donating cans or bags of pet food. Volunteers will distribute the donations to people affected by COVID-19. See the graphic for details—and thank you.

West Coast Toyota of Long Beach bought $3,000 worth of pet food last month to deliver to people in need in our community. If anyone you know is in this position, 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. 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. Monetary donations made on the organization’s page will help the effort along.

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.

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.

Please let us know at [email protected] about any other businesses or organizations that are providing free pet food for community members in need.

Other assistance

Long Beach Animal Care Services has spay/neuter vouchers available to the public. 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.

The Spay/Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP/LA) is back in business for free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and they’re extending the hours of their vaccination clinics. Beginning June 18, the San Pedro clinic, located at 957 N. Gaffey St., will give shots every third Thursday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call (310) 574-5555 to see if you qualify for services.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

Adopt and Shop

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.

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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.”