Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA), established many nine lives ago in 1989, is Long Beach’s most venerable pet-welfare and philanthropic organization. The organization again lived up to its name on July 6, when they donated funds to The Little Lion Foundation and its subsidiary, The Long Beach Little Paws Project kitten nursery, to buy their very own Ford Transit to shuttle their furry little charges back and forth to vet appointments and rescues.

“We were spending $700 a month renting a van, and we’re like, this is really stupid, it’s a waste of our money—we should try to purchase one,” Little Lion founder Claudia Marie said.

Little Lion reached out to FOLBA for financial assistance to purchase a used vehicle, and the FOLBA board was glad to help.

“We just couldn’t say no!” FOLBA president Lauren Campbell said.

white Transit van stands against grass
The roomy van will lap up the miles schlepping cats and kittens to adoption centers in the western states. Hannah Shaw, the meme-worthy Kitten Lady, is taking a few in as well. Photo courtesy of The Little Lion Foundation.

“We transport a lot of kittens, and we’re building a lot of partnerships to help us—for example, Helen Woodward Animal Center, which is a huge nonprofit located in San Diego County,” Marie said. “They’re also going to the Humane Society of Berkeley, to Sonoma Valley and Silicon Valley, and we’re doing an ASPCA transport to Washington State, in Seattle.”

The van will also roll into areas of Long Beach where residents need assistance with keeping their pets healthy.

“Our vet techs can do vaccines [from the van] and give services to community cats,” Marie said. “There will be a workshop at the end of the month for vaccines, microchips, flea meds, and community animals.” (See Just fur fun and fur-ther education for details.)

Little Lion has fostered and adopted out blind kittens, kittens with physical disabilities and illnesses and discarded newborns. Last year, FOLBA gave the Long Beach Little Paws Project a sizable donation to help fill the nursery’s formula bottles and pay for medical care of a sadly considerable number of severe cases.

Group of happy people, two holding kittens, stand in front of kennels.
They got the pink slip, Daddy! From left, FOLBA treasurer Larry Blunden, Campbell with Persephone, Marie with FOLBA check, Jessica Ruth with Leighton, Little Lion Board member Amanda Barajas, and FOLBA executive assistant Bel Gunduz. In rear, FOLBA director Greg Covey. Photo by Kate Karp


This month, seven tripod kittens are healing in the nursery or in foster homes. Each cat had been found with a mangled leg that may have come from being mauled by a larger animal, hit by a car or a bicycle, or a nasty human-induced trauma. The kittens’ fractured, ruined limbs had to be surgically removed.

“We’ve never seen this many trauma cases,” Marie said.

Woman in red shirt and rubber gloves nuzzles white cat with tabby ears
Leighton, here with Marie’s daughter Jessica Ruth, was found in the street, unable to move. His leg was shattered at the elbow and had to be amputated, as recommended by the veterinarian.
“He panted and panted when I picked him up from the street, and then when I got him in my lap, he started purring,” Marie said. “He felt relief and felt safe. He decompressed, and so did I—I started crying.” Photo by Kate Karp


woman in denim jacket holds little white cat with tabby ears. kennels with kittens are in the background.
Leslie, Leighton’s new foster, is taking him home to ready him for adoption. He’ll be available soon! Photo by Kate Karp


There are really too many kittens in general. Marie thinks that this year’s kitten season is worse than previous years—all the inboxes of rescues and shelters have been inundated with pleas for help.

“The pandemic messed everything up!” Marie said by way of explanation. “I think that there were hardly any services in 2020.”

Long Beach Animal Care Services has been accepting and adopting animals by appointment only, and they, too, are inundated and overwhelmed with kittens and other animals, a profound contrast to last year when several rescues, including Little Lion, sent most of the pets to fosters and forever adopters.

Two groups have essentially emptied the kennels at Long Beach shelter

The Little Lion Foundation and the Long Beach Little Paws Project know that as time goes on, there will continue to be traffic jams and bottlenecks on the road to rescue, but the use of the Transit will effectively increase the mileage of their efforts to save and serve even more Little Lions. As their motto states, “”Every cat deserves to roar.”

Virtually Pets

Many Little Lions are ready to move into a forever den. The Little Lion Foundation is sending home cats over 6 months old at half the usually charged fee. You can see all the eligible critters here, and when you decide on your mane (sorry) choices, fill out the application available here.

Black cat with cloudy left eye lounges on a tan board next to a mediumhair black cat with white paws, chin and chest.
George and Maddie, both 5 months old, form a pair of royal beasts who’d be a plus to your own pride. George is a sweet and super-playful kitten—an energetic ball of joy! He is full of spunk and loves to chase a ball or a crinkle toy. After a play session, George loves nothing more than to curl up in your arms and insist on a long session of chin scratches. George’s “magic eye,” as the volunteers call it, is a result of some injuries he suffered when younger, but it’s healed and doesn’t get in the way of his playfulness. The volunteers purr-tly call it his David Bowie feature.
One of George’s hobbies is meticulously grooming his sister Maddie’s long fur. Maddie is the ultimate Netflix-chill partner, purring away on your lap until she decides to chase George around the house. Her nickname is Jell-O kitten, from her habit of pouring herself into your arms and gelling there.
This pair must be adopted together.


one panel shows a mediumhair gray cat with green eyes, white muzzle and chest, and pink nose looking at camera. The second shows a brown tabby with tortie highlights looking over his shoulder against a background of flowers
These two cats represent another act of compassion that FOLBA is undertaking. Fluffy, an 8-year-old gray-and-white male cat, and Cheeba, a 9-year-old calico female, are a bonded pair who are about to lose their human to cancer. Gloria is a 48-year-old Long Beach resident who has spent her life working in clinical research at UCLA and for the last two years has been looking after her elderly parents that have dementia. Her best friend, Gianna, reached out to FOLBA for help in rehoming Gloria’s beloved cats and finding them a home together.
“Gloria has only a few weeks left with us, and her main concern is her two cats and finding them a safe home together,” FOLBA board president Lauren Campbell said. “We visited with Gloria this week and promised her that FOLBA would do everything in our power to carry out her wishes.”
Fluffy is playful and loves cuddles. Mild-mannered Cheeba is also playful. They’re bonded and must be rehomed together. Serious adopters are asked to email FOLBA at [email protected]g and reference “Gloria” on the subject line.


Just fur fun and fur-ther education

Sound Healing, presented by Illuminate Life: 4:30–6 p.m. Friday, July 30, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $30, buy tickets here

Unless your cat’s a water freak, you probably haven’t taken a bath with them. Sound baths—well, different story. Join Illuminate Life and a kindle of kitties for a relaxing 45-minute Sound Bath, and afterward, you’ll have a bonus sound bath of purring and light meows with the Feline Good Social Club cats! What a way to cultivate your inner contentedness! Feline Good Social Club asks everyone to arrive up to 10 minutes early. Bring mats, blankets and pillows, and dress for comfort.

Community Pet-Wellness Event: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, July 31, Los Angeles County Development Authority, 851 Via Carmelitos, Long Beach, free.

When a bunch of animal rescues and advocates get together and collaborate, it’s bound to be a bone-us for pets and their people! If the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your ability to afford food and wellness care for your pets, if you’ve had difficulty getting an appointment at your regular vet, if you don’t know where to turn for help, this canine and kitty conglom is here for you! The City of Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) and other local rescues and animal-welfare organizations are pooling resources and talent to help the community. Pet-pantry resources will be available, and a limited number of appointments for free vaccines, flea meds and microchips—sign up here. Priority will be given to residents of Long Beach and cities serviced by LBACS. If spaces are available, appointments will be given to visitors outside the service area. Furry, flea free and completely free to you!

Help wanted, help given

Volunteer walkers needed for senior citizens’ dogs

Ida’s Walkers is a program of The Heart of Ida, a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving the older-adult population in and around Long Beach. Ida’s Walkers offers dog-walking services to low-to-moderate-income seniors who are hospitalized, have limited mobility, or are at risk of falling. If you want to help senior citizens keep their beloved pets as long as they are able to live at home, call 562-570-3548.

Fix Long Beach low-cost pet-services clinics: selected days and times, 1749 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, services available by appointment at

Fix Long Beach is taking appointments for low-cost spay/neuter, dental, vaccines and other vet needs for cats and dogs. Vaccination clinics take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Visit their webpage or Facebook page for details.

DIY Kitten Care Kits available free at Long Beach Animal Care Services

Kitten season is here and shelters and rescues are scrambling to save their lives, get them fixed, get them adopted. It isn’t unusual to find nests of young, seemingly abandoned kittens during kitten season. It is a natural reaction to want to help, to save them. But before you jump in, consider these steps outlined here. If you are interested in obtaining a Kitten Care Kit made possible by Helen Sanders CatPAWS, please email [email protected].

Spay/neuter vouchers available at shelter

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 can telephone the general number at 562-570–7387 to request a voucher.

 Spay/neuter appointments available at SNP/LA

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. The San Pedro clinic will give shots between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. every third Thursday at 957 N. Gaffey St. Call 310-574–5555 to see if you qualify for services.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag

Pet Food Express-district manager Jim Zayac stands with his dog, Lou, between shelves of good-smelling food. Lou, however, seems more enchanted with his human. Photo courtesy of Pet Food Express

Pet Food Express Fill the Food Bank Campaign: To Sunday, Aug. 1., any Pet Food Express store or online on the Campaign page

Pet Food Express, a privately owned California chain of pet-supply stores specializing in quality products and community service, is collecting monetary donations to ease financial burdens suffered by many California families struggling because of financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign aims to donate 100,000 pounds of FirstMate dog food to pet-food banks to help hundreds of families worried about being able to provide for their beloved furry roommates.

“Food banks are essential,” said Megan Kniepkamp, Pet Food Express’ community outreach manager. “They reduce the risk of a returned pet to an already overtaxed rescue and shelter system by offsetting the cost of necessary pet care. We want struggling pet owners to know that there is free help available to keep their pets fed, cared for and with them at their home.”

Details of the Pet Food Express Fill the Food Bank Campaign are accessible here; find the store closest to you here.

Pets of the Homeless’s 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 Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. at Beacon for Him Ministries, 1535 Gundry Ave. Long Beach; and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. at Christian Outreach in Action, 515 E. Third St., Long Beach, Donations will be gratefully accepted at these locations as well.

Adopt, adopt, adopt


Friends of Long Beach Animals sponsors Jellicle Cat adoption fees through July

Looking for the perfect cat or kitten? Friends of Long Beach Animals will sponsor adoption fees for Jellicle Cats Rescue Foundation (as you know, they’re small) during the month of July. Check out the available cuteness here.

 Helen Sanders CatPAWS celebrates PetSmart’s National Adoption Week: Friday, July 23; Saturday, July 24; and Sunday, July 25, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, adoption fees apply.

Volunteers will be there to meet adopters at this big event, although the cats and kittens will likely beat them to it. Lots of surprises on hand aside from those silly, affectionate kitties, and Helen Sanders CatPAWS will receive a cash award for every adoption held, which will help them save even more cats!

Little Lion Foundation offers special adoption rates for cats over 6 months old.

Everyone seems to want kittens, but older cats already are who they are, and they also richly deserve forever homes. The Little Lion Foundation will send home a snuggly adolescent or adult for half the usually charged adoption fee. See all of the eligible kitties here, fill out an application (or two) here, and fall in love with your new best friend!

Long Beach Animal Care Services Pick of the Litter month, through July 31

Don’t miss your chance to adopt a kitten, or an adult cat, or a sweet, sweet senior! Many cats and kittens are available for adoption, and they are going to new homes fast! Email Long Beach Animal Care Services at [email protected] to make an appointment to bring home your new, pointy-eared best friend. Adoption fees are waived; all other procedures are still in place.

 Adoptees on display

three orange kittens, one almost-orange kitten and one black kitten stare out of pet tunnel.
You can play with the cats and kittens at Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescue at PetSmart, Seal Beach!


Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sundays, Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

This adoption center is a much-needed satellite operation of Long Beach Animal Care Services. Julie and her team pull adoptable cats—”adoptable,” to these guys, means any cat in a shelter kennel! The team socializes the kitties until they’re adopted, which takes less time than you could imagine!

Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption center: viewable daily during store hours, PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, adoption fees apply.

Window-shopping’s a neat pastime and likely has become more common during the pandemic. Helen Sanders CatPAWS has applied window-shopping to cat adoption; you can peer at several of the fine felines through the windows of the PetSmart adoption center in Seal Beach, and now, you can finally visit with them, scratch their little ears, and rub them under their chinny-chin-chins on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Volunteers will answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.

Links to loveables


two dogs and a cat on one border, two cats and two dogs on other. Caption says, "May we couch-surf at your place?"
May we couch-surf at your place?



Nota bon-e—fosters are needed everywhere! 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 social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!

These nonprofits also regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Fosters are needed for kittens as well. 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.