Local auto dealership tops off animal charity’s tank with their Share the Love event

group of 11 people, all wearing masks, stand under Subaru sign holding a huge check for $38,000

Timmons staff and Friends of Long Beach Animals’ board and volunteers hoist Share the Love’s generous donation, which will go toward a lot more than kibble. From left: Tom Hanberg, Greg Covey, Friends president Lauren Campbell, April Somers, Marissa Laski , Rocky Ghahary, dealership owner Greg Timmons, Clark Davis, Buddy and Larry Blunden, Friends lifetime members Margo Carter, and Nona Daly Photo courtesy of Friends of Long Beach Animals.

 

Thanks to an annual corporate charitable event, Long Beach animals and their families will once again have increased benefits from the efforts and programs of Friends of Long Beach Animals, one of the city’s most venerable animal-welfare nonprofits. Timmons Subaru presented the all-volunteer organization with a check for over $38,000.

The donation was by grace of Share the Love, one of Subaru of America’s social-responsibility programs. The program presents each of four national charities with an annual check to help them continue their work in their respective fields of interest. Consumers actually fund the program by selecting one of the charities when they purchase vehicles, and Subaru donates part of the purchase price to the charity.

Individual dealerships can also select local charities as alternatives for the consumers.

“A lot of our customers like the idea that the money can stay in the city,” said April Somers, Timmons’ general manager. “We picked Friends of Long Beach Animals five years ago because we wanted to help the shelter, and they recommended Friends, which helps the shelter with its animals.”

Timmons also selected Honoring Our Fallen, which supports families whose spouse, sibling or child has died in service. The organization received a check of equal value.

“We were extremely surprised—this year was nearly double last year’s donation,” said Larry Blunden, Friends of Long Beach Animals’ treasurer. “We never take this for granted and never really know for sure if we will even get a donation.”

Friends of Long Beach Animals started out in 1990 as a bunch of volunteers who’d come to clean up shelter pets and make them presentable for adoption. Since organizing as a nonprofit, Friends has initiated several programs and events, notably the Spay/Neuter Incentive Program, known as SNIP, which provided vouchers to people who couldn’t afford the procedures. Over the years, they’ve developed a humane-education program in the local schools, purchased an onsite veterinary clinic for the shelter, and built a dog playground there. In June, they gave away over nine tons of pet food to families that had been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Long Beach animal nonprofit gives away tons of pet food to families affected by COVID-19

This year’s donation will be put to even more good use.

“With the pandemic, things have certainly changed for people, but nothing has changed for our pets,” Blunden said. “With school classes on hold for now, we’re expanding our humane education program by creating a safe online experience and program for the teachers to use in our schools. We’ll also be expanding our spay/neuter program by combining our efforts with Fix Long Beach to help purchase medical equipment and fund a low-cost program. And we’re creating an injured-animal fund to expand special veterinary care for found animals with injuries. Most recently, a kitten found on the freeway with two broken back legs is now on the mend.”

Blunden said that a program for prearranged long-term care for pets is also in the planning in the case of hospitalization or death of a human companion. PAWS TV, a local channel that Friends of Long Beach Animals recently produced on Spectrum TV, will expand to include pet care tips, local news, humane education and photos from local people who live with pets.

Blunden said that the Friends of Long Beach Animals membership is, as always, grateful to Timmons Subaru.

“They’re helping animals live a better life,” he said.

Friends of Long Beach Animals gets to do what they do solely through volunteers and donations. To be a friend yourself, go to their website to donate or become a volunteer.

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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.”
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