Long Beach Gives includes pet nonprofits. Meet the reasons for their existence here

Virtually pets

People who may never have imagined they’d be in as tight a position as they are now are in need, some extreme, thanks to the side effects of COVID-19. The word “existential” is used more often than it’s been in a discussion of Albert Camus’ work, unless you’re reading “The Plague.”

Need demonstrates itself visibly now. There are more people living on the streets. Small businesses are shutting their doors. Drive-thru food distribution events draw long lines of vehicles snaking through streets and alleys. A pet-food giveaway sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals brought out over 500 cars, vans and pickups, which collectively carted off 9 tons of food for their drivers’ dogs and cats.

Somehow, enough humans are still able to demonstrate generosity either through volunteering or in-kind and monetary donations. Long Beach Gives, which grew out of a graduate student project, is an annual event in its second year that displays an aggregate of human generosity in the space of a few days. The event dedicates an entire day to helping nonprofits stretch a dollar to keep themselves doing the good stuff. They also stretch the day into an entire week, giving the 24-hour period of giving—Sept. 24 this year—a running start.

Long Beach Gives launches second campaign to help 150 local nonprofits

Long Beach Gives operates strictly through social media, which likely gave them a leg up in the present scenario of video conferencing. Their participant training was this year’s only variable.

“Last year’s training was in person, but this year, they were all held on Zoom,” Long Beach Gives’ campaign director, Niko Galvez, said.

There are several categories of nonprofits to donate to. Since pets are the focus of this column, and this is Friday, and Friday’s adoption day for The Scratching Post, the focus will be on the animal-welfare organizations participating in Long Beach Gives. Animal-welfare nonprofits’ needs are great. Their volunteers take in pets that have been abandoned; are ill, injured, overbred by backyard breeders, are stuck in shelters and need out, and in deplorable shape in myriad details. The nonprofits have to raise their own funds by hook or by wine-tasting party to pay for food, medical needs and spay/neuter. So, here’s to a successful fundraising campaign and to the animals who are waiting to go home.


This rescue works miracles. Back in March, Live Love Animal Rescue pulled over 100 dogs from Long Beach Animal Care Services when the shelter had to close to the public because of the pandemic. The kennels were echoing for weeks. The rescue also emptied the shelter on four consecutive years save one with their Foster the Fourth program, which sent all the dogs to temporary fosters to make room for the terrified lost pets who ran off when the blasts from fireworks began in earnest. Live Love’s mission is to provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of homeless pets. Any animal they take under their vast set of wings will be placed in a foster home where they’re given appropriate medical treatment, fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered if needed, and given any necessary veterinary training. Any who are too ill to be adopted will remain with Live Love as “Forever Fosters” and live out their days as happily as can be.

small brown dog with missing front leg lies on a wooden floor, looking away from the camera, with mouth open

Little Simba is one of the dogs who were pulled from the shelter in March. He’s an intelligent yellow Labrador/Shiba Inu mix, and is survivor at 7 years old. Simba had cancer in one leg, which was removed, so now he is an adorable, cancer-free tripod! Live Love said that learning how to live on three legs was only a temporary setback. He enjoys swimming therapy at LapDog h20 as well as treats, walks and naps. After he warms up to you, he’s a loyal, loving companion. He’s ready for a forever home—no children or other animals. Just you. Access this link to see Simba and his buddies and to fill out an adoption application.


Helen Sanders CatPAWS directly rescues cats and kittens from shelters, takes care of medical and social needs through fostering, and adopts them out. As of this date, they’ve found over 300 homes for their charges. During the initial phase of the shelter’s public closure, they helped by pulling cats from the kennels and placing them in foster homes, from where they got adopted. They’ve also given out a record 284 spay/neuter vouchers so far this year from their own spay/neuter assistance program to help stem the problem of homeless, unwanted cats at the source! Their direct rescues, DIY Kitten Care Kits available at Long Beach Animal Care Services, and adoptions have been part of greatly reducing the rate of cat euthanasia at the Long Beach shelter. Check out the alumni on their calendar contest page (see Calendars—save the date, and save some pets!). CatPAWS is participating in Long Beach Gives, with a matching-fund challenge from our private donors of $10,000 and a goal of $20,000.

cat with tabby patches and white muzzle and legs lies on a floral bedspread.

Chompers, pronounced [shom-PAY], to give her a little class, was owner-surrendered to the shelter at 10 years old, and she was in awful shape. She had scabs on her little body and a mouth condition called stomatitis, which was so painful that she couldn’t eat. CatPAWS paid to get all her teeth extracted and the condition cleared up. She’s been in a foster home for a few months and has gradually become affectionate and playful. She does have some behavior issues involving biting, and she hates other cats. She’d be great in a home as an only pet with a patient adult human who appreciates a challenge—CatPAWS has waived the fee. Besides, she can sneer like Elvis Presley. If you’re interested in Chompers, email [email protected] Check out all the rest CatPAWS’ adoptable kitties here.

Sparky and the Gang is well known for changing hopeless into hopeful, to paraphrase their bio. Dogs from streets, shelters and nasty home situations get the royal treatment from the volunteers, and the dogs wind up being the best possible version of themselves they could ever be. The humanity of humans shows up in force to adopt these guys.

“While adoptions have been ongoing during the pandemic, now more than ever, rescue has had to step up and pay for the greediness of mankind, allowing their animals to breed and plead with the public to please not buy a pet [online or from a backyard breeder),” one Sparky and the Gang member said. “Rescue is difficult enough without adding fuel to the pet overpopulation problem.” The rescue expresses gratitude for all the support given by the community to help the dogs whom they take in.

fluffy, sheeplike white dog sits tall for camera.

Little lamb Dolly (and she does bear more than a passing resemblance to the cloned sheep of the same name) is one example. She was rescued at the brink of death by Sparky and the Gang. Dolly was brought into this world by one of the aforementioned backyard breeders. “Puppies, like people, are not born into this world gleeful and ready to play,” a Sparky volunteer said. “They’re fragile, and many like Dolly end up with deadly viruses—their mothers forced to have litter after litter and becoming ill themselves.” Dolly had developed parvo and was dumped at the rescue, who handled the $1,500 vet bill. To adopt Dolly or any of the other Sparky and the Gang pups, please click on this link


Fix Long Beach came into being in 2013. The all-volunteer nonprofit provides free spay/neuter procedures and vouchers that take a bite out of the cost to people in Long Beach who cannot afford the procedures. They also give free microchips and low-cost vaccines, nail trimming and flea meds to ensure that the pets can stay healthy! Since its founding, the organization has spayed and neutered over 8,000 pets and has, according to shelter data, reduced the number of pets euthanized at the shelter by 94%. Fix Long Beach has also held free microchip clinics during the July Fourth holiday season to help ensure the return of a pet in case they become frightened and lost. Besides hiring veterinarians to carry out the procedures, they regularly rescue dogs and a few cats, like Neena.

cat with tortie markings lies on a kitchen rug and looks at the camera.

Neena, a female diluted tortie, is 9 to 11 months old. Just a kitten herself, she was found with her three babies living under a car in Central Long Beach. People were feeding her but no trapping effort was made until a volunteer stepped in. Neena had an eye injury—no one was certain whether she was sick or had been fighting off a predator and protecting her kittens. After trapping her and getting her to a vet, she was found to have an upper-respiratory infection, which has cleared up. She was also FIV and FELV negative—a very good sign of a healthy future. She was a great mom and raised her babies to be adoptable—and they all went home quickly. Neena has been spayed and is up-to-date on her vaccines. She’s reserved and is still trying to get comfy in her foster home, but she’s fine with other cats, kittens and, surprisingly, dogs. She would do great with someone who is working from home currently and has time to spend coaxing her out for ear rubs and eliciting purrs. If you are interested in Neena, please email [email protected]


The Little Lion Foundation was also instrumental in clearing the shelter of kitties during the public closure. The rescue repeatedly points out the fragility of newborn kittens and then walks the talk on all four feet. Knowing that most kittens under 8 weeks old are euthanized upon intake at the shelter, they’ve made it their prime focus to pull the little guys from Long Beach Animal Care Services, incubate them if needed, get them to eager fosters, and bottle-feed them and otherwise raise them until they’re ready to run around independently and nip your bare toes. This involves a lot of attention and interrupted sleep on the fosters’ part. All donations that come to the Little Lion Foundation through Long Beach Gives will be matched up to $10,000 by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA), and every dollar will go to the Little Paws Kitten Nursery, which the rescue also runs, to keep the doors open next year and to continue saving countless lives.

tiny kitten's white face with brown ears stares out the yellow-lit window of an incubator.

It’s tough to get a glamour shot of a kitten in an incubator, but you can see little Cordelia’s 3-week-old face through this one! Cordelia, along with her three siblings, came from the shelter when they were sick little babies. They’re all healed up, gaining weight and enjoying the warmth of an incubator at the Little Paws Kitten Nursery. They’re all getting ready to find loving homes. Meet Cordy and her friends here, and fill out an adoption application.

SpcaLA is the independent nonprofit rescue that surrounds the city shelter at the P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village. Donations from Long Beach Gives and other sources run programs and services like cruelty investigations, the Disaster Animal Response Team (DART), violence prevention, humane education and a variety of shelter services, including pulling pets from Long Beach Animal Care Services for adoption. Donations also feed and care for pets in their facility.

white pit-bull sits in the midst of very green bushes, on the grass

Peering out at you from a canopy of foliage is the wonderful, goofy Cloud. Cloud is a pit bull mix, only 3 years old. He enjoys new training exercises and learning tricks, and he also loves to play with his toys. However, he doesn’t want to share! He wants to be an only pet—no cats, dogs, bunnies, squirrels—wait, squirrels?! He’s sociable with people, though, and is super-smart. He needs a forever home with an experienced dog person. Access this link to adopt Cloud or any of the other spcaLA pets.


Pet projects

Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp: Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. PDT, free! Register here.

If you’re all sad because you’d sewn labels on your cat collar and rehearsed “99 Things to Knock off the Shelf” with your kitty cabal, and then Cat Camp was subsequently knocked off the shelf itself by the pandemic—tails up! Thanks to support from the Petco Foundation and Litter Genie, the camp’s going virtual and will be absolutely free of charge to the happy campers! Register, and then wait by the mousehole for a great time with Jackson Galaxy, the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” along with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw and her straight-out hints for raising kittens. Enjoy question-and-answer, interactive activities that likely involve dangling things, and prizes to win, including a one-on-one consultation with Jackson Galaxy—all while your cats are walking on the keyboard and blocking the monitor. OK—ready? “99 things to knock off the shelf, 99 things to smack…

 Best Friends Strut Your Mutt Day: Saturday, Oct. 24, register or donate here

The annual Strut Your Mutt dog walk, which has raised thousands of dollars for lifesaving projects, is going virtual like everything else. Best Friends has teamed up with local rescue groups, shelters, animal-welfare organizations and pet-community members for a virtual community walk and fundraiser to benefit homeless dogs and cats across the country. During this period of relative isolation, raising funds is more important than ever, so join up and participate in engaging opportunities to help throughout the season and build a virtual no-kill community. All funds raised go directly to lifesaving programs such as spay neuter services and adoption—and it’s all off leash!

Help wanted, help given

Second Annual Long Beach Gives: midnight–11:59, Thursday, Sept. 24, details here

Long Beach Gives started as a grad student project in 2018. In short, it’s 24 hours of donating to any of the 153 Long Beach charities in their aggregate. Last year’s inaugural event earned a combined total of over $822,000 for 93 local organizations, surpassing their initial goal of $350,000 by 300%, according to their website. This year’s impressive list of charities includes the following pet-related nonprofits: Fix Long Beach, Golden State Humane Society, Helen Sanders CatPAWS, Live Love Animal Rescue, Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue, spcaLA and The Little Lion Foundation. Show your love and support for pets and the organizations that spend their money and themselves to help them—donate on Thursday, Sept. 23, between midnights.

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

It’s kitten season—the time of year when cats give birth. It starts in the spring—sometimes before, depending on the weather, peaks in midsummer, and ends in autumn. It occurs because so many cats are not spayed or neutered, and soon, kittens flood our shelter. 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.  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—(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. 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.

Calendars—save the date, and save some pets!

Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties 2020 calendar contest: through Sunday, Sept. 20, register your floomf here

Sick and tired of 2020 already? Let’s build a new year and help cats at the same time. Helen Sanders CatPAWS Show Us Your Kitties calendar contest is back, and it’s time to submit your photos! This year the rescue’s goal is to reach $10,000 so they can continue the lifesaving work to make sure every cat gets the best life (and home) possible. The rescue will try its best to place every photo they receive somewhere in the calendar, even if not in the top 13. Because times are tough and CatPAWS wants to encourage people to share their beloved kitty photos, they have waived the usual entry fee this year! You can reserve a day for your cat for $10—a birthday, a memorial, St. Gertrude’s Day… Read the full rules here.

 Southern California Bulldog Rescue’s No Bulldog Left Behind calendar contest: through Monday, Aug. 31, register your slobbery baby here.

 Southern California Bulldog Rescue provides shelter, rehoming assistance, and funds for medical treatment for over 250 bulldogs each year coming from animal shelters, other rescue groups, and owners who wish to surrender their purebred pets. They rely on donations for support, and this calendar of jut-jawed beauties is their biggest fundraiser. Do you and your adorable, squatty little friend want to reserve a day or strive for an entire month? Of course you do! Find out how here.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag:

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, has vouchers available for anyone not able to go to the shelter for them. They also accept donations.

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.

Adopt, adopt, adopt

spcaLA Are You Kitten Me? adoptions through Sept. 30, shelter hours at all spcaLA locations, $20 adoption fee for all felines.

Help the community raise kittens born during kitten season and shine a spotlight on the adult cats passed over for their younger counterparts. Because of closures to the public, spcaLA will conduct all adoptions virtually, so check out these pointy-eared cuties here and complete an application on any of the adoptables’ pages. An spcaLA adoption counselor will contact you to complete the adoption. (This adoption special is for qualified adopters; exclusions may apply.)


Helen Sanders CatPAWS adoption center: Daily, store hours, PetSmart, 2341 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. Sadly, no ear scratching or chin rubs at this time, but volunteers can answer questions and provide you with adoption information! Be sure to wear a mask. You can find adoption applications and all the kitties here.

Long Beach Animal Care Services monthly adoptions: Every second Saturday of each month, store hours, Pet Supplies Plus, 2086 N. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Long Beach Animal Care Services shows up with its fabulous Adoption Waggin’ equipped with air conditioning, running water and comfy kennels with cats, dogs and bunnies waiting to go home. Masks and social distancing required for visitors.

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.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

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.”