Pet Food Express opens newest location this weekend in Belmont Shore

Long Beach’s newest pet-supply store is throwing a grand opening party on Saturday and Sunday and you and your pet are invited. If you don’t have a pet, that can be remedied this weekend as well.

Pet Food Express has a sort of mixed breed construct, combining chain store with small business. Michael Levy, a Northern Californian whose philosophy comprises feeding your pets good stuff, opened his first store in 1986 and grew his business so fast that he had to bring a partner aboard. As the Long Beach Business Journal article states, he and business manager Mark Witriol now have 65 stores on leash, including the Belmont Shore location. All Pet Food Expresses carry no pet food brands that contain fillers or what they term “suspect ingredients.” The stores also sell quality toys and accessories, and the corporation itself supports shelters, rescues, disaster response, education for human companions and adoption.

The Belmont Shore location is about 60% the size of the one in Bixby Knolls. The Cat Adoption Center, Wellness Center and a couple of other spaces have been squeezed out for space, but the Self-Service Pet Wash keeps its corner and the product availability is the same as larger stores. Because of the location, parking might be a challenge, but the store’s located on the less beachy north side of Second Street, which mitigates parking opportunities in your favor. A rear parking lot provides four dedicated spaces for clients plus one general handicapped spot, although German shepherds will populate it this weekend. They also open early, at 7:30 a.m., and who’s awake at that hour except for dog walkers?

And there will be plenty of room for the Grand Opening activities and shenanigans this weekend. Your pet will scarf down food samples from the vendors, will get a free bandanna and a dunk in the self-service pet wash, and you’ll get a free tote bag while supplies last and a chance to win one of four $100 PFE gift certificates. Dogs will also bob for tennis balls, which has about as much appeal as sticking your head in a tub full of human spit for an apple. But hey, we’re not dogs, and they’ll love it.

And, of course, hopefuls from Helen Sanders Cat Paws, German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, and the Long Beach Spay and Neuter Foundation cat rescue will be there waiting for you to take them home.

The new Belmont Shore Pet Food Express is located at 5265 E. Second St., Long Beach. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 Virtually pets

Kitties from A (Ares) to Z (Zed, which means the same thing in British English)! They’re all lovingly fostered by volunteers from the Helen Sanders CatPAWS rescue. Fill out an adoption application for any CatPAWS cat here.

black kitten with white mouth mask and paws lies on a bedspread and looks to the right.

Ares is an active boy who loves to run and chase his siblings. He likes to talk but only to tell you he is hungry! He is a cuddler, though—he loves watching TV on your lap or on your shoulder. He’ll follow you everywhere!


brown tabby with a brown sot on his muzzle, striped legs and a white chest sits with ears perked up, looking at camera.

Horton is hearing a Who and who knows what else. He likes to be the first—first to say hello, first to eat, first to play. He loves to cuddle when he has decided it’s time to cuddle.


tiny black kitten sits in a candy dish, looking with wide eyes.

You can’t have Horton without Mayzie, but this girl is a generous Mayzie and wouldn’t abandon an egg—or a litter! Happily, she’s been spayed and won’t have the opportunity. Mayzie loves to be held and enjoys human company. She takes her time getting to her food and is a bit on the cautious side during kitten playtime.


Black kitten with white mouth mask and paws sits on a rug and looks at the camera.

Zed is a sweet little boy who loves to explore, climb, and play with his siblings.


New to The Scratching Post but certainly not to rescue is the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. The volunteer-driven nonprofit has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming German shepherds for over 20 years. Although they’re centered in the OC, they have had a presence at many Long Beach events. They’re foster based, and all their doggies benefit from interaction with their own personal people. The two dogs they’re bringing are adults, and they do have puppies; however, GSROC leaves the puppies home during adoption events to avoid puppy illness. To adopt one of these fine, loyal dogs, visit the adoption page, look at all the lovely pets, and fill out the adoption application.

Tan German shepherd leashed to a tree stands smiling at camera.

Gus is a 3-year-old purebred Belgian Malinois. Unfortunately, the breed has succumbed to the trend of gotta-have-it when a movie features a specific pet breed. Then, when the animal is found to have specific needs, they get dumped or abandoned. Since the Channing Tatum vehicle “Dog,” there has been a surge of abandoned Malinois in shelters, and Gus is likely one of them—he was found as a stray. He’s a strong but very friendly boy who loves walking, running and playing. He’s good with large-breed dogs, but no small dogs or cats, please!


head and back of tan and black German shepherd standing near leaves. Her mouth is partially open.

Missy is a 3-year-old beauty who lost her home when a new baby arrived. She is very energetic and would do best with a family that has previous German shepherd experience. She is good with large male dogs but a little fussy about other female dogs. She’d be great for someone who has time to invest in training.

Silver and tan German shepherd stands on dirt near tree, mouth open and tongue lolling.

Hazel and her family were living in a motel because they lost their home. Hazel is loving and happy and enjoys playing with other dogs. She is between 2 and 3 years old and has a gentle nature. She loves affection and making her people happy!


A helping paw

Please keep an eye out for Jack. A reward is offered, but the best reward will be reuniting best friends.

German shepherd trained to help Long Beach woman with mobility issues stolen from home

Pet License Amnesty extended to Dec. 31

The city of Long Beach has extended the fee and penalty waivers for pet licenses to Dec. 31. Anyone living in the highlighted Community Development Block grant neighborhoods, as shown on the above map, may request a waiver by phone at 562-570-7387, by applying by mail at 7700 E. Spring St., or in person at the shelter. The waiver program is not available online. Visit this link for license requirements. Call 562-570-7387 for additional information.

Great furballs of fun!

Home for the Pawlidays: Saturday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Long Beach Towne Center, 7460 E. Carson St., Long Beach, adoption fees apply.

Come out to this fun family event, and if your pet’s on Santa’s good list—that is, vaccinated, leashed and well behaved, they’re invited, too! The Little Lion Foundation and The Cat Cove are partnering to create an early opportunity to adopt and shop for gifts for your furry, feathered, scaly, leathery and skin-and-follicle friends! In the holiday spirit, the two cat rescues will feature over 200 adoptable animals from local animal shelters and rescues, including the Adoption Waggin from Long Beach Animal Care Services, and they’re including dogs! Shop for unique holiday gifts—and something for yourself, too—at local small-business craft vendors. Have you and your pet’s photo taken with Santa, bid on raffle baskets, and bring home holiday goodies from the bake sale.

This is an indoor event, rain or shine. Located in the Long Beach Towne Center next to Sam’s Club and Bob’s Furniture Store.

Pupsgiving book-signing party: Saturday, Nov. 19, 2–5 p.m., Barnes & Noble, 6326 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, $40 admission includes signed book, swag bag, raffle tickets, and lunch for humans and dogs.

Grab your pooch and join author and YouTube channel host Katy Cable for an early Thanksgiving picnic and the release of her new book, “Katy Cable’s Party With Your Pup!” On the menu for friends with any number of legs will be cranberry cocktails, pumpkin mousse pie, and all kinds of recipes from her book, including something called Pilgrim Patties! Meet dog-celebrities and learn tips for throwing the perfect “dog-inclusive” party for every month if the year, all in her book! What a gift idea!

$40 includes admission to event for you and your dog, signed book, sWAG goody bag, and raffle tickets. Space is limited. Attendance is limited, so RSVP by calling Barnes & Noble at 562-431-2253.

 Foster for awhile—or furever!

National Adoption Week event, featuring Zazzy Cats: Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., see graphic for PetSmart locations.

Zazzy Cats are, well—just zazzy! The Zazzy crew would be jazzed if you gave your home some pizazz with one of their fabulous felines!

Long Beach Animal Care Services has expanded adoption hours as follows: Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are welcome to browse until closing. To speed up any adoption process, email [email protected]. To foster, email [email protected].

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. 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. Keep in mind that the rescues are self-supporting and need donations and volunteer help. Most of them cannot accept found or unwanted pets. Contact Long Beach Animal Care Services for options.

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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.”