While the shelter is closed to the public, pets at Long Beach Animal Care Services won’t be left alone in eerily quiet banks of kennels, with the few echoing footsteps of staff members and only a handful of volunteers to ease their loneliness.

In nothing short of a human-created miracle brought about by the Herculean efforts of two groups of nonprofits, nearly all the pets will be doing stay-at-home in actual homes, and the few that remain are on their way. The city shelter doesn’t have a formal foster program, but maybe this is the first step to putting one in place. Furthermore, with an empty shelter, the still-present staff and lead volunteers are free to work on ongoing projects and tend to the sick pets who remain there for now.

How the Long Beach animal shelter is handling being closed to the public

Animal organizations across the country are asking people to adopt or foster a shelter pet as a balm for sequestration from normal activities and also to help the pets engage in a few normal activities themselves. In Minnesota, Busch Beer is offering three months’ worth of suds to the first 500 people who adopt from a Minneapolis rescue.

“A testament to the awesome LB community—no bribery needed over here!” said Angela Robinson, Live Love Animal Rescue’s board member and grants coordinator. I concur.

On the one paw, it’s too bad that it took a national emergency to empty shelters. On the other, it took a pandemic to show that it can be done when enough people have the heart for it. Every one of them deserves a hearty thanks, both the group mind and the individual volunteers. Thanking all of them would break the internet and would be way too long to read (TLTR) so the two major players get the bow in this article, and a follow-up will spotlight a handful of fosters who represent the scores of them providing creature comfort to creatures.

Emergency Temporary Shelter foster dog program

Yes, it says “temporary,” but hopes are high that temporary could go on forever for some if not all the foster dogs. Emergency Temporary Shelter is one of the two major organization efforts dedicated to pulling as many of dogs out of our shelter as they have fosters for; as of this writing, they’ve emptied all the kennels save for a couple of stray waits. It’s eerily quiet in there, but in the best way possible.


The program comprises three primarily dog-rescues: Live Love Animal Rescue, Blockhead Brigade and Pitty Pawfessors, which teaches humane education in the schools with rescue dogs as teachers. The emergency program depends mainly on public donations; Friends of Long Beach Animals, one of the city’s most venerable animal-welfare organizations, has contributed a healthy grant to help with meds, food and grain-free treats galore.

“It’s giving us all some release to be able to do this one little thing for our community right now,” Robinson said. “Of course, if LBACS does stop taking strays or can’t allow us to pull dogs, then we’ll have to stop, but as long as we can, we’ll continue putting dogs into foster homes as soon as stray hold is over.”

tan pit bull mix with blue harness and black ears with pink tongue hanging out, with young woman with short black hair, sunglasses, a plaid shirt and a loving facial expression.
Max with foster Kimberly Salinas. Max is a 5-year-old German shepherd mix with an appreciation of tasty treats.
young woman with black hair and wearing glasses, outside in front of a grassy area embracing a steel-gray pit bull with a tongue hanging out.
Treble with his advocate and foster Laura Vena of Blockade Brigade. Treble is 6 years old, has an easygoing temperament, and loves the outdoors, whether sunny or raining.


You can apply to foster here or, better yet, check out the adoptables.

Safe-Purr at Home

Apparently, other people besides me appreciate the artistry of animal puns, catplay in particular.

Safe-Purr at home is The Little Lion Foundation’s shelter-foster program, again with the ultimate hope of a few of the furries going home permanently (this happened last year during kitten season to one Long Beach Post editor and one reporter, and they are all very, very happy).

Little Lion cofounder Claudia Marie said that her organization didn’t waste any time getting the project started when the immediate need presented itself. Like cats when they spy a silverfish from their perch on your kitchen counter, they jumped headfirst into the emergency without a second thought. A week or so later, they seemed to have landed on their feet—the couple of kitties left at the shelter will go to foster homes, too.

“Everything we try always works, because there’s a need, and people want to help,” Marie said. “The people in Long Beach are awesome, and with everybody stuck at home, there’s more opportunity to help. A lot of good is coming out.”

Safe-Purr also benefits from a grant from Friends of Long Beach Animals and donations from the public. Pet Food Express https://www.littlepawsproject.org/donate is donating food and supplies, and Helen Sanders CatPAWS has provided the DIY bottle-feeding kits for any newborns at the Long Beach Little Paws kitten nursery.

“We need fosters there, too,” Marie said.

Like the dog-foster project, Safe-Purr at Home is ongoing as long as the shelter takes in cats. When the shelter reopens, the cats and dogs who haven’t been adopted will return to the kennels.

“But we don’t want any of them to go back—we want permanent homes for them all,” Otis said.

young woman with long brown hair, a pale-blue sweater, and glasses holds a silver-tabby-patch with white paws and a pink-pawprint blanket. There is an artwork of a cactus on the wall and macrame curtains on the window.
Foster kitty Ashlyn with foster mom Evelyn. Ashlyn is a Siamese mix, 10 months old, who’s good with other cats and children.


Gingerbread‘s foster can tell you all about this loving 2-year-old kitt.

Long Beach Animal Care Services still has its adoptable dogs, cats and rabbits on its website—likely, there’s some crossover with Live Love and Little Lion, but you can make an appointment to adopt a dog from the shelter at [email protected].

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. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list.