There are too many dogs in our shelter, and they need to go home


 Our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services is in crisis mode, and the more than 100 dogs (108, as of this writing) need to get out of the kennels and into real homes—those big, energetic ones in particular. They all need to go for walks around neighborhoods, to the dog beach, on hikes, and they need a safe place to sleep, good food, and toys of their own. And their own special you.

The shelter staff and volunteers work and play diligently and lovingly with the dogs to make sure they get attention and socialization. At night, though, same thing—into the kennel where they lie alone on their beds and blankets, waiting until morning.

There are multiple reasons that so many dogs are in our shelter now. With enough effort from the community, they can be tempered.

“Of course, the number one thing people can do is follow the laws,” shelter director Staycee Dains said. “Fix pets, have them microchipped, license pets, don’t let them roam—those are the biggies. Another big help is for people to adopt from shelters and humane societies rather than purchasing online and from breeders. You can find Frenchies, poodles and all manner of ‘purebred’ pets in shelters [please note that Dains’ scare quotes around “purebred” are to inform that the animals that you buy from Craigslist or someone selling them in the street wouldn’t even make the pre-auditions for an AKC dog show—they’re money opportunities for the breeder. Those are my words and likely Dains’ thoughts]. Offering to foster animals can also give you the opportunity to be moved to the front of a waiting list for a pet of your choice.”

Laying out the law: A look at Long Beach’s animal legislation


While we’re turning blue waiting for a mass epiphany for municipal-code scofflaws, please go to our shelter first when you decide that it’s time to adopt. Every animal there deserves to live a good life and not die, waiting, in a shelter. Go online to find photos of the shelter’s dogs, cats and rabbits, and make an appointment to visit them at [email protected]. If you see one that you’d particularly enjoy meeting, specify them in your email.

Virtually pets

Volunteer dog damsel Susan tells the story of four of the good dogs who’d love to meet you. And good news: a big doggie deal applies to all the massive-framed muttsies in the shelter until Jan. 31—no adoption fee charged! Imagine all the chew toys and sweaters you could buy with the savings.

Lobo (ID#A659678) is about 5 years old. He’s a cattle-dog mix, and whatever DNA from the breed runs through him means that he needs purpose and a place to run. He’s high energy and will need frequent and long exercise. He can be a bit distrustful of strangers, especially men, but his favorite shelter volunteer is a guy, so he’s great once he has a bit of time to know you’re a friend. His favorite things are playing, playing, playing and toys—balls, plushies, rubber ones—he loves them all! Lobo has been at our shelter since July 1 and is struggling with long-term noise and confinement. He loves to be petted and has shown friendliness toward other dogs while at the shelter. He has a rock-solid sit command and is very smart, so he’d thrive with additional training and activities like agility, as these dogs were meant to work. Looking at his energy level and toy drive, we feel Lobo would do best in a home without small children, but if you’re looking for a super-cute, perfect midsize exercise buddy, Lobo is ready to be your best friend!

black-and-white cattle-dog mix lies on a dirt path, with his tongue hanging out, seemingly relaxed

We don’t know too much about Traveler (ID#A666159), but we do know that we love him! Is he part border collie? Part pit bull? Part Lab? We’re really not too sure, but we do know he’s super-handsome. Only he could tell us his real story, as he was found by some Good Samaritans after being tied up and abandoned in a local park. He was very frightened and struggled initially at the shelter, but after time spent with our dedicated volunteers, he’s blossomed into an amazing dog. He’s a great middle-age—about 6 years old, with no crazy puppy hyperactivity, but still very active and able to chill perfectly. He’s now playful and friendly, loves affection, and seems to be an all-around great dog. He’s a big boy, but he’s fairly gentle and walks pretty well on a leash. Don’t ponder adopting Traveler too long, because some very lucky person is going to snatch up this special dog!


Gray husky wiht white face and legs sits up in a grassy area with her mouth open. She's on a pink leash.

Talia (ID#A665120) is a petite 1-year-old husky that is eager to be your new best friend and exercise companion! She’s simply beautiful and appears to be very friendly with people and other dogs. Though outgoing in social settings, she can be nervous about new life experiences. This young girl would blossom with someone who is patient and can help her build confidence in new surroundings and help guide her through some basic training. She has endless enthusiasm and the typical energy level of a young husky. Experience with this breed or a solid understanding of what this breed requires is strongly encouraged.


tan pit bull mix with blue collar and leash and white chest and paws sits in the grass looking up with a goofy look on her face.

Minnie (ID#A642417) is a 7-year-old fun-loving, toy-chasing gem of a dog! She loves affection and is a bit of a supermodel—just look at that smile! She took so many amazing photos that we were disappointed we could only choose one. She knows her sit command perfectly, checks in regularly with her human, and is smart and highly treat motivated, which all set her up perfectly for additional training. She is pretty dog reactive here, so we feel it best that she be an only dog. High-value (i.e., extra-yummy!) treats make it easy to redirect her to calm behavior—she’s kind of a Minnie the Mooch in this way! She’s strong, so any experience with American pit bull terriers or any large dogs is a plus. If you’re looking for a buddy always up for exercise and playtime and then curling up with some treats to watch a good flick, Minnie’s your gal!This pet is available for adoption. Please apply online to be added to the waitlist; we contact potential adopters in order of applications received.


Just fur fun and fur-ther education

Young man plays six white drums as several cats look on.

Sound-healer Santiago Rodriguez plays some pet sounds as the cats try to be cool about it. Courtesy of Feline Good Social Club


Fifth annual Online Cat Conference: 5:30–7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28 and 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Jan. 29–30, online at this link, $75.

If you’re involved at any level in trap/neuter/release or community-cat care, this conference will have a lot available for you. During three comprehensive days of cat-centric content, speakers from a wide variety of roles in animal welfare will give you their perspective on the industry and valuable information that will help you or your organization create a more humane world for community cats.

Sound Healing event: 5:30–7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $30.

Anyone who’s had a cat purring on their lap or stomach knows how good those vibrations are. The only cat lounge in Long Beach is upping the healing by presenting a healing sound bath—with cats! As humans work the ancient instruments, kitties will weave around, over and on you as you lie down taking it all in. Wear loose clothing, and bring a face mask, as COVID-19 precautions are enforced there. Order your tickets here.

Happy Meower: 4–6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11–Monday, Feb. 14, 4–6 p.m., Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $25 for a pair of tickets.

The town’s only cat lounge celebrates their guests by offering a reduced price ticket for two to visit their special cats and complimentary wine and chocolate as well, and all the kitties you can amuse yourself with. There will also be a drawing on each of these four days and times for one guest per hour to receive a special FGSC goodie bag. Spaces are limited, so book your spot for two right meow!

Comedy and Cats: 8–9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, Feline Good Social Club, 301 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, $25.

They’re back at it again! Enjoying a night of laughter and comedy has never been this su-purr! Not only will there be funny people entertaining you but also 30 cats and kittens will be joining in the fun! Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. to give you more quality time with the Feline Good kitties! Buy tickets here.

Help wanted, help given

Volunteers of many stripes needed at Helen Sanders CatPAWS

The best labors are those of love, and such work comprises Helen Sanders CatPAWS. One of the most gratifying aspects of animal rescue—the reward that makes all the work and tears and sleepless nights worthwhile—is sending cats and kittens off to their new lives and homes. CatPAWS has an immediate need for people who can help their adoptables pack up their kit bags and go to their forever homes! The CatPAWS Adoption Center is located inside PetSmart at 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, and if you want to be part of making smiles and that magical moment when a previously homeless cat becomes a cherished family member, please fill out a short online application. Thank you for wanting to volunteer and save lives!

Spay/neuter appointments available at SNP/LA

The Spay/Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP/LA) offers free and low-cost spay/neuter services, and they’re extending the hours of their vaccination clinics. Make an appointment here at any of their three locations—San Pedro, Los Angeles and Mission Hills, and check the mobile clinic button for their schedule as well.

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 562-370-3548.

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 still in bloom, and shelters and rescues are scrambling to save little lives, get them fixed, get them adopted. It isn’t unusual to find nests of young, seemingly abandoned kittens during kitten season. 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.

If you can see the bottom of the kibble bag

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.

Belmont Heights Animal Hospital, 255 Redondo Ave.

Paw Shoppe Pet Center, Inc., 6416 E. Spring St.

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

In-furson events, etc.

shelter volunteer with peaked cap and blue longsleeve shirt smiles at camera hugging a gray and white pitbull. They sit on the grass.

Long Beach Animal Care Services volunteer Jo Ellen’s big smile shows the love that she feels for Griffin. If you’re a military veteran, you can take Griffin home and pay no adoption fee–not just on Veteran’s Day, but any day you can make an appointment!


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 centers: viewable daily during store hours, playtime Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 3:00 p.m., PetSmart, 12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach; Petco Marina Shores, 6500 Pacific Coast Highway, third Saturday of every month between 1 and 3 p.m., Long 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. Visitors to Petco Marina Shores every third Saturday of the month can see them running around their playpens and cuddle them, too. 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.

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. 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.



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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.”