Shelter volunteers honor pet grads with a yearbook as they move on to better things

June was graduation month, and the volunteers at Long Beach Animal Care Services have put together a virtual yearbook of cats and dogs who’ve passed all their behavioral and social requirements and received their diplomas, which they promptly shredded. Now, they’re seeking forever positions as house pets or temporary gigs as fosters.

LBACS’ volunteers are huge pet advocates, and several go quackers in creativity. Besides going to the shelter to walk, bathe and play with formerly neglected dogs and cuddle and otherwise socialize frightened cats, they create posters to share on social media and Photoshop silly costumes on their mug shots during holidays. Dog volunteer Ricky Yim, who modestly declined to pose for a photo, is one of the most undogmatic in creativity. He got the yearbook idea when he saw a display of dog-training graduates in a PetSmart.

“Since it’s graduation season and I’ve never done anything like this before, I thought that a yearbook would be a nice, cute idea to do,” Ricky said. “I posted on our volunteer page for people to go ahead and post photos, and I’d pick the best ones.”

The volunteers thought up “most likely to” descriptor phrases; Dee Glick, another out-of-the-litter-box volunteer, Photoshopped the mortarboards; and head volunteer Gary Tanaka stood in as Professor Gary—a fitting sobriquet, on the closing page.

 

Ricky hopes that the yearbook project will attract adopters and fosters to visit the shelter and meet each grad and undergrad.

“I like to find a special thing and turn it into an adoption opportunity,” he said. “We want to promote the animals in the first place, in any shape or form, in any special way.”

Virtually pets

What’s graduation without a gift? Friends of Long Beach Animals is funding a year of free medical care for any dog or cat adopted from our shelter in July! I mean, what pet doesn’t love a trip to the vet? Nonetheless, health is the second-best gift you can give an animal—the best is the promise to love them forever and ever.

Long Beach Animal Care Services is located at 7700 E. Spring St. in Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). Foster and adoption hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Adopt one of these grads or undergrads or any shelter cat and dog, and give them the gift of health.

Small gray pit bull with white chest and big ears looks to the right, her mouth open, and sitting on a green blanket

Bebita (#A656328) is a 5-year-old pint-size pittie that’s one of our shelter’s longest residents. She’s been waiting for her special someone to find her since last April! Bebita was voted Best Ears in the yearbook and now that she’s not wearing her mortarboard, you can see not only them but the big grin that goes from ear to ear! She’s very affectionate and loves to be near her people. She can be protective in the home environment, so she’ll need a patient owner to help teach her to trust new people. She will flourish in a breed-experienced home where she’s the only pet. If you’re looking for your soulmate, someone to exercise with and a Netflix buddy, this little gal is waiting for you!

Tan German shepherd with white neck and black nose sits on green grass with tongue hanging out in a smile.

Jocko (ID#A673425) was voted Most Likely to Steal Your Girl! That’s only partly accurate—Jocko is an equal-opportunity heart-stealer, and he’s won the heart of every volunteer he runs around with. He’s a 3-year-old German shepherd ready for a romp followed by a relaxing rest at your feet, or on the couch with you!

White Harlequin cat with a black mask over one eye and black blotches on back and tail lies against kenne. Her front leg is twisted.

Angel (ID#A673474) was voted Softest Fur. She’s only 2 years old. She was born with a deformity of her front legs, possibly radial hypoplasia, which causes the legs to be permanently bent at right angles, but the condition doesn’t affect her health. She was once very dearly loved, but her human died, and no one could or would take her. Volunteer Susan has spent a lot of time with Angel and found that although she’s mostly shy at the shelter, she loves to be petted by trusted folks. Angel can run and even jump a little, and Susan feels that she’ll bond to another special person and love them as much as she loved her human.

white cat with tabby-patch mask and a spot on his pink nose sits and looks to his left.

Chad (ID#A667964) didn’t make it for photo day—he’s camera shy. In fact, he was so bashful that he hid from his owner so much. So, the owner took him to the shelter. We’re certain there’s a place for him because he’s become a very friendly guy. He’s 2 years old and has been at the shelter way too long—at least eight months. He’s a good-looking, modest domestic shorthair—his green eyes will grab your attention! He’ll thrive in a forever home.

 To the rescue!

Council District 8 announces 60-day amnesty for new or late pet licensing fees for designated residents

A resolution introduced by Councilman Al Austin and passed by the City Council provides a temporary amnesty program that waives a first-time pet licensing fee and late penalty fee for an expired pet license for residents of Community Development Block Grant-designated areas in Long Beach can apply to an HUD grant program that will waive fees for new and late pet licenses until Aug. 23. Access this map to determine whether you live in a CDBG zone, or call 562-570-1326 or email [email protected].

Great Furballs of Fun

The Fourth of July is behind us (although illegal booms still shatter the air), and summer is officially on! Whether you’re a graduate, an undergrad or just someone who wants to have a good time, these furious, furry, fun ideas are for you!

25th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals: Saturday, July 16, first race at 6:30 p.m., Los Alamitos Race Course, 4961 Katella Ave, Cypress, $3 per ticket.

 Aaaand, away they—wait! Get up! The finishing line’s the other way! No, don’t eat that! Enjoy an all-in-fun “race” in which little, low-to-the ground hounds will just be themselves as they vie for prizes and championships! It’s hilarious fun for the entire family. Event T-shirts and raffle tickets will be on sale at the track, with all proceeds supporting the welfare of our fabulous Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s resident cats and dogs. Purchase your tickets at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center business office during office hours. All bets are off—literally. This is simply for good fun and good works!

Long Beach Adoption Bonanza and Craft Fair: Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Long Beach Towne Center, 7575 Carson St., Long Beach, free admission.

Support our local animal rescues and shelter at this family-friendly event! Lots of shopping and wonderful pets for adoption!

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge airing: Saturday, July 24 and July 31, KCBS TV, 4 p.m., times are subject to change; check here for latest airing times and information on the event

Every year, some of the most athletic dogs in the U.S. compete in Purina Pro Plan’s Surf Dog Competition, in which they exchange belly rubs for bellyboards and ride the waves at Huntington Beach State Park. This year’s furry surfers performed aquatic feats—or is that paws—in such contests as the Incredible Diving Dog, Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc Qualifying and Incredible Fetch It! on June 10 and then moved to terra firma on June 11 for the agility challenge. Whether your dog has paddled a board or is just a hodad, they’ll love watching this event, and so will you! Check out the action here! (Despite the daunting performances, each dog has been trained by their owners and wears a life vest. Furthermore, each dog is monitored.)

blonde lady wearing white mask and black tank top caresses a German-shepherd-mix dog as a friend, seen only as a torso and legs, sits and watches

El Guapo is a “foster-fail” from Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue

Foster for awhile—or furever!

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.”
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