The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved.

Santa Claws at a previous pet fair. Courtesy of Home for the Pawlidays Pet Adoption

This weekend, the holiday shopping season begins in earnest, especially if you’re shopping for your pet or want to get one to shop for. Long Beach Towne Center is again welcoming the fourth iteration of the successful Home for the Pawlidays Pet Adoption and Craft Fair on Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is brought to you and your furry friends by two tireless local rescues, The Little Lion Foundation and The Cat Cove Rescue, and will take place indoors at the Long Beach Towne Center, 7641 Carson Blvd. in Long Beach.

Shop for your animal and human buddies and for yourself, too. Get your human bestie or your mom (or your favorite pet columnist) that glitzy necklace with the kitty medallion, munch on snacks when you or your pup feels peckish, get that fancy bandana for your dog and a homemade catnip stuffie for your cat, and adopt a dog to wear the bandana and a cat to play with the toy from our shelter or a rescue.

The Fair is free to attend, and the whole family, including your pet, is welcome. Note that all visiting animals must be on leashes or in carriers. All pets must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated — more on this here.

Happy pawlidays, and let there be treats on Earth!

Pets to adopt or foster

You can choose from over 200 dogs and cats from one of these rescues or from our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services. Here are a few kitty charges from one of the organizers, The Cat Cove. Check them all out and fill out an application here, or contact [email protected] for more information.

Luca and Jasper. Courtesy of The Cat Cove.

Meet Luca and Jasper. They’re both 5 years old and are sweet boys. Luca is shy at first, but once he trusts you, all he wants are snuggles and a place on your lap. If your mind wanders out of petting mode, he’ll gently tap you with a paw or butt you with his face to let you know he’s there. When it’s time for bed, he plops right down on your stomach and purrs away. Luca loves to be brushed and will come running if he hears you brushing your own hair. He also loves playing with his brother, Jasper. Speaking of whom, Jasper’s a chatterbox and will tell you all about his busy day of napping when you get home from work. These are a few of his favorite things: Wand toys, licking your arm while he gets belly rubs, sleeping on your pillow at night and getting his face washed by Luca.

A couple of health issues: Jasper has cystitis, a lifelong medical condition that requires a daily pill, and Luca sometimes passes out when he vomits. The foster has no difficulty handling either issue, and they’ll do fine with a prescription diet.

Midi (left) and Zara (right). Courtesy of The Cat Cove.

 Zara and Midi are lovely 9-year-old girls who were left behind when their family moved. The property owner took them to the shelter, and Cat Cove found them a foster. The rescue ordered senior urine and blood panels for them, and they’re healthy and doing fine. They need a senior diet — they can be given dry food but need wet food daily. They’ll do best in a quiet, adult-only home.

Pet events and announcements

Senate bill guarantees military veterans no adoption fees for shelter pets

On Veterans Day, people who’ve served in the military are often thanked with free meals at restaurants, discounts on services and other stuff. In 2019, the governor provided an additional perk in the form of Senate Bill 245, informally known as the Pets for Vets Bill, which allows military veterans who provide identification to adopt a shelter pet without paying the usual fee. Best of all, the benefit is valid not for just Veterans Day weekend but any day, any year, whenever the shelter is open. Thanks for your service, veterans — you deserve a priceless forever friendship.

Order a calendar and support a rescue

Whatever 2024 brings — and our hackles do bristle at some of the possibilities — a daily peek at any of these calendars and a deep breath will take the edge off. They’ll also help the rescue with food and vet bills for their adoptable fosters and rescues, all of whom are waiting for their own dates and a happy future. Access the links for each calendar.

  • Helen Sanders CatPAWS has its 13-month calendar ready to adorn your wall, featuring beautiful photos and stories of adopted and loved kitties. Proceeds from sales go directly toward helping even more cats live the life. Each calendar is just $15 plus tracked priority shipping. Order three or more for free shipping. Place your orders here.
  • There’s no way that you can snarl at the sunrise, even before coffee, after a look at the monthly slobberface from SoCal Bulldog Rescue. Pre-order your No Bulldog Left Behind calendar here.

CAMP mobile vaccine clinics

CAMP — Community Animal Medicine Project — hosts low-cost vaccine clinics in Los Angeles and San Pedro. Keeping your pet current on their shots is essential for preventing contagious diseases such as canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia, and CAMP makes the vaccines easier on the wallet. The clinic schedule is available here. While you’re there, ask the technicians about CAMP’s low-cost spay/neuter prices, which help prevent the birth of unwanted animals and shelter overpopulation.

To see a list of local animal rescue groups, click here.