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.

Become a pet foster

It’s three weeks until the Fourth of July, and fireworks are blasting everywhere and will likely continue all summer. Just ask the nearest dog.

Pet owners, along with military veterans, people suffering with PTSD and anyone with a short fuse—pun intended—are fed to the eyeteeth over the continual explosions. The planned, permitted fireworks shows are nerve-wracking enough for pets, dogs in particular. No matter that Long Beach’s municipal code states that it’s illegal for any individual to “possess, sell, use, display or explode any fireworks,” people who set them off don’t care.

Nonetheless, you can still be a marplot to the willfully ignorant and report the explosions. If you can pinpoint the exact location, call the police. Keyboard on down to your local app store or Google Play and install the city’s GoLongBeach app, click the “report illegal fireworks” tab, and do exactly that. You can upload photographs, too. The information helps the city prosecutor’s office file any charges.

 Sure, nothing may happen, but it’s more productive and proactive to do something than say, “Why bother?” But what you can and must do is prepare and protect your pets. Articles on the topic are everywhere on the internet this time of year—here’s one from last year’s Scratching Post. Suggestions include:

  • Don’t take your dog to fireworks displays.
  •  Equip your pet with a microchip and a current ID tag with their name and your phone number.
  •  Walk the dog before sunset, before bangs and booms go off in earnest.
  • Create a safe haven in a darkened room, with no escape route. Swaddle your furries in Thundershirts, and provide toys, treats and calm music. 
  •  If you want to sedate your pet, get a prescription from your veterinarian.
  • If your budget permits, get out of Dodge.
  • If your dog runs off, check Long Beach Animal Care Services.

Speaking of LBACS, they’re again planning Foster the Fourth event.  Residents are invited to take an animal home for 14 days to make room for the expected influx of frightened, lost pets into our already overcrowded shelter.

“We’re having an open house to showcase animals and for matchmaking purposes,” shelter outreach coordinator Megan Iglesias said. “We can answer any questions you have.”

Iglesias said that the shelter typically gets a lot of lost dogs at this time, but they’re also over capacity with cats, which can also go to fosters.

The shelter’s new Fourth of July page contains more information as well as resources for lost pets. The kickoff event takes place Friday, June 23—see the events section for details.

Veterinary clinic asks for help

Fix Long Beach, a nonprofit neighborhood veterinary clinic, was burglarized and vandalized June 12 at 1:23 a.m. The business lost thousands of dollars in equipment and cash. 

To help cover damages and loss, a friend of the organization has set up a GoFundMe. As investigation continues, the clinic is offering a $5,000 reward leading to the identity and prosecution of the perpetrator and any accomplices.

Pets to adopt

Our shelter at Long Beach Animal Care Services is critically over capacity. There won’t be any room for strays who come in, help is needed to foster for the Fourth of July—or any time. If you or someone you know can foster, adopt or rescue any of the shelter animals, please contact the shelter at 562-570-3080 or [email protected]/, or come down during visiting hours. Long Beach Animal Care Services is located at 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park. No entrance fee for shelter visitors.

Sherwin (ID#A698531), a 6-year-old boy, is small but mighty! He came in as a stray in mid-May. He has a huge personality and is always turning on the charm for anyone who walks by his kennel. He has the most adorable facial markings. He is always happy, playing and bouncing around in his kennel; he will make a wonderful addition to anyone’s family!  

These dogs have been at the shelter for a year or more. Please help them out in the only good way possible:

 Zeus (#A676719) is a handsome chocolate Labrabull—not a recognized hybrid, of course, but a volunteer thought she’d create a special breed name for someone who looks like a mix of a Labrador retriever and a pit bull. Zeus is about 3 years old and weighs 60 pounds. He’s named for the Greek God of thunder, lightning and wind and rain, and although he’s quite regal, he’s quiet, calm, pensive and smart. He can be shy when meeting new people, but he warms up quickly. Zeus has good mid-energy, perfect for enjoying walks around the neighborhood and then relaxing with treats and a good movie. He came to the shelter as a stray last June, with only Zeus on his ID tag.  

Rosebud (#A560463) is an adorable 10-year-old, 65-pound gal who’s had a pretty rough journey. She was abandoned by her owners last August with pressure sores on her legs and elevated intraocular pressure in her left eye. After having her eye removed, she’s healed and is eager to start a better chapter in life. Rosebud is very gentle and a bit timid. She seems curious and nonreactive when other dogs are near. All signs point to her not having had the best life, as even toys were a mystery to her at first and she wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. 

Pet events

Foster the 4th Kickoff Event: Friday, June 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 Spring St., Long Beach. Make space for a frightened dog or cat by fostering a pet for up to 14 days surrounding the Fourth of July. Find out the details by attending the kickoff festival, and meet the animals! You will help the shelter, the community’s animals and the families of those lost animals by giving them time to reunite.

Little Lion Foundation Fundraiser: Friday, June 23, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Johnny Reb’s, 4663 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, menu prices apply. Eat at least one meal on June 23 at Johnny Reb’s and help fund Little Lion’s TNVR (trap/neuter-spay/vaccinate/release) program. Johnny Reb’s will donate 20% of everything you eat to the program. Show the flyer on this link when you order.

Second annual Long Beach Summer Adoption and Craft Fair: Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Marina Green Park, 386 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach. Free to attend, adoption fees apply. Practically every rescue within the reach of Long Beach will be at this great event, so if you’re looking for your best friend forever and ever, you have no excuse to not shop but adopt! Of course, you’ll want to shop at the vendor booths! Stay tuned for more info.

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