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.

It’s National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and considering life on the planet of late, we’d better make the most of the month. Stock up the pantry with nonperishables, plan escape routes for out of your house and out of town—and remember to make preparations for the pets.

“During a disaster, our pets face many of the same dangers as we do—separation, stress, cuts and abrasions, and broken bones,” said Reggie Harrison, director of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Department. “This is a time to focus on the specific needs of our pets.”

National Pet Preparedness Month actually comes June, and Long Beach observes it annually. But now’s a good time for a booster shot. The following is recommended by the city’s Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications, Long Beach Animal Care Services and Best Friends Animal Society.

  • At least a seven-day supply of food and water, with bowls, can opener and spoon.
  • Extra supply of any necessary medications, current vaccination records (keep your pets updated on shots), a list of the pet’s medical needs and veterinarian’s number
  • Photo of you with your pet to prove ownership, along with paperwork with registration information or ID numbers
  • Collar with a current ID tag and, please, microchip information
  • Sanitation materials such as litter and litter box, paper towels, plastic trash bags, poop bags and a small hand shovel or scoop
  • Crate or carrier labeled with the pet’s name and contact information (use masking tape and a permanent marker) and lined with an article of clothing that you wore to comfort the pet
  •  Extra blankets and towels
  • Toys and treats

Best Friends lists supplies for a pet first-aid kit on its website. Call a local emergency information number (211 or 511) for the closest pet-friendly disaster shelter or emergency pet shelter, if needed. Once more, please microchip your pets. It’s a near-guaranteed ride home.

“Taking steps to keep your pets safe in an emergency can minimize the risk of them getting lost,” said Sharon Hawa, senior manager at Best Friends Emergency Services. “Knowing where you’ll go and what you’ll need to bring during an emergency can provide peace of mind that you and your pets have what’s needed to get by for several days during a potentially chaotic time.”

Adoptable pets

If I ever have to transport my cats during an emergency, I’m calling on Zazzy Cats and its founder, Roni Naccarato. At this writing, Roni and the crew are prepping for a megafix—at least 50 cats and kittens, in one house, mind you—and in San Bernardino County, which is a schlep from Long Beach. There are major TNR/spay-neuter efforts in need everywhere, but Roni considered the math for this one: 50 + n felines x average 5 per litter x 3 times per year and repeat for everyone in a litter = skillions of unwanted cats. She blew her whistle and volunteers came running with traps, carriers, food and vehicles to get ready for the trapping trip.

Meanwhile, other cats and kittens in dire situations are always scooped up by Roni and the Zazzy volunteers and sent to foster homes, where they’re waiting for their forever humans. All Zazzys are spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated appropriately and dewormed, and they’re all zazzy as heck! See this page for adoption procedures and where to donate to all efforts Zazzy.

OliPop is 6 and likes to sleep at the edge of the bed at night. He’s a great observer and likes watch housework and nosing around the house. He loves chin rubs and head scratches.

Trouble is a 6-year-old Siamese Mix and loves to snuggle with kids and adults. He plays well toys and loves head scratches.

Mochi is almost a year old is adventurous, bubbly, playful and excitable. He’s shy at first, but as soon as he gets comfortable, he loves cuddles and kisses.

Pet events

A good time is coming to town, all for the benefit of some of the best people in the world—dogs! You can come, too, and enjoy canine capers with your best buddies. At the Puptopia Festival, you’ll watch great feats—or is that pawses—of dock diving, flyball racing and dog agility. Then, you can trot over to the Pupformance agility course and cheer on your friends as they maneuver tunnels, ramps and other obstacles. Treat your dog to a peticure and a pawssage at the Spaw, shop at the vendors for special gifts, have a snack and a slurp at the K9 Lounge, and wind up your day with a souvenir photo of both of you! Puptopia is completely cashless, but they’ll accept cards and all kinds of technopay. The festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 9 and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Marina Green, 386 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach. Tickets $35, available here; each ticket good for up to two dogs and one human. To volunteer, sign up here.

Dine-In for Cats and Dogs

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Finbars, Seal Beach’s venerable Italian restaurant, will help fill the plates of Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s furry residents as you fill yours! Download this flyer to your phone, present it to the server and 20% of the bill will go to the pets!

Finbars is located at 1041 PCH, Seal Beach. Offer good for lunch and dinner; happy hour and takeout not included.

Seal Beach Animal Care Center’s Pets Ahoy!

SBACC’S 15th annual wine-tasting event includes lunch from Finbar’s Italian Kitchen, wines from Riboli Family Wines, and live music by Tiffany Dennis. Fabulous auction items are there for the bidding! All proceeds go to the cats and dogs at the center.

The event takes place Sunday, Oct. 1, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Seal Beach Yacht Club, 255 Marina Drive, Long Beach. Tickets are $75 online and $85 at the door. All donations are tax deductible.

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