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.

Blackie. Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Landmark anniversary for Long Beach’s only canine parvovirus ICU

The Fix Parvo ICU in Long Beach is set to celebrate one full year of saving hundreds of dogs from canine parvovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal disease that’s deadly without treatment. 

A January Scratching Post article announced the opening of the ICU, which will have admitted over 400 dogs in January 2024 and saved 90%, thanks to the staff and volunteers’ commitment and tenacity and also to an actual wonder drug, Canine Parvovirus Monoclonal Antibody, developed by Elanco laboratories. 

Pets to adopt or foster

This week’s adoptables live with fosters from Sparky and the Gang, the rescue that Sherri Stankewitz founded many years ago. Each is a parvo survivor and perfectly healthy, thanks to the clinic’s staff, volunteers and that wonder drug. And Sherri being Sherri, another project has pupped up in her doghouse: Paws on the Street, which puts funds aside for abandoned dogs and people who have no money to care for either their pets or themselves. You can donate to Paws on the Street by calling Fix Long Beach at 562-337-8268, accessing, or using Venmo, @SparkyRescue.

Blackie (pictured above) is one of the dogs benefitting from Paws on the Street. He and his siblings had parvo, and all of them except Blackie died in the owners’ yard. The owners couldn’t afford emergency room treatment for Blackie, so they decided to euthanize him. The vet hospital called Fix Parvo ICU and asked if they’d take him as a surrender, which they did. The owners donated $50 for his care, which was likely a lot for them. Blackie is now doing fine. Donations for his care will be happily accepted, and when he’s all, all better, he’ll need a forever home.

These little fellers all showed up at the recent Black Friday Adoption Event at Pet Supplies Plus. They’ve all survived parvo and are in perfect health. To adopt any of them, including Blackie, access the application here and fill it out completely. 

Nonna. Photo courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Nonna is one of the many French bulldogs bred by greed-breeders and not given vaccinations or proper care.

Pumpkin. Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Pumpkin is a spicy little floof who’ll be in style even after the holidays.

Rocky. Courtesy of Sparky and the Gang.

Rocky did an even better job than his namesake in conquering his opponent, that nasty disease. He’s a foster favorite.

Pet events and announcements

The Pawlidays are coming, which means rescues and shelters are brimming events to entertain you and help fill pets’ needs, with loving homes the idea.

Haute Dogs Santa Paws collection

Something for the animals who probably don’t know that it’s Christmas, but because we do, they’d be so happy to receive gifts, and it will feel so good to know that they’re getting a Christmas, too. Individuals, organizations, businesses, classrooms, scout troops and any group or person can collect items and take them directly to their favorite shelter or rescue any time they are open, sometime before Christmas. Food, toys and treats made in the U.S. as well as cleaning supplies will be appreciated. Access this link to set up a collection box and download posters.

Seal Beach Animal Care Center Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale

Stock up on holiday gifts and goodies and help fund this all-volunteer shelter at the same time. Take home some good stuff and maybe, just maybe, an adoptable pet. That’ll be a gift for human and animal both.

Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Seal Beach Animal Care Center, 1700 Adolfo Lopez Dr., Seal Beach, free to attend, various prices for items

Little Lion Foundation’s Whiskers in Wonderland and online auction

Deck the paws with auction goodies and the benefits that the kittens and cats at The Little Lion Foundation will get from the bids for them! Little Lion’s twinkly holiday festival and fundraiser for the kittens under the rescue’s care will feature hors d’oeuvres and drinks, Duffy boat rides, audiences with the kittens themselves, and a bounty of glorious auction prizes to bid on. Every penny helps the cats in the rescue. Items can be picked up at the event or scheduled at the Little Lion Foundation headquarters afterward. Purchase tickets and boat rides here, and post your bids on the auction here, starting Dec. 1.

Sunday, Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m. to 7 p.m., Boathouse on the Bay, 190 North Marina Dr., Long Beach, event $65, Duffy boat ride $25. Online auction begins Dec. 1.

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