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.

Photo courtesy of Bounce.

Summer doesn’t end until Sept. 22 or 23, depending on which almanac you’re looking at. So, there’s still time to celebrate the dog days of summer at the Puptopia Festival.

The event, coming to Marina Green on Saturday, Sept. 9, promises more doggie divertissements than you can shake a bully stick at.

The one-day fest seems like a lot of fun for both pooches and people. Merriments include a gigantic ball-filled dog bowl for puppy play, an agility course for dogs to show off what they themselves can do, and more. 

Puptopia’s puppyhood was spent in 2021 in Texas as a series of festivals in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Bounce, an Austin-based events and marketing corporation, conceptualized it as a “one-of-a-kind experience that encompasses everything that makes dogs happy and humans happy to have a dog.”

Bounce extended this year’s festivals to a couple of dog-friendly cities in California—San Diego in August and Long Beach in September.

“Each Puptopia Festival city was chosen with great consideration for the general canine culture, dog friendliness, number of dogs owned and discretionary dollars spent on dogs per capita,” said Shermayne Crawford, Bounce’s director of marketing and operations.

Bounce also supports local animal nonprofits. This year’s beneficiaries so far are K9 Armor, which provides bullet-proof vests to K9 police officers, and Los Angeles-based A Purposeful Rescue, which saves at-risk dogs from shelters with high-euthanasia rates.

But you don’t have to have a dog to attend. Crawford said that other pets are welcome—cats, serpents, Madagascar hissing cockroaches—but stressed that anything that can be leashed must be leashed or otherwise contained.

If your dog’s in a stroller, bring a leash just in case. You don’t want Fido’s fun spoiled!

Pets to adopt or foster

I recently visited Long Beach Animal Care Services early in the morning, a few hours before the volunteers arrived. More dogs than the shelter could accommodate kennels and portable units everywhere they could safely be. Many were pleading for attention. It was heart-wrenching.

Shelters have been at crisis capacity everywhere since the pandemic, including here. Until owners take more responsibility for their pets and resources become available for people who can’t afford spay/neuter procedures, among other concerns, shelters will continue to hit capacity. 

You can check out Long Beach’s ready-to-adopt pets here

I’d also like you to meet three adoptable (or foster-ready) candidates who’d love to take a turn with you through Puptopia. 

Cooper is ready to be adopted. Courtesy Photo

Cooper (#A698011) is a 2-year-old, 42 pound lovebug. He came in as a stray in May, and the volunteers can’t believe this sweet, playful boy has been here for almost three seasons. Cooper has the greatest spot flowing down his back that one volunteer said reminds her of an old-school lava lamp. He loves to be with people—especially if they’re belly-rubbing people. But Cooper is struggling with the confinement and stress that comes from living in a shelter for nearly four months, and he’s currently at risk—you know what that means. Can you be Cooper’s home for the rest of his seasons? Here’s a sample for you.

Alonzo is waiting for his forever-home. Courtesy photo.

Alonzo (#A690707) is a playful, happy, enthusiastic boy, 2 years old, 66 pounds and already neutered. He also came in as a stray in December, and he’s now spent the better part of a year in the shelter waiting for his forever-person to find him. He’s a high-energy, athletic fellow and would make a perfect jogging, walking or hiking companion for an active owner. He’s smart, too—with his high treat and toy drive. Love would tie up the package—when he offers you his giant smile and does his tippy-toe dance waiting for you to share a toy or a treat, you can’t help but smile back! Check him in action here

Yogi is an expert catcher. Courtesy photo.

Yogi (#A689275) is so darn handsome. This big guy has been patiently waiting for his happily-ever-after since he, too, came in as a stray in January. He’s already neutered, weighs 80 pounds, and is about 3 years old. Yogi enjoys playing with toys and, like his famous baseball namesake, has an expert catch if you toss him a ball. He’s independent and doesn’t crave attention, but he sure does enjoy a good neck rub and butt scratch. Yogi is great at “sit” and “shake” and could learn more skills, especially if a tasty treat is involved. He could benefit from some additional leash training, as he’s currently a strong puller, but he loves to walk to see and smell the world around him. Check out this special boy here.

To adopt from Long Beach Animal Care Services, email [email protected] or [email protected]. Even better, stop by Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our shelter is located at 7700 E. Spring St.

Pet events and announcements

Photo courtesy of Bounce.

Puptopia Festival

Just as we discussed above—a good time is coming to town. 

At the Puptopia Festival, you’ll watch great feats of dock diving, flyball racing and more. 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.” Then, 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 Dr. Long Beach. Tickets are $35 and can be bought here; each ticket is 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 flier to your phone, present it to the server and 20% of the bill will go to animals in need.

Finbars is located at 1041 PCH, Seal Beach. 

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.