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.

Ashley Craig and Watermelon look adoringly at each other. Old Blue Inc. provided lifesaving surgery for Watermelon’s wounds. Photo courtesy of Ashley Craig.

You’re invited to a webinar on Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. that will discuss a critical issue—overpopulation at animal shelters. 

Panelists include Lisa Milot, University of Georgia Law Professor and director of the practicum in animal-welfare skills; Bob Ferber, retired supervisor of the Los Angeles City Attorney Animal Protection Unit; and Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. SCIL has sponsored such California animal legislation as AB 485, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, which forbids the sale of pet-mill-bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.

“I look forward to joining the webinar, as we need all the support on this issue that we can get,” Mancuso said. “My goal is to make people aware of the circumstances contributing to pet overpopulation and the multitude of solutions needed to fully wrap our arms around this big issue.”

Mancuso and other participants will address many factors contributing to overpopulation, such as backyard breeding.

Animal advocate and Long Beach Animal Care Services volunteer Ashley Craig set up the webinar and will host it as part of advocacy group Old Blue Inc—named for a dog euthanized at the Los Angeles County shelter in Carson. Craig wants to raise community awareness about breeding legislation, lack of resources for spay/neuter procedures, and educating pet owners about altering their pet. 

And that’s where you come in, so register here to attend. It’s free.

Craig said that the shortage of veterinarians, the diminished number of post-COVID adoptions, the lack of affordable spay/neuter resources, and more contribute to shelter overcrowding. The rush to adopt during the pandemic-shutdown years also created an opportunity to breed and sell dogs because everyone wanted one.

Long Beach has a mandatory breeding law, and enforcement has always seemed difficult. Craig believes that spay/neuter resources and education will do a lot to mitigate the problem, but she’s not downplaying enforcement.

“I wish that there were more enforcement, but using the excuse that there isn’t adequate enforcement is not productive. But that’s not my area of expertise,” she said. “My expertise is community engagement and getting people to care.”

Pets to adopt or foster

“We have lots of pets that need out—long-termers and adults,” said LBACS’ interim shelter director Melanie Wagner. 

Adoption, said Wagner, in conjunction with a massive spay/neuter effort, will go a long way to reach the 90% positive outcome benchmark for saving every life possible, or what’s known as no-kill.

These dogs have limited time at the city’s shelter. To adopt or foster one of them or any of the pets there, email [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also call 562-570-4925. Even better, stop by during walk-in hours every Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shelter is located at 7700 E. Spring St. in Long Beach, at the entrance to El Dorado Park. No parking fee for those visiting the shelter.

Beau is in need of a good home. Photo courtesy of LBACS.

Beau (ID#A704264) is a German shepherd, just over a year old. He’s red-listed for increased kennel stress and has a possible issue with one eye. But as you can see, he can make himself quite at home—you say, “Sit, boy,” and he pulls up a chair. He also enjoys chasing tennis balls and rubdowns. He needs out by Nov. 8.

Mako was flagged for kennel stress. Photo courtesy of LBACS.

Mako (ID#A707234) is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, also flagged for kennel stress. It’s hard for a social animal to be confined to a kennel, even with the most loving volunteers and staff, which our shelter has. They all say that he’s a gem, both dog and people friendly, and loves to play. He has to be out by Nov. 17.

Brittnea is in need of a good home. Photo courtesy of LBACS.

Brittnea (A700576), just a year old, was brought in by a family and is in need of a loving home. Please, take this cookie home before she crumbles.

Pet events and announcements

4th annual Home for the Pawlidays Pet Adoption and Craft Fair

The Cat Cove and The Little Lion Foundation pet rescues present another iteration of their wildly successful opportunity to adopt and shop. The whole family is welcome, including pets—note that all visiting animals must be contained in carriers or on leashes. All pets must be spayed or neutered and vaccinated—more on this here.

Saturday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Long Beach Towne Center, 7575 Carson Blvd., Long Beach, free to attend

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. Preorder your No Bulldog Left Behind calendar here.

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