Saturday, 27 November 2021
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Clear the Shelters offers thousands of cats, dogs and rabbits a way out

This weekend, thousands of people will visit shelters across the country to meet cats, dogs and bunnies waiting for their new homes. Every year at this time, NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations team up with shelters across the country to ease overcrowding and fend off euthanasia by adopting out pets at reduced rates to homes across the country. Their sponsored event, Clear the Shelters, has been in operation since 2015 and has found homes for over 150,000 pets.

Pet lovers and advocates have voiced concerns over handing off animals at a reduced fee. They fear neglect of the animal, inability to financially support a pet, and even torture. The worries are understandable and in character with passion for animal welfare. However, Best Friends Animal Society’s publication “Reduced-Fee Adoption Promotions: Concerns and Responses” summarized studies on the matter and laid out the success rates of lowered adoption fees. The practice, the author wrote, doesn’t devalue an animal but acts as an attractant to people who might not otherwise understand how overcrowded shelters are and how each animal there has a sad story. And of course, how loveable they all are.

“Lots of people get their animals (especially cats) from friends or family or from ‘free to good home’ situations,” the article stated. “Just because they acquired their pets for little or no money doesn’t mean they can’t afford to care for them or don’t provide good homes.”

Pets adopted from a shelter will have had their first inoculations, a veterinary exam, and best of all, a spay or a neuter procedure. Most shelters, including ACS, are required to spay or neuter any pet leaving the facility. Therefore, any deliberate or accidental birth has been prevented, and there will be no future offspring to further crowd shelters.

Most shelter volunteers and employees are alert to any red flags—the screening of potential adopters goes beyond the paperwork involved.

“Clear the Shelters is how they promote getting people in, but it doesn’t change the screening process,” said Ted Stevens, ACS’s manager. “I think all of our volunteers and staff are hypervigilant. They don’t want to see animals go into bad homes.”

This is not to say that there are no incidents of pets going to bad homes from events like Clear the Shelters. There are. There are also shelter dumpings and horror stories involving animals from puppy-mill-populated pet stores, neighbor giveaways, rescues (who do their damndest) and even breeders—purebreds wind up in shelters, too. If 150,000 animals went home during Clear the Shelter events and most of them weren’t success stories, we’d have heard about it. Meanwhile, it’s not just the shelter staff and volunteers who need to ensure success—it’s also the adopters. The love of a companion animal is priceless, no matter the cost. If you’re looking for a new best buddy and want to pay a low fee that will give you leftover funds for food, toys and future medical care, consider the following:

  • Your new friend will need a quiet, safe place to relax when he or she is first brought home. Keep windows closed, particularly if you adopt a cat. If there’s anything at all that a new animal can get into, remove it. Be sure to “bunny-proof” your house by covering electric cords and anything chewable.
  • Toys, litter boxes, leashes and other necessities need to be waiting for the new pet. Save collars for after you adopt in case you seek out a German shepherd and come home with a Chihuahua.
  • Children in the home must know how to treat an animal lovingly and gently, and what their responsibilities are. There should be a plan for introducing any other family animals to new friends.
  • If you have your heart set on a breed, do your research first. Bully breeds can have respiratory problems, and Jack Russell terriers are, to put it mildly, energetic. Be sure to talk to a shelter volunteer about the personality of any animal you fancy.
  • Dogs need to be walked daily and need socialization. They may need training. Cats ideally should be indoors only—they need lots of toys and interactive play. If your budget and living situation can stand it, two cats are better than one for this purpose.
  • Speaking of budget, a healthy diet costs some money, and veterinary bills can be costly. Your pet will also need annual vaccines. Scope out a vet before you adopt.
  • If you’re a renter, your landlord must be in agreement to you keeping a pet. Don’t think you can sneak in a cat—someone will rat you out, likely a rat. If you move, leaving your pet behind is not an option. has a preparation page dedicated to preadoption.

All the boxes checked? Good—here are representatives from ACS who’ll be more than happy to meet you at Clear the Shelters.


Chelsea, ID#A610490

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning … Chelsea mornings are glorious. There you are with your favorite breakfast beverage, a plate of something healthy, a morning show on TV, and this adorable little silver tabby sprawled out at your feet, or possibly on the table, sniffing at whatever you have on the plate. Chelsea’s only about a year old and has many, many mornings to share.


Ringo, ID#A607877 Star, ID#A607875

First Chelsea morning, now Ringo (whadda face) and Star (with one r). Regular Kitten on the Keys. These playful little guys are about 6 months old and would make a lovely pair. You can plant an Octopussycat Garden with some catnip for them!


Bully, ID#A579028

He looks like a baby hippopotamus, but Bully is all—well, bull, in the best and doggiest sense of the word. Toss a toy, throw him a treat—he’s yours forever. And what a huggable body! At 3 years old, he has a lot of life ahead!

Maverick, ID#A608343

Maverick’s a good name for a Siberian husky. They tend to figure stuff out, like how to escape! If you are looking for a dog like Maverick, remember that huskies and husky mixes like Maverick do what they want to do. This often includes digging. A big fella like this needs a home that is capable of caring for a big boy like this. If you’re this person, come get him! He’s 5 years old and ready to play.

Coco, ID#A612843

Good heavens, is she adorable or what? Coco is a year-old fuzz-face terrier/Chihuahua mix. That meetup always turns out the sweetest little yappers. Sadly, there are so many of them. Coco will be the light of your life if you take her home. She so needs human companionship.

Moon Cat Café, featuring cats from Wrigley Kittens

Saturday, Aug. 18, noon–4:00 p.m., Long Beach Antiques Vintage Etc, 737 Pine Ave., Long Beach

$20 a visit, adoption prices vary

Janet Pao and her mobile Moon Cat Café, where the coffee and pastries are surpassed in quality only by the cats in the playroom, will be parked in front of Long Beach Antiques Vintage Etc., a swell collectable collective where you can likely find your new best buddy a tapestried footstool to shred or a leopard-skin-print divan to sprawl across and look luxuriant. Coffee, cookies, cats and curios—who could ask for a more evocative afternoon?

Thai Silk Lunch Fund-Raiser for Fix Long Beach

Saturday, Aug. 18, noon–3:00 p.m., Thai Silk Restaurant, 1506 E. Broadway, Long Beach

Menu prices vary

The generous owner of Thai Silk is donating 15 percent of their lunch money to help fix cats and dogs and make sure that fewer unwanted animals are on the streets and in shelters. Tell everyone that you’re Thai’d up for lunch Aug. 18 but they can sure come along with you!

Clear the Shelters, sponsored by NBC4 Los Angeles and Telemundo 52 Los Angeles

Saturday, Aug. 18, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., ACS and spcaLA at Pitchford Companion Animal Village, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

$20 adoption fee

Clear the Shelters events have matched people with pets for over 150,000 pets since 2015 and at the same time have reduced shelter overcrowding, sparing large numbers of animals death by euthanasia. Please come to adopt on Saturday if you’re looking for a new forever fur family member. Bring your ID with you.

Long Beach Animal Care Services Foster Program Fund-Raiser

Thursday, Aug. 23, 5:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., The Red Leprechaun, 4000 East Anaheim St., Long Beach

Menu prices vary

Help homeless animals in Long Beach by supporting a foster program in our city’s shelter! Early birds will enjoy hosted appetizers from 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. This is a kid-and-dog-friendly venue on the “Paddy-O’,” so bring the whole family (but no jumping on the table and grabbing the mini-quiches!) Even better, if you have a foster dog you want to introduce, bring him or her! Award-winning artists Honey Whiskey Trio will perform their talented vocal harmonies in the genres of blues, folk and jazz. The entire tab for Karl Strauss Blonde Ale—that’s 100 percent!–will be donated to the Long Beach ACS Foster Program, and 15 percent of food will also go to the program!

Music for Mutts (and Cats) Shelter Fund-Raiser

Saturday, Aug. 25, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., SteelCraft, 3768 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

Free event; in-kind and financial shelter donations requested

Shake your booty and wag your tail to the music of DJ Hell Cat, Natasha Wood, Three Buck Chuck and guitarist Takahito Mori, and help these musical animal lovers rock the shelter, too! Participants are encouraged to bring pet food, treats and toys; towels; dishes; and cash for the animals residing there. Vendors selling food and drink will also be at the event.

Fix Long Beach Free Spay/Neuter Clinic—sponsored by Friends of Long Beach Animals (FOLBA)

Saturday, Aug. 11, 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Ramona Park, 3301 E. 65th St. at Obispo Avenue, Long Beach

Have your cat spayed or neutered free with appointment and qualifications; vet appointment with voucher, minimal charge for dogs and cats; flea meds $10; shots and dewormer $10 each; nail trimming, $10

It’s now the law to fix your pets in Long Beach and many Southern California cities. It’s also kitten season, still burgeoning and blooming, and crowding shelters with cats and kittens that will likely be subject to euthanasia if a rescue doesn’t pull them or people come to adopt them.

To provide this costly service to our Long Beach residents who otherwise couldn’t afford it, Fix Long Beach offers this service free of charge.

Make an appointment through IM or email at [email protected] for your dog, and include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) phone number, (4) pet’s name, (5) age, (6) sex, (7) breed, and (8) weight, and Fix will see if they can schedule you. You can also come as a standby, but be there at 8:30 a.m.. Make sure that your pet has had nothing to eat or drink past 10:00 p.m. the previous night.

Vouchers are provided through Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) Spay/Neuter Assistance Voucher Program and may be used at specified veterinary clinics. They are available for pets who don’t have appointments or dogs too large to fit on the truck.

To donate, visit our page. In-kind donations such as leashes, collars and toys can be brought to our event or ordered through our Amazon wish list. 

For both spay/neuter and vaccinations, all dogs must be on sturdy leashes and all cats must be in dedicated carriers. Fix thanks you in advance for being responsible for your pet’s health and for helping to reduce shelter overpopulation and euthanasia.

Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw

Saving Kittens’ Lives workshop and fundraiser, with Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., El Dorado Park West Community Center, 2800 N. Studebaker Rd., Long Beach

Tickets: $39.95; a portion of ticket sales will benefit The Little Lion Foundation

If you’re expecting an eccentric cat person raving about kitties, yes. But you have no idea where her whimsies will take you or how much you’ll learn about cat care! Hannah Shaw can captivate an audience the way that little birdie does to the cat on the other side of the window—she’ll teach you how to care for underage, orphaned kittens so that more lives will be saved. Best of all, your ticket purchase will help The Little Lion Foundation do just that as well! Purchase tickets here.

‘Show Us Your Kitties!’ Calendar Contest, benefitting Helen Sanders Cat Paws

To Sept. 30, guidelines here

$10.00 to reserve a date for your cat on the calendar; $1.00 per vote for an entire page, $5.00 minimum starting vote

Want to help Helen Sanders CatPAWS raise money to save cats from public shelters? Submit a photo of your kitty and/or vote for your favorite kitties! Also, because CatPAWS believes in working with other groups toward our common goal of saving more lives, you may designate an organization other than Helen Sanders CatPAWS as a recipient when you enter. If you are one of the top three winners, a portion of the money raised after expenses will go to that group! For $10, you can also reserve a date for your own cat’s birthday. All funds benefit pets.

Pup-Crawl for Dog-toberfest, to Benefit Fix Long Beach

Saturday, Oct. 20, 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Red Leprechaun, 4000 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

Tickets: $50; includes drink tickets and appetizer

Hop on The Big Red Bus for all the fun you can handle! Fix Long Beach’s fund-raiser will begin at Red Leprechaun and stop at Malainey’s Grill, Shenanigans and Gallagher’s. Your ticket includes a drink ticket for beer, wine or champagne, and appetizers at one location. Drink sales will continue on the bus for an additional cost. You’ll meet at the Red Leprechaun at 5:00 p.m., The Big Red Bus will pick up at 6:00 p.m., and you’ll return to The Red Lep at 9:00 p.m. The Red Leprechaun will be staying open late for dinner.  We are looking for sponsors, so if you know a business or individual that would like to fly their banner on the bus, please email [email protected]. All proceeds will go toward Fix’s goal of spay/neuter and rescue in the LBC.

Pet Adoption Locations

Photo courtesy of West Coast Animal Rescue 

The following pet-related businesses regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. If you’re a Long Beach-area rescue and don’t see your adoption event listed here, please email [email protected].


Petco Animal Supplies, Marina Shores

6500 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach

Helen Sanders CatPAWS permanent adoption center, store hours

Rabbit Rescue Inc., adoptable rabbits daily, store hours

Live Love Animal Rescue, first Sunday of the month, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Unleashed by Petco

600 Redondo Avenue

Foreverhome Pet Rescue, Inc., Sundays, noon–4:00 p.m.

PetSmart, Long Beach Exchange

3871 N Lakewood Blvd., Long Beach

The Cat Cove, Saturdays, noon–4:00pm

Jellicle Cats Foundation,  Saturdays, noon—4:00 p.m.

PetSmart Signal Hill

2550 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill

Kitty Katchers, Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Stray Cat Alliance, permanent adoption center, store hours

PetSmart Compton

1775 South Alameda St., Compton

Zazzy Cats Kitty Rescue, permanent adoption center, store hours

Rabbit Rescue Inc.,  one adoptable rabbit daily, store hours

PetSmart Seal Beach

12341 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach

Helen Sanders CatPAWS permanent adoption center, store hours

West Coast Animal Rescue, Saturdays, noon–4:00 p.m.

Dogs in Need, Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Pet Food Express, 4220 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach

Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center, permanent adoption center, business hours

alternate weekends, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fix Long Beach, occasional weekends

Live Love Animal Rescue, first Saturday of each month, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Ozzie and Friends Rescue, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., alternate Sundays

The Little Lion Foundation,  alternate weekends, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Zazzy Cats

Bank of America, 5101 East Second St., Long Beach

Long Beach Spay & Neuter Foundation, 11:00 a.m.–3 p.m.

Strut Your Mutt

Register for Best Friends’ ‘Strut Your Mutt’ Walk Event

Imagine this: You’re surrounded by animal lovers just like you. Everywhere you look, there are dogs of all shapes and sizes, all happy with tails wagging. Excitement is in the air.

You don’t have to imagine it. That’s what Best Friends’ Strut Your Mutt is all about! This year’s LA Strut takes place October 20 (time to be announced) at Exposition Park. This fur-filled festival not only rallies friends, family and neighbors to help save the lives of homeless pets in your community but it also supports the lifesaving work of Best Friends Animal Society. You can find everything you need to know right here.

BARK - Copy

BARK Therapy Dogs Reading with Kids

See website for information

Founded in 2007, BARK (Beach Animals Reading with Kids) is a nonprofit all-volunteer program that encourages children to increase their reading skills and self-confidence by reading aloud to certified therapy dogs. Students sometimes find it intimidating to read in front of classmates but love to read to the non-judgmental, calming dogs. BARK now has 170 teams listening to kids in more than 100 schools and libraries in California—Long Beach libraries visited monthly are Bach, El Dorado, Bayshore, Brewitt and Los Altos; outlying-area libraries include Hawaiian Gardens, Iacoboni and Los Alamitos. BARK teams also visit nursing homes, senior living facilities and veteran centers. They even de-stress college students during finals week! For all events, check out BARK’s calendar. To find information about volunteering your furry buddy or to arrange a visit to your school, library or other community, contact the group at [email protected] or (562)235-8835.

SNP/LA Mobile Low-Cost Pet Vaccines

Locations and dates vary; visit link in text

For low-cost vaccines, visit this link  Note that pet owners must be 18 years or older, all pets must be on leashes or in carriers, and only healthy and non-pregnant animals will be vaccinated. Please bring prior vaccination information with you to the clinic. Vaccination and microchip services are provided for pets residing in any city. Licensing is provided for residents within our jurisdiction at Saturday clinics; please bring your renewal notice and rabies certificate with you. Low/cost spay/neuter information is also available through SNP/LA.

Free Pet Food Distributions

Papa, a big “teddy bear’ of a dog, sits with his human in Ashlee’s Pet Care station at Beacon for Him.

Beacon for Him has extended an outreach for people experiencing homelessness and their pets. Pet food, primarily dog food, is available at their facility at 439 West Anaheim St., Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from noon to 3:00 p.m.. A dog-washing station with a stainless-steel tub is also available onsite at these hours. Donations and supplies such as shampoo, flea control and, of course, pet food are always gratefully accepted.

The Pet Food Bank is sponsored by Christian Outreach in Action . COA is located at 515 E 3rd St., Long Beach. Hours are Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m..

Contact The Pet Food Bank in Seal Beach at [email protected] if you or your organization wants to help people feed their pets.

Pets of the Homeless is the angel host that provides so many collection places across the country for homeless people to care for their animals as best as they can. Please support them through a cash donation, or bring food to the Long Beach-area drop-off center, Trendi Pawz Grooming, 3726 E 7th St, Long Beach. Access this link for resources and donation areas in SoCal and across the country.

Shelter Enrichment - Copy

Shelter-Enrichment Supplies Needed for ACS Dogs and Cats!

Drop-off: Wednesdays through Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach

Individual donations requested

ACS is continuing our kennel enrichment activities for our canine guests here and could use so more donations (there are plenty for the cats!). Here is what’s needed:

  • creamy peanut butter
  • yogurt
  • beef broth (canned or in the box)
  • chicken broth (canned or in the box)
  • incense
  • carabiner clips (heavy duty)
  • ice cube trays
  • pipe cleaners
  • toilet paper/paper towel rolls
  • cat toys
  • corks from bottles (for cat toys)
  • catnip
  • canned cat and dog food

Donations are tax deductible. Our pups and kitties say thanks so much!

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