Rufus is a happy, handsome 8-year-old Pit Bull-Shar Pei mix who loves to give high fives with his paws. After over eight months at Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS), Rufus is now one of 69 other dogs and 103 cats recently adopted or fostered into homes from ACS since March 13, during an unprecedented show of support from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, April 3, only six dogs and eight cats were in the shelter. The remaining animals are being readied for foster homes or are under medical or behavioral care or observation.
“Our Animal Care Services team and our amazing volunteers and rescue groups are doing an incredible job during this health crisis by encouraging folks to foster shelter animals, thereby saving many animal lives,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “During this stressful time, fostering or adopting a pet can also provide great comfort.”
People who foster an animal agree to take them into their home and give them love, care and attention, either for a predetermined period of time or until the animal is adopted. Fostering animals gives them more time they might need to be adopted, helps socialize them to a home environment, and helps to understand them better so they are placed in the best forever home possible. Fostering is especially beneficial during the pandemic because the ACS currently has few volunteers on site.
“With Long Beach residents following the ‘Safer at Home’ order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we recognized a greater opportunity for residents to foster shelter animals,” said Staycee Dains, Manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services. “The community is continuing to do a great job by not bringing animals to us unless the animal is seriously sick or seriously injured or is attacking. The fact that our kennels are empty is unprecedented and we owe that to our hardworking and tireless staff, and rescue partners and our community.”
Rufus came to the shelter in August 2019. He suffered from a skin condition that rendered his skin dry and flaky. The ACS medical team treated his condition and Rufus soon became a shelter favorite among staff and volunteers with his gentle and kind spirit. On March 20, Rufus was placed into foster care and five days later found his forever home with a family from Stockton in northern California. They felt compelled to come down and adopt him after seeing his picture on the website of Live Love Animal Rescue.
Until further notice, ACS is open by appointment only. Animal Control Officers continue to accommodate the most emergent health and public safety issues in the community. Pet licensing can be done via mail by sending payment to 7700 E. Spring St. Long Beach, CA 90815, over the phone by calling 562-570-3081, or online at www.longbeachanimalcare.com.
For adoption services, the public can email AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov. For emergency surrender of sick or injured animals, or to reunite an animal with its owner, call 562-570-7387. For questions, email AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit: longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.