"Service Animals" in a place of business?
1. What are the laws that apply to my business?

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA requires these businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed.

2. What is a service animal?

A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:

  • Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.
  • Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.
  • Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.
A service animal is not a pet.

3. How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?

A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.

4. What must I do when an individual with a service animal comes to my business?

A: The service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers.

5. I have always had a clearly posted "no pets" policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow service animals in?

A: Yes. A service animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your "no pets" policy to allow the use of a service animal by a person with a disability. This does not mean you must abandon your "no pets" policy altogether but simply that you must make an exception to your general rule for service animals.

6. My county health department has told me that only a guide dog has to be admitted. If I follow those regulations, am I violating the ADA?

A: Yes, if you refuse to admit any other type of service animal on the basis of local health department regulations or other state or local laws. The ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and so it takes priority over the local or state laws or regulations.

7. Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring service animals into my business?

A: No. Neither a deposit nor a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing a service animal to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets. However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if a service animal causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages. For example, a hotel can charge a guest with a disability for the cost of repairing or cleaning furniture damaged by a service animal if it is the hotel's policy to charge when non-disabled guests cause such damage.

8. I operate a private taxicab and I don't want animals in my taxi; they smell, shed hair and sometimes have "accidents." Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with a service animal?

A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their service animals than they charge to other persons for the same or equivalent service.

9. Am I responsible for the animal while the person with a disability is in my business?

A: No. The care or supervision of a service animal is solely the responsibility of his or her owner. You are not required to provide care or food or a special location for the animal.

10. What if a service animal barks or growls at other people, or otherwise acts out of control?

A: You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded. You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals. Each situation must be considered individually.

Although a public accommodation may exclude any service animal that is out of control, it should give the individual with a disability who uses the service animal the option of continuing to enjoy its goods and services without having the service animal on the premises.

11. Can I exclude an animal that doesn't really seem dangerous but is disruptive to my business?

A: There may be a few circumstances when a public accommodation is not required to accommodate a service animal--that is, when doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the business. Generally, this is not likely to occur in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities. But when it does, for example, when a dog barks during a movie, the animal can be excluded.

If you have further questions about service animals or other requirements of the ADA, you may call the U.S. Department of Justice's toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TDD).

Dealing with the Death of a Pet, Final Care of Your Pet's Body

Facing the death of your pet is sad and stressful, and having to decide what to do with the body often adds to that stress. That's why it's best to explore options available for the final care of your pet's body before his death. However, if your pet dies before you can make arrangements, most veterinary hospitals can keep your pet's body for a few days while you consider your options. As emotionally draining as the decision can be, it helps to know that there are several alternatives to choose from, depending on practical, legal, financial, emotional, and spiritual considerations.

Like many caregivers, you may prefer to leave the decision to your veterinarian. Or you may select home burial, burial at a pet cemetery, or cremation. The following information will help you better understand what's available so that you can make the decision that's best for you.

Can I Bury My Pet in a Cemetery?

You can bury your pet in a cemetery created specifically for beloved pets. Pet cemeteries offer a wide range of burial and cremation choices to fit your needs. They perform the duties and services of both a funeral home and cemetery. To locate one, look in the Yellow Pages under "Pet Cemeteries & Crematories." Veterinary clinics and humane societies may also operate pet cemeteries and crematories.

Before choosing a pet cemetery, check to make sure the cemetery sits on "dedicated land." To do this, verify with the cemetery manager that the cemetery's property deed states that the land will always remain a pet cemetery regardless of ownership. Standards set by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries (800-952-5541) can guide your selection.

How Do Cemeteries Bury Pets?

Pets can be buried either in a private plot or in a communal plot. In a private burial, a pet's remains are separately prepared and placed in an individual grave site, crypt, or mausoleum. In a common or communal burial, a pet is buried in the same plot with other deceased pets. Cemeteries that do not provide individual gravestones for pets buried in a communal plot often provide a memorial wall affixed with plaques honoring those pets.

What Does Cremation Entail?

Cremation has become a popular and practical option for handling the bodies of deceased pets. Cremated remains, called "cremains," resemble sand-like particles or small pebbles with larger chips of bone. These may be placed in a small urn which you can keep close by and take with you if you move. Cremains can also be buried or scattered in a special section of land set aside by a cemetery. Depending on local government regulations, you can also scatter or bury cremains in a meaningful place, perhaps under a tree planted to memorialize your pet.

Before selecting an animal crematory, find out the cremation procedures. Many animal crematories do mass cremations and then divide the ashes. What this means is that if you don't request an individual cremation, you may receive the cremains of other pets in addition to those of your own.

Is Home Burial an Option?

Check with your city or county government to see whether burying pets in yards is legal in your area. If you choose to bury your pet at home, put the body in a heavy-duty plastic bag, encase it in a secure receptacle such as a wood or metal box, and bury it at least six feet deep. This helps prevent other animals from being attracted by the scent and digging at the grave site. Home burials allow caregivers to be near their pet's remains, but this option may not be suitable if you move frequently. Also, we recommend that the animal be cremated prior to burial.

What is Rendering?

Rendering factories process animal bodies (usually those of livestock but sometimes those of companion animals) into products such as tallow and fertilizer. Some pet caregivers, viewing their pet's spirit as distinct from the body, choose to have their pet's body rendered so the remains can be put to further use. Your local animal care and control agency or veterinarian should be able to advise you on the availability of this option in your community.

Remember, regardless of which method you ultimately select to handle your pet's body, your pet will always be close to your heart.

How can I prevent wild animals from foraging for food in my yard?
Wildlife is attracted to residential areas by the availability of food, water and shelter. Removing or eliminating the availability of these elements will often encourage these wild animals to leave.

  • Remove unused pet food and water bowls at night.
  • Keep tight fitting lids on garbage cans or store garbage inside a secure area. Do not store trash in trash bags.
  • Gardens should be harvested frequently and windfall fruit picked up.
  • Keep pet access doors locked.
  • Seal up entry holes in and under buildings, eaves, air ducts and decks. Slotted metal vent covers are preferable to screen wire in keeping wild animals from entering houses through foundation vents. Backyard decks have proven to be extremely attractive shelters for wild animals. They may be excluded by using 1/4" grid screening or solid metal flashing. Trench around the perimeter of the deck a minimum of 12 inches deep, insert screening in trench and backfill. Attach top of screening to facade of deck with nails or fence post staples. This technique may also be used along fence lines to prevent wild animals from entering yards or gardens. Before completing final seal on the last entry point on a building or deck, it is wise to make sure no animals are trapped inside. Sprinkle flour around the entrance holes and check for tracks the following morning. If no tracks are evident for 3 consecutive nights, no animals are likely present.
  • Wild animals causing lawn and turf damage may be encouraged to leave by controlling grub worms and other subsoil insects. Chemicals to control these insects may be obtained at hardware or garden supply stores. Remember the safety of your pets when dealing with chemicals.
  • Wild animals may be kept away from roof areas by trimming tree branches 10 feet from roof and by keeping climbing plants trimmed away from roof area and eaves.
  • Food and water should never be intentionally left out for wild animals.

Am I allowed to breed my dog or cat here?

  • You are not allowed to breed a dog without a breeders permit.

  • You are not allowed to breed a cat in the City of Long Beach with or without a permit.

  • Within the City of Long Beach , all cats over 4 months must be spayed or neutered.

Are there regulations on the maximum permissible number of pets?

The City of Long Beach Municipal Code 21.51.210 limits the keeping of household pet to the following:

A.                 Number. A total of not more than four weaned household pets may be kept at one site, unless any of the weaned pets are dogs bred pursuant to a permit issued under Section 6.16.190 of this code, in which case all such weaned dogs may be kept at one site until such dogs have reached the age of four months.


This limitation shall not apply to fish, rodents (other than rabbits), or caged birds (provided the birds are not allowed to fly free and are maintained in accordance with all applicable health regulations).

B.                 Maintenance. Household pets shall be kept in a manner which does not damage or pose hazards to people or property and which does not generate offensive dust, odors or noise.

C.                 Horses. Horses may be kept subject to the provisions of Chapter 21.38 (Horse Overlay District).

D.                Other Animals. Dangerous or wild animals as defined in Section 6.16.030 of the Municipal Code shall not be kept in any residential zone.


The City of Long Beach Municipal Code 21.15.2030  defines "Household pet" as an animal customarily kept in a house, such as dogs, cats, fish, caged birds, rabbits and the like. No wild, exotic, or livestock animals shall be considered household pets.

Are you moving? renting a property and your concerned about your pet?
Here is a list of pet friendly accomodations within the City of Long Beach:


  • Extended Stay America Los Angeles - Long Beach Airport, 4105 E. Willow Street,  Long Beach, 562-989-4601
  • Hilton Hotel, 701 W Ocean Blvd  Long Beach, 562-983-3400
  • Motel 6 - Long Beach International City, 1121 Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, 562-591-3321
  • Motel 6 - Los Angeles Long Beach, 5665 7th St  Long Beach, 562-597-1311
  • Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, 111 East Ocean Blvd  Long Beach, 562-437-5900
  • Residence Inn Long Beach, 4111 East Willow Street, Long Beach - (562) 595-0909
  • Residence Inn Long Beach Downtown, 600 Queensway Drive, Long Beach - (562) 495-0700
  • The Westin Long Beach, 333 East Ocean Blvd.  Long Beach, 562-436-3000
  • Archstone City Place, 404 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, 866-568-7426
  • Archstone Long Beach, 1613 Ximeno Avenue, Long Beach, 866-995-9640
  • Archstone Long Beach Harbor, 225 W. 3rd Street, Long Beach, 866-995-3357
  • Bay Hill Apartments, 3801 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, 888-644-0254
  • Bixby Knolls Apartments, 4540 Orange Avenue, Long Beach, 562-595-5033
  • Camden Harbor View Apartments, 40 Cedar Walk, Long Beach, (866) 932-4432
  • CityPlace Lofts, 395 East 4th Street, Long Beach, 562-436-0206
  • The Crossings at the Bay, 1718 Ximeno Avenue, Long Beach, 866-664-1963
  • Davis Apartments, 26 Alamitos Avenue,  Long Beach, 562-435-8758
  • Douglas Apartments, 719 Medio Street,  Long Beach, 562-435-8758
  • The Fairmont Apartments, 444 Chestnut Avenue, Long Beach, 562-437-3325
  • Hathaway Apartments, 3500 Hathaway Ave., Long Beach, 866-795-8917
  • Marbrisa Apartments, 1809 Termino Avenue, Long Beach, 888-449-6516
  • Marina Apartments, 5425-5449 East Sorrento, Long Beach, (888) 861-2048
  • Pacific View Apartments, 5025 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach, 562-498-3009
  • Pathways at Bixby Village, 5945 East Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, 866-460-2334
  • Whiting Arms Apartments, 636 Chestnut Avenue, Long Beach, 562-437-3325

Assistance Dog, What? Codes, Laws, and Regulations Governing

An assistance dog is any dog trained as a “Guide Dog”, Signal Dog”, or “Service Dog”.

A "guide dog" means any dog that was trained by a person licensed under Chapter 9.5 (commencing with Section 7200) of Division 3 of the State of California Business and Professions Code or as defined in the regulations implementing Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336).

A “signal dog" means any dog trained to alert an individual who is deaf or hearing impaired to intruders or sounds.

A "service dog" means any dog individually trained to the requirements of the individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items. California Penal Code section 365.7 states that any person who knowingly and fraudulently represents themselves to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed as an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

A licensed and certified assistance dog has the:

1. Right to full and equal access to places of public accommodations.
2. Right to full and equal access to transportation.
3. Right to full and equal housing accommodations.
4. Right to full and equal access to places of employment.
5. Waiver of license fees

Every individual with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed above without being required to pay an extra charge or security deposit for the guide dog, signal dog, or service dog.

A violation of the right to full and equal access of an individual is a federal violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), the State of California State of California Business and Professions Code, and California Penal Code sections 365.5, 365.6.

However, the individual shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by his or her dog.

These individuals shall ensure the dog is on a leash and tagged as a guide dog, signal dog, or service dog by an identification tag issued by the City of Long Beach, Animal Care Services.

Licensed Assistance Dog Certificates and Tags are available from the Animal Care Services Bureau, as a courtesy, and NOT FOR SALE.

Avoiding Dog Bites. Common Tips and Information.
For information on avoiding dog bites CLICK HERE

Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States

Chaining or Tethering Dogs, What you should know
The Facts About Chaining or Tethering Dogs

1. What is meant by "chaining" or "tethering" dogs?

These terms refer to the practice of fastening a dog to a stationary object or stake, usually in the owner's yard, as a means of keeping the animal under control. These terms do not refer to the periods when an animal is walked on a leash.

2. Is there a problem with continuous chaining or tethering?

Yes, the practice is both inhumane and a threat to the safety of the confined dog, other animals and humans. We do not discourage pet owners from letting their dogs spend time outside, as long as the animals are supervised and under control at all times. But leaving a dog outside for long periods, especially if he or she is chained or otherwise tethered, can be physically, emotionally, and behaviorally detrimental. Dogs need companionship, care, exercise, and attention.

3. Why is tethering dogs inhumane?

Dogs are naturally social beings who thrive on interaction with human beings and other animals. A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.

In many cases, the necks of chained dogs become raw and covered with sores, the result of improperly fitted collars and the dogs' constant yanking and straining to escape confinement. Dogs have even been found with collars embedded in their necks, the result of years of neglect at the end of a chain. In one case, a veterinarian had to euthanize a dog whose collar, an electrical cord, was so embedded in the animal's neck that it was difficult to see the plug.

4. Who says tethering dogs is inhumane?

In addition to The Humane Society of the United States and numerous animal experts, the U. S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement in the July 2, 1996, Federal Register against tethering:

"Our experience in enforcing the Animal Welfare Act has led us to conclude that continuous confinement of dogs by a tether is inhumane. A tether significantly restricts a dog's movement. A tether can also become tangled around or hooked on the dog's shelter structure or other objects, further restricting the dog's movement and potentially causing injury."

5. How does tethering or chaining dogs pose a danger to humans?

Dogs tethered for long periods can become highly aggressive. Dogs feel naturally protective of their territory; when confronted with a perceived threat, they respond according to their fight-or-flight instinct. A chained dog, unable to take flight, often feels forced to fight, attacking any unfamiliar animal or person who unwittingly wanders into his or her territory.

Numerous attacks on people by tethered dogs have been documented. For example, a study published in the September 15, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 17 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their owners' property at the time of the attack. Tragically, the victims of such attacks are often children who are unaware of the chained dog's presence until it is too late. Furthermore, a tethered dog who finally does get loose from his chains may remain aggressive, and is likely to chase and attack unsuspecting passersby and pets.

6. Why is tethering dangerous to dogs?

In addition to the psychological damage wrought by continuous chaining, dogs forced to live on a chain make easy targets for other animals, humans, and biting insects. A chained animal may suffer harassment and teasing from insensitive humans, stinging bites from insects, and, in the worst cases, attacks by other animals. Chained dogs are also easy targets for thieves looking to steal animals for sale to research institutions or to be used as training fodder for organized animal fights. Finally, dogs' tethers can become entangled with other objects, which can choke or strangle the dogs to death.

7. Are these dogs dangerous to other animals?

In some instances, yes. Any other animal that comes into their area of confinement is in jeopardy. Cats, rabbits, smaller dogs and others may enter the area when the tethered dog is asleep and then be fiercely attacked when the dog awakens.

8. Are tethered dogs otherwise treated well?

Rarely does a chained or tethered dog receive sufficient care. Tethered dogs suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate veterinary care, and extreme temperatures. During periods of extreme heat, they may not receive adequate water or protection from the sun. What's more, because their often neurotic behavior makes them difficult to approach, chained dogs are rarely given even minimal affection. Tethered dogs may become "part of the scenery" and can be easily ignored by their owners.

9. Are the areas in which tethered dogs are confined usually comfortable?

No, because the dogs have to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in a single confined area. Owners who chains their dogs are also less likely to clean the area. Although there may have once been grass in an area of confinement, it is usually so beaten down by the dog's pacing that the ground consists of nothing but dirt or mud.

10. But how else can people confine dogs?

We recommend that all dogs be kept indoors at night, taken on regular walks, and otherwise provided with adequate attention, food, water and veterinary care. If an animal must be housed outside at certain times, he should be placed in a suitable pen with adequate square footage and shelter from the elements.

11. Should chaining or tethering ever be allowed?

To become well-adjusted companion animals, dogs should interact regularly with people and other animals, and should receive regular exercise. It is an owner's responsibility to properly restrain her dog, just as it is the owner's responsibility to provide adequate attention and socialization. Placing an animal on a restraint to get fresh air can be acceptable if it is done for a short period. However, keeping an animal tethered for long periods is never acceptable.

12. If a dog is chained or tethered for a period of time, can it be done humanely?

Animals who must be kept on a tether should be secured in such a way that the tether cannot become entangled with other objects. Collars used to attach an animal should be comfortable and properly fitted; choke chains should never be used. Restraints should allow the animal to move about and lie down comfortably. Animals should never be tethered during natural disasters such as floods, fires, tornadoes, or earthquakes. In the State of California, tethering of an animal for longer than 3 hours with a 24-hour period is illegal and considered animal abuse.

13. What about attaching a dog's leash to a "pulley run"?

Attaching a dog's leash to a long line—such as a clothesline or a manufactured device known as a pulley run—and letting the animal have a larger area in which to explore is preferable to tethering the dog to a stationary object. However, many of the same problems associated with tethering still apply, including attacks on or by other animals, lack of socialization and safety.

14. What can be done to correct the problem of tethering dogs?

More than 100 communities in more than 30 states have passed laws that regulate the practice of tethering animals. Maumelle, Ark., and Tucson, Ariz., completely prohibit the unattended tethering of dogs. Many other communities only allow tethering for limited periods of time or during certain conditions. The California Health and Safety Code 122335 defines and is used to regulate tethering/chaining of animals in the State of California.

15. Why should a community outlaw the continuous chaining or tethering of dogs?

A chained animal is caught in a vicious cycle; frustrated by long periods of boredom and social isolation, he becomes a neurotic shell of his former self—further deterring human interaction and kindness. In the end, the helpless dog can only suffer the frustration of watching the world go by in isolation—a cruel fate for what is by nature a highly social animal.

Cockfighting Fact Sheet
1. What is cockfighting?

Cockfighting is a centuries-old cruel blood sport in which two or more specially bred birds, known as gamecocks, are placed in an enclosure to fight. The primary purpose is gambling where spectators place bets and entertainment. A cockfight usually results in the death of one of the birds; sometimes it ends in the death of both. A typical cockfight can last anywhere from several minutes to more than half an hour.

2. How does it cause animal suffering?

The birds, even those who do not die, suffer in cockfights. The birds cannot escape from the fight, regardless of how exhausted or injured they become. Common injuries include punctured lungs, broken bones, and pierced eyes. Such severe injuries occur because the birds' legs are usually fitted with razor-sharp steel blades or with gaffs, which resemble three-inch-long, curved ice picks. These artificial spurs are designed to puncture and mutilate.

3. Are there other concerns?

Yes. Law enforcement raids across the country have revealed several disturbing facets of this so-called sport. Gambling is the norm at cockfights. Thousands of dollars can exchange hands as spectators and animal owners wager large sums on their favorite birds. The owners of birds who win the most fights in a derby (a series of cockfights) may win tens of thousands of dollars of presumably unreported income. Firearms and other weapons are common at cockfights, mainly because of the large amounts of cash present. In addition, cockfighting has been connected to other kinds of violence—even homicide, according to newspaper reports.

Law enforcement officials have documented a strong connection between cockfighting and the distribution of illegal drugs. Drug enforcement agents often learn about animal fighting operations as a result of narcotics investigations.

The presence of young children at cockfights is an especially disturbing element. Exposure to such brutality can promote insensitivity toward animal suffering and enthusiasm for violence.

4. Aren't these birds natural fighters?

While it is true that birds will fight over food, territory, or mates, such fights are generally only to establish dominance within a group (the pecking order) and seldom result in serious injury. This natural behavior is quite different from what happens in staged cockfights, where pairs of birds, bred for maximum aggressiveness (and sometimes given steroids or other drugs to make them more successful fighters) are forced to fight until a winner is declared.

5. Isn't cockfighting part of our heritage?

While it is true that cockfighting has been practiced for centuries in various countries, including the United States, "old" does not necessarily mean right or even acceptable. At one time the United States allowed slavery, lacked child abuse laws, and refused women the vote.

6. Is there a trend toward treating the crime of cockfighting more seriously?

Yes. It is illegal in every state, and most states specifically prohibit anyone from being a spectator at a cockfight. Recently many states have increased the seriousness of a cockfighting charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. In addition, the federal Animal Welfare Act prohibits the interstate transport of any animal that is to be used in an animal fighting venture. We encourage prosecutors to indict those involved in cockfighting not only on illegal gaming charges but also for conspiracy to commit a crime and illegal gambling.

7. What can I do to help stop cockfighting?

If you live in one of the states where cockfighting is still only a misdemeanor, please write to your state legislators and urge them to make it a felony offense. To find out how your state treats cockfighting, visit our page on State Cockfighting Laws.

We encourage you also to write letters to the media to increase public awareness of the dangers of cockfighting and to law enforcement officials to urge them to take the issue seriously.

If you suspect that cockfighting is going on in your own neighborhood, alert your local law enforcement and animal care agencies.

Coping with the Death of Your Pet
When a person you love dies, it's natural to feel sorrow, express grief, and expect friends and family to provide understanding and comfort. Unfortunately, the same doesn't always hold true if the one who died was your companion animal. Many consider grieving inappropriate for someone who has lost "just a pet."

Nothing could be further from the truth. People love their pets and consider them members of their family. Caregivers celebrate their pets' birthdays, confide in their animals, and carry pictures of them in their wallets. So when your beloved pet dies, it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow. Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with you. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you've already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.

Understanding how you grieve and finding ways to cope with your loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

What Is the Grief Process?

The grief process is as individual as the person, lasting days for one person or years for another. The process typically begins with denial, which offers protection until individuals can realize their loss. Some caregivers may try bargaining with a higher power, themselves, or even their pet to restore life. Some feel anger, which may be directed at anyone involved with the pet, including family, friends, and veterinarians. Caregivers may also feel guilt about what they did or did not do, and may feel that it is inappropriate to be so upset. After these feelings subside, caregivers may experience true sadness or grief. They may become withdrawn or depressed. Acceptance occurs when they accept the reality of their loss and remember their animal companion with decreasing sadness. Remember, not everyone follows these classic stages of grief—some may skip or repeat a stage, or experience the stages in a different order.

How Can I Cope with My Grief?

While grief is a personal experience, you need not face loss alone. Many forms of support are available, including pet bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online Internet bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles. Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:

  • Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.
  • Don't hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear.
  • Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem.
  • Call your local humane society to see whether it offers a pet loss support group or can refer you to one. You may also want to ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter about available pet loss hotlines.
  • Explore the Internet for pet loss support groups and coping information.
  • Prepare a memorial for your pet.
What Can I Do for My Child?

The loss of a pet may be a child's first experience with death. The child may blame himself, his parents, or the veterinarian for not saving the pet. And he may feel guilty, depressed, and frightened that others he loves may be taken from him. Trying to protect your child by saying the pet ran away could cause your child to expect the pet's return and feel betrayed after discovering the truth. Expressing your own grief may reassure your child that sadness is okay and help him work through his feelings.

Is the Process More Difficult if I'm a Senior?

Coping with the loss of a pet can be particularly hard for seniors. Those who live alone may feel a loss of purpose and an immense emptiness. The pet's death may also trigger painful memories of other losses and remind caregivers of their own mortality. What's more, the decision to get another pet is complicated by the possibility that the pet may outlive the caregiver, and hinges on the person's physical and financial ability to care for a new pet.

For all these reasons, it's critical that senior pet owners take immediate steps to cope with their loss and regain a sense of purpose. If you are a senior, try interacting with friends and family, calling a pet loss support hotline, even volunteering at a local humane society. If you know seniors in this situation, direct them to this web page and guide them through the difficult grieving process.

Will My Other Pets Grieve?

Surviving pets may whimper, refuse to eat or drink, and suffer lethargy, especially if they had a close bond with the deceased pet. Even if they were not the best of friends, the changing circumstances and your emotional state may distress them. Give surviving pets lots of TLC ("tender loving care") and try to maintain a normal routine. It's good for them and for you.

Should I Get Another Pet?

Rushing into this decision isn't fair to you or your new pet. Each animal has his own unique personality and a new animal cannot replace the one you lost. You'll know when the time is right to adopt a new pet after giving yourself time to grieve, carefully considering the responsibilities of pet ownership, and paying close attention to your feelings. When you are ready, remember that your local animal shelter is a great place to find your next special friend.

Dogfighting Fact Sheet
1. What is dogfighting?

Dogfighting is a sadistic "contest" in which two dogs—specifically bred, conditioned, and trained to fight—are placed in a pit (generally a small arena enclosed by plywood walls) to fight each other for the spectators' entertainment and gambling. Fights average nearly an hour in length and often last more than two hours. Dogfights end when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. In addition to these dogfights, there are reports of an increase in unorganized street fights in urban areas.

2. How does it cause animal suffering?

The injuries inflicted and sustained by dogs participating in dogfights are frequently severe, even fatal. The American pit bull terriers used in the majority of these fights have been specifically bred and trained for fighting and are unrelenting in their attempts to overcome their opponents. With their extremely powerful jaws, they are able to inflict severe bruising, deep puncture wounds and broken bones.

Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight. Other animals are often sacrificed as well. Some owners train their dogs for fights using smaller animals such as cats, rabbits or small dogs. These "bait" animals are often stolen pets or animals obtained through "free to good home" advertisements.

3. Are there other concerns?

Yes. Numerous law enforcement raids have unearthed many disturbing facets of this illegal "sport." Young children are sometimes present at the events, which can promote insensitivity to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence and a lack of respect for the law. Illegal gambling is the norm at dogfights. Dog owners and spectators wager thousands of dollars on their favorites. Firearms and other weapons have been found at dogfights because of the large amounts of cash present. And dogfighting has been connected to other kinds of violence—even homicide, according to newspaper reports. In addition, illegal drugs are often sold and used at dogfights.

4. What other effects does the presence of dogfighting have on people and animals in a community?

Dogs used for fighting have been bred for many generations to be dangerously aggressive toward other animals. The presence of these dogs in a community increases the risk of attacks not only on other animals but also on people. Children are especially at risk, because their small size may cause a fighting dog to perceive a child as another animal.

5. Why should dogfighting be a felony offense?

There are several compelling reasons. Because dogfighting yields such large profits for participants, the minor penalties associated with misdemeanor convictions are not a sufficient deterrent. Dogfighters merely absorb these fines as part of the cost of doing business. The cruelty inherent in dogfighting should be punished by more than a slap on the hand. Dogfighting is not a spur-of-the-moment act; it is a premeditated and cruel practice.

Those involved in dogfighting go to extensive lengths to avoid detection by law enforcement, so investigations can be difficult, dangerous, and expensive. Law enforcement officials are more inclined to investigate dogfighting if it is a felony. As more states make dogfighting a felony offense, those remaining states with low penalties will become magnets for dogfighters.

6. Do some states already have felony laws?

Yes. Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony offense in almost every state. The following are the penalties within the State of California: 

                                    Spectator            Possession
Dogfighting                 at a Dogfight       of Dogs for Fighting
Felony                           Misdemeanor        Felony
16 mo or 2 or 3 years     Max 6 mo             16 mo or 2 or 3 years
Max $50,000                  Max $1,000           Max $50,000

7. Should being a spectator also be a felony?

Yes. Spectators provide much of the profit associated with dogfighting. The money generated by admission fees and gambling helps keep this "sport" alive. Because dogfights are illegal and therefore not widely publicized, spectators do not merely happen upon a fight; they seek it out. They are willing participants who support a criminal activity through their paid admission and attendance.

8. What can I do to help stop dogfighting?

If you live in one of the states where dogfighting is still only a misdemeanor, please write to your state legislators and urge them to make it a felony. To find out how your state treats dogfighting, visit this page on
State Dogfighting Laws.

We encourage you also to write letters to the media to increase public awareness of the dangers of dogfighting and to law enforcement officials or prosecutors and judges to urge them to take the issue seriously.

If you suspect that dogfighting is going on in your own neighborhood, alert your local law enforcement and animal care agencies.

Dogs and Pickup Trucks - Not a Good Mix
Dogs who are riding in the backs of pickup trucks may look like they're having fun. Noses testing the wind and ears flopping, they seem to be enjoying the trip—and they get to go places with their owners. But they're not safe: When you transport your dog in the open bed of your pickup, you endanger both your dog and other motorists. If your truck hits a bump, or if you step on the brakes suddenly or swerve to avoid an obstacle, your dog can easily be thrown from the truck bed and onto the road. Chances are, this will injure or kill your dog. But even if it doesn't, being struck by another vehicle probably will. Also, other drivers may cause an accident by swerving to avoid hitting your dog.

If you must transport your dog in a pickup truck, put him in the cab with you in a travel crate or other pet carrier. If you have an extended cab, have your pet ride in the back portion of the cab where he will be away from the front windshield. It is not safe for your dog to ride in the bed of a pickup even with a restraint. In fact, there have been cases where dogs restrained by leashes or harnesses have been strangled or dragged after being thrown from a truck bed.

There are other safety precautions that you should take anytime your pet goes for a ride, regardless of the type of vehicle. Be sure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag. Never leave your dog in a vehicle unattended. On a warm day, the temperature can reach 120°F in a matter of minutes—even with the windows partially open.

The trip will be more enjoyable for both of you if you make sure that your dog will be safe and sound on arrival.

Emergency versus Non-Emergency Service Call?

Priority One Calls (immediate response within 60 minutes*)

Priority One Calls focus on public health, safety and wellbeing. Animal Care Officers respond immediately (based on the order of calls for service) in the following areas:

·        Bites: aggressive and dangerous dogs

·        Injuries: injured animals (all animals)

·        Dangerous Animals: wildlife and reptiles

·        Cruelty: neglect of any animals in progress

·        School Custody: custody of animals on school grounds 

* Between the hours of 4:00 PM and Midnight (7-days a week) response for Priority One Calls can vary between 60 and 90 minutes)


Priority Two Calls (response depends on the resolution of safety related calls)

Priority Two Calls include all non-critical and non-emergency situations.  Animal Care recommends that residents and customers transport the following categories of animal during regular business hours*:

·        Custody: trapped, stray or contained animal with no known owner

·        Nuisance Wildlife: common wild animals (e.g. skunks, possum and raccoons)

·        Dead: deceased animals in the public or private space

·        Stray Dogs: non-aggressive loose dogs

·        Owner Pick-up: any live or deceased animal

* Animal Care Officers will respond to extraordinary Priority Two Calls for service on a case-by-case basis.

Priority Three Calls (consultation and complaints)

Priority Three Calls include non-critical, quality of life and neighborhood nuisance issues.   Animal Care Officers receive complaints and follow-up on investigations within 90 days (excluding Priority One vicious animal and animal cruelty complaints): 

·        Chronic Stray: owners allowing dogs to stray repeatedly

·        Barking: owners allowing dogs to bark incessantly

·        Trap Pick-up: residents requesting trap-rental for self-service

How do I get a cat license?
Currently, cat and dog owners may download the license application online at:, print, and mail the application to ACS with payment. Residents must include the current rabies certificate, proof of spay and neuter, and microchip (if applicable) to make the license current. The license will be considered temporary status until all documents are received. In 2011, the entire licensing process with option for credit card payment will be online.

More cat licensing FAQ's

How do I get a license for my cat or dog?

Currently, cat and dog owners may license their pets online at or download the license application online at:, print, and mail the application to ACS with payment. Residents must include the current rabies certificate, proof of spay and neuter, and microchip (if applicable) to make the license current. The license will be considered temporary status until all documents are received.

More cat licensing FAQ's

How do I get a license for my dog?
A dog license can be purchased by mail or in-person at Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, CA 90815.

Currently you cannot purchase a dog license on-line

To purchase a dog license, you will need to provide the following:

  • History of prior licenses
  • Your name, address and phone number
  • Current rabies inoculation certificate, good for the entire licensing period.
  • A certificate of sterility if your dog has been spayed or neutered (altered). This will reduce your dog license fee. The certificate must be shown at the time of purchase to receive the reduced rate.

For additional licensing information please call (562) 570-7387.

Click to View

How to Get an Escaped House Cat to Come Home
Your house cat that isn't allowed outside just got out. Your cat is probably excited and happy to be outside, but scared as well. Don't panic, there are ways to get it back.

  1. Never assume your cat will simply walk back home or even be able to find it. Once an indoor cat has gotten out it is in an entirely foreign environment and easily disoriented. You must also act immediately. Don't wait until after work to walk around calling for your cat. The animal is probably frightened and may not come to you.
  2. Place an ad in your local newspaper and other local sources. Include your telephone number as well as cell number. It's the fastest and easiest way for someone to get a hold of you if they find your pet. Some people will actually go out of their way to help you find your lost pet, and if they happen to see it roaming around at 1AM, what good will having an e-mail address do? You might not get the message until the following morning, and then your pet might be gone from that area. I know we all want to preserve our privacy and don't want every whackjob in the city calling us. But what's more important? Finding your pet or preventing a few potential crank calls?
  3. Mention approximately where you live (where the pet was lost) because, again, some people are naturally helpful and might roam around your neighborhood (if they live in the area). When you don't specify an area, we have no clue in what neck of the woods your pet was lost, so there’s no point of people keeping their eyes peeled when they're out and about. For all we know, your pet was lost 20 blocks away from our area. The more concise you can be, the greater the chance that someone might actually be willing to pay attention to those surroundings. A couple of nearby cross-streets would be helpful, and creating a location box even better (for example: East of A street, West of B street, North of C street and South of D street.) The most unhelpful posts are ones with no street given, no city mentioned...nothing. Just a "My cat (Mr. Whiskers) is lost! He's an orange tabby! Reward if found! I miss him so much! Please help!" It's not the least bit helpful. I know you’re distraught, but try to look at it from the point of view of someone who might actually try to look for your cat.
  4. If you have a lost cat, they tend to stir a lot between 9pm and 5AM, when things are quiet and streets are calm. Generally, they sit on walls, at the edges of driveways, atop picnic tables, steps and will cower under cars. Many times, you'll see a pack of cats wandering around the neighborhood because they're all heading to that little old lady's house who leaves food out for them every night (and sometimes they just seem to enjoy chilling with their kind, and perhaps hoping some other cat might know the way back home.) Point: look around (and ask around) to find out who feeds the strays in your area, and then go from there.
  5. If your cat is skittish and you happen to spot him, suddenly approaching him will only startle and terrify him, sending him running for cover. If you see him, sit down, speak his name softly and allow him to come to you at his own pace. Do not get over-anxious and make him think you're upset or going to hurt him. Stay emotionless and calm. Cats can easily detect a person’s excitability, and in the state of confusion and trauma associated with being out in the great big world for who knows how long, your cat might see you as a threat and head for the hills. Don't chase your cat. It'll only drive him further and further away from your area, and he will likely not want to return.
  6. Creating a little bed box for him in a quiet, dark area of the garage or property is also a great idea. Perhaps place a used toy or blanket in it, to give off a familiar scent to potentially draw him in and keep him nearby. It will be necessary for you (more than likely at night) to go outside for a bit and wait to see if you’re cat returns. When he’s hungry enough, he may come back, but unless you’re there to greet him and encourage him, he may just wander off again.
  7. Typically, a cat won’t cross a major road (under most circumstances) even during quiet periods of the night. Generally most lost, scared cats are usually within a few buildings of their home, and will stay within the boundaries of major streets. Cats have an internal sense of roughly where they live, but with fright and confusion running rampant through their minds, they will need your help to show them the way home.
  8. As you may have guessed, your best chance of finding your cat is at night. During the day, a scared cat is going to stay concealed in crawlspaces - just far too much noise and activity to endure in the daylight hours. Bottom line is, if you want your cat back, you're going to have to walk around at night and call his name, to reassure him that everything is alright. It may take days, weeks and is some cases, months to find your cat. It really becomes a matter of crossing paths with them. If you ask your neighbors if they've seen your cat and they say no - don't get frustrated. Remember that the average person is outside only long enough to get from the house to the car or vise-versa, or to take out trash, walk the dog or get the mail. Those few moments are brief and the odds of your cat being exactly where the person is in those few moments is very slim. Keep looking in the same places. Just because your cat wasn't in those bushes when you looked in the morning doesn't meant they aren't there now.
  9. Cats are not big travelers and are often found near their home. If the cat is not used to being outdoors, they tend to stay very close to home for the first week or so. Try looking when it's very late and check not only your street, but the ones on either side of yours. Even though it may seem a bit of a distance to us because we have to stay to streets and sidewalks, they're actually much easier to get to for a cat because they simply cut through yards. Walk around the perimeter of the house and 4-5 houses next to it, across the street from it and behind it. Consider driving around for an hour or more at about 2 miles an hour looking - covering each street 4-5 times.
  10. Go out with a hand held spotlight (not flashlight - too weak). You can get them at Target and look everywhere! You'd be amazed how much that helps. You can do broad sweeps across yards and driveways and look for the reflection from their eyes. Under cars, bushes, houses, porches, alleys, etc. Calling their name doesn't always help because they're scared, but talking a bit louder in soothing, praising tones helps. So does having a can of favorite food. (for when you find them or to quietly bribe them out of hiding). Most people make the mistake of looking during times that a cat would normally be napping - daytime. They're frightened so most of their normal routines and actions are out the window. They'll be hiding somewhere very nearby almost completely out of sight.
  11. If you post flyers, please include photos, very specific cross streets (one being your own.) You could even say 'the 500 block of Main Street' to include your house but not give a specific address. Post flyers within several blocks of your home. Cats don't travel like dogs, but you never know if they sprinted out of fear.
  12. If they're used to being outdoors, then it may simply be a matter of waiting for them to return. If they're an indoor cat then you will have to look every single place you can think of - under bushes, in sheds, crawl spaces under houses, behind dumpsters, etc. Try to search systematically. Cover your entire yard (front and back), in your garage and the bushes between you and your neighbors house. Talk to your neighbors and let them know you are looking for a lost cat and would it be okay if you look in their yard a few times - even very late at night. It's best to let them know and get them involved if you can.
  13. Finally - make sure you are checking the correct shelter for your pet! Go online to find your town and which shelter your local animal control officer would use. You can even view some of the animals online. Please keep in mind that they do not post photos of all the animals they have and sometimes at the bottom of each shelters page there is a separate link for animals turned in by the public. Often animals turned on by the public are kept in a separate area then animals brought in by animal control. Some shelters even have separate areas for where an animal was found: within county limits or city limits.
  14. If you know your cat's around and are still having trouble getting him or her to come to you, you can use a humane trap. These can be borrowed or rented from your local shelter or a rescue group. You line it with newspaper (on the bottom) and bait it with a smelly food like mackerel. You then cover the trap with a towel so that it feels like a den. If you catch a wild animal, then you must release the animal as in all 50 states you need to be permitted to trap wildlife.
  15. It can work out for you, but you have to be willing to meet your scared, lost pet halfway. Just sitting around your home hoping and posting on Petfinder or your local newspaper isn't going to get the job done. It's very important to place an ad in the paper immediately. The person who lives behind you may have no idea the cat in their yard is yours but they may check the lost and found. Every little bit helps! Good luck.

How will I know the company through which he has a chip is city-approved?
The City of Long Beach scanners will recognize a number of microchips.

The City currently implants AVID microchips at the Shelter as well as at the monthly low-cost microchip and licensing clinics the 3rd Saturday of each month from (10:00 AM - 1:00 PM) (see full calendar and list of locations online).  The following microchips will also be recognized in place of cat license tags:

  • AVID
  • Avid Euro
  • Home Again
  • AKC
  • Bayer ResQ
  • 24 Pet Watch
  • Banfield
  • Pet Info

I have a dangerous animal, snake on my property
Please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services immediately at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387


An Animal Control Officer will be sent to your location.

I have a problem with barking dogs

To report a barking dog and file a complaint, please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387 

Review the Barking Complaint Process

I have a problem with bees

The City of Long Beach Animal Care Service does not handle calls regarding bees or their removal.

If you have a problem with bees, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO KILL OR REMOVE THE BEES YOURSELF.

  1. For Stinging Incidents (victim involved) call 911.
  1. Honey Bee Swarms or Nests (outside, not a structure)

·         In the City of Long Beach, contact the Department of Health & Human Services at (562) 570-4132

  1. Honey Bee Swarms or Nests (inside or on a structure)

Check your local Yellow Pages under "Pest Control" for a licensed control operator. Only a licensed pest control operator can kill bees in or on a structure.

  1. Africanized Honey Bee Information - call 1-800-BEE-WARY or 1-800-233-9279

I have a problem with rats & other pests

The City of Long Beach Animal Care Service does not handle calls regarding rats or other pests.

   1.     For rats or other pests (outside, not a structure)

·         In the City of Long Beach, contact the Department of Health & Human Services, Vector Control at (562) 570-4132

2.       For rats or other pests (inside or on a structure)

Check your local Yellow Pages under "Pest Control" for a licensed control operator. Only a licensed pest control operator can kill bees in or on a structure.

I have a stray cat

Please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387


An Animal Control Officer will be dispatched to your location to retreive the cat or bring the cat to our facility. Do not release back into the wild!

I have been bitten by an animal

If you have been bitten by an animal, please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services immediately at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387


An Animal Control Officer will be dispatched to your location.


Animal Bite Treatment

I only spend 6 weeks out the year here in Long Beach (or other contracting cities) do I need to get a license? 
Yes, if over 30 days is spent within Long Beach or our contracting cities you are required to license your dog for at least one year with us.

I want a dead animal removed (stray and wildlife)

Please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387


Please be aware that dead animal pick-up's are considered a non-emergency (low priority call). If animal control officer's are currently responding to emergencies (animal bites, vicious animal, animal abuse, injured animal, etc.), it may be between 24 to 72 hours before the dead animal is retrieved. Also, dead animals are only picked up during daytime hours. An option would be, using a shovel and gloves, place the animal in the plastic trash bag and bring it to Animal Care Services for proper disposition.

I want to report a stray dog / cat

To report a stray dog or cat, please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387

I want to report an abused pet

If you witness animal abuse or neglect, please contact please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services immediately. We rely on concerned citizens to be our eyes and ears in the community and to report animal suffering. You can choose to remain anonymous, although giving your name us to follow up with you when necessary.

To report a case of animal abuse and file a complaint, please contact the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


7700 E. Spring Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

(562) 570-7387

Is there wildlife in the City of Long Beach area? What can I do about it?

Yes it is a jungle out there. As man has encroached on their habitat many species of wildlife have adapted to live among us. Remember it’s their home too. Animal Care Service receives many calls about wildlife from residents throughout the year. In an effort to alleviate their concerns, we have some helpful tips to discourage wildlife activity in their neighborhoods.

·         Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night. Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt a future visit.

·         Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.

·         Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground.

·         Store trash in covered, heavy-duty containers.

·         Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.

·         Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc.

·         Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops.

·         Change automatic sprinkler settings regularly.

Taking these preventive measures should help in deterring wildlife from visiting your property.

Please remember that if the three (3) life sustaining elements are available (food, water and shelter), you are likely to encounter some wildlife in your area.

Also, the following steps will help discourage ducks from taking up residence at your home:

  • Cover swimming pools during the nesting season.
  • Allow beach or pool balls to float on the surface of pools, ponds or fountains.
  • Clear away foliage from around water sources to eliminate a protected nesting area.

Animal Care Services will respond to and impound any wildlife that is:



Has been involved in a bite with a human


If any of these conditions exist, please call City of Long Beach Animal Care Services at:


(562) 570-7387

Is your pet's behavior driving you nuts? Got allergies? Got a new baby in the house?
For information on pet behavior, pet allergies, new baby..... CLICK HERE

Courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States

Murine Typhus (Fleaborne Typhus)? Information You Should Know
What is murine typhus?
Murine typhus, also called fleaborne or endemic typhus, is a disease caused by the bacterium Rickettsia typhi. Most of the murine typhus cases in the United States occur in southern California, south Texas, and also Hawaii.

Where does it come from?
Although rats and their fleas are the natural reservoirs (animals that both maintain and transmit the disease organism) for murine typhus, other animals, such as opossums and domestic cats, may also be involved in the transmission of murine typhus.  In fact, studies conducted in Los Angeles County show that cats, cat fleas, and opossums are the primary ways murine typhus is spread in the U.S. 

How do I get it?

People get murine typhus from an infected flea. Most fleas expel feces while biting; the feces of infected fleas contain the Rickettsia bacteria. They enter the body through the bite wound or from a person scratching the bite area. 

How will I know I have it?

The incubation period for murine typhus is 6 to 14 days. Symptoms of the disease include headache, fever, nausea, and body aches. Five or six days after the initial symptoms, you may get a rash that starts on the trunk of your body and spreads to your arms and legs. If left untreated, the disease may last for several months. A doctor can order blood tests to tell you if you have murine typhus. 

What do I do if I get murine typhus?
If you suspect that you have murine typhus, see a doctor as soon as possible. If you wait too long to see a doctor, you may have to be hospitalized. Murine typhus is easily treated with certain antibiotics. 

 What can I do to prevent murine typhus?
The best way to protect yourself and your family from murine typhus is to:

  • Clean your yard so that rodents, opossums, and stray cats cannot live there.
  • Remove any brush or trash, keep the grass mowed, and keep firewood off the ground.
  • Do not leave pet food out at night as this attracts other animals.
  • Prevent rodents from living in your house.
  • Treat for fleas before you begin rodent control in your house or yard. Otherwise, when the rodents die, the fleas will search for new hosts, possibly you and your family. There are several commercial flea control products on the market. Pick one and follow the label instructions.
  • If you own pets, control the fleas on them regularly. If they come in contact with infected fleas, they could bring them home to you. Ask a veterinarian about flea control products that are safe to use on your pets.

Who can I call if I have questions about murine typhus?
If you have more questions about murine typhus or flea control, consult with a physician or a veterinarian. Questions can also be answered by the Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services Epidemiology Program at (562) 570-4302. 

Contact the Health Department's Animal Care Services by email at, if you have questions about managing opossums and stray or feral cats on your property; more information about urban wildlife is available online at:

Report dead opossums or cats to Animal Care Services for removal by calling (562) 570-PETS (7387).

My dog (or cat) is missing do you have it there?
You need to come and look through the kennels on the days we are open. We also have a book that lists all the animals picked up by Animal Control including ones hit by cars or that are deceased.

You can also go online to the City of Long Beach, Animal Care Services website where you can search for your missing pet. Please allow 24 hours since your pet has been missing for our information to be updated.

People Food Poisonous to Pets?
Some foods that are considered good for people can be very dangerous for pets. The list below highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals. This is not an exhaustive list and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. For more information on foods that could be dangerous to pets, visit the American Animal Hospital Association website.

The following foods may be dangerous to your pet:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados—toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Grapes
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast dough

Pet Allergies?
The CDC states that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness. However, millions of pet owners are allergic to their furry and feathered friends. Fortunately, you can overcome pet allergies with pet-free zones, frequent cleaning, a HEPA vacuum cleaner, an air purifier, allergy relief bedding, and special pet allergy products.

Allergy Brochure from Humane Society of the United States

Reptiles as Pets
An estimated 11 million pet reptiles—mostly turtles, lizards, and snakes—live in U.S. households, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. That figure, while far lower than for cats and dogs, means that about one out of every 25 households includes at least one reptile, and many have two or more.

High Maintenance Required

Although reptiles are marketed as low-maintenance pets, many families are overwhelmed by the level of care they require. Pet reptiles need special diets and habitats which require strict temperature and humidity control.

Reptiles as Pets: Hazardous to Your Health—And Theirs

Secondhand Smoke & Pets?
While much is often said about the dangers of direct smoking and the harmful effects of secondhand smoke exposure to humans, there is also evidence that dogs, cats, and other pets are also adversely affected.


  • By ingestion of cigarette or cigar butts which contain toxins
  • By drinking water that contains cigar or cigarette butts (which can have high concentrations of nicotine).
  • By breathing secondhand smoke
  • By ingestion of nicotine replacement gum and patches.

  • Dogs that inhale secondhand smoke are three times more likely to develop lung or nasal cancer than dogs living in smoke-free homes.
  • Dogs can experience allergic reactions to secondhand smoke. Common symptoms of this allergic reaction are the scratching, biting, and chewing of their skin. Owners often confuse this reaction with fleas or food allergies.
  • Cigarette butts can also be deadly. Two butts, if eaten by a puppy, can cause death in a relatively short period of time.

  • Cats exposed to secondhand smoke in the home have a higher rate of an oral cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which may be due to the way cats groom themselves.
  • When cats groom themselves they eat the poisons from secondhand smoke that have settled on their fur.
  • Cats exposed to secondhand smoke have a much higher rate of feline lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer, than cats not exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Cats can develop respiratory problems, lung inflammation, and asthma as a result of secondhand smoke.


  • Birds can react badly to secondhand smoke and may develop eye problems, as well as other respiratory problems like coughing and wheezing.
  • Birds that sit on a smoker's hand can experience contact dermatitis from the nicotine that remains on the smoker's hand. This can cause them to pull out their feathers.

  • As in the case of children and others in the home, don’t smoke.
  • If you must smoke take it outside- Don’t expose others to your smoke
  • Don’t allow others to smoke around your pets.
  • Keep ashtrays clean- Don’t leave butts in them for pets to find.
  • Dispose of nicotine gum and patches in receptacles that can’t be accessed by pets.
  • Consider quitting- The health effects of your smoking on pets is just one more good reason to quit.

Should I Adopt a Cat?
Animal Care Services impounds thousands of cats every year. Cats are wonderful pets. They are entertaining, affectionate, and astoundingly self-reliant, making them ideal for our busy lifestyle. Studies have even shown that stroking a cat helps to relieve blood pressure. Like any pet, however, they require the proper care and a return of affection by their special humans.

Please Spay or Neuter your cat(s). It is the law in the City of Long Beach LBMC 6.16.085 Unaltered cats prohibited.

Selecting the right cat for you and your lifestyle is very important. We encourage you to begin preparing for your pet before you bring it home by getting a general book about cats. There are a number of excellent books available which explain issues of cat behavior, health and training, including teaching your cat to walk on a leash.

Questions You Should Ask

  • Which sex? Male and female cats both make great pets - if they are spayed or neutered. An instinct to roam and "mark" territory (urine spraying) is not limited to just male cats. In addition, female cats, if unspayed, are prone to developing life-threatening cystic ovaries or uterine infections. Spaying and neutering makes for calmer, happier cats - and owners.
  • Kitten or adult? A kitten is more demanding to look after than an adult cat. Playful and inquisitive, it will need careful watching, patient training, and more human "play time." If there are already other animals in the house, kittens tend to be more adaptable and easier to introduce into the household.
  • A short-hair or longhair? A short-haired cat will generally make fewer demands on your time than a long-haired cat, since its coat is less likely to mat and tangle. If you are attracted to the beauty of a long-haired cat, be prepared to spend some quality time - perhaps as often as daily- combing or brushing its coat. The amount of grooming time required for a long-haired cat varies significantly with the coat length and texture. (Tip: for removing mats from the coat, use a seam ripper rather than scissors to loosen the mat. It is much safer for you and the cat.)
  • Indoor cats may live on average 15 to 20 years. The average life expectancy for cats that are allowed to roam outdoors is about 5-7 years. Hawks, owls, coyotes and dogs commonly attack cats, severely injuring or killing them. Many cats may transmit fatal diseases when they fight for their territory. Since cats spend much of their time sleeping, they are protected and safe inside the house. Additionally, feral (wild) cats compete and destroy native indigenous species.
It is an important financial and emotional commitment to provide lifetime care for an animal who may live to be 20 years old. Before taking home your new cat, make sure you have committed to the following:

  • Have the cat spayed or neutered as soon as possible. This is the most important commitment you can make to a cat's physical well-being.
  • Make sure it receives regular veterinary care and vaccinations.
  • Provide good quality, nutritionally balanced cat food.
  • Always provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Make sure you have a scratching post available for your cat. Scratching is a natural, and needed function of cats. Clip its nails regularly.
  • Have plenty of toys available to provide mental stimulation for your cat. Since cats get bored with the same toys, you might rotate sets of toys to keep your cat interested. Paper sacks and wadded-up paper make some of the best and least expensive toys for cats.
  • Provide collar and tags for your pet. You might also want to consider microchipping. Microchipping is a simple, painless and safe way to ensure that your cat is returned to you, if lost.
Since cats can sometimes develop into finicky eaters, provide them a variety of foods early in their life by adding a little canned food or cooked meat as a treat, along with a basic good quality dry food. Be careful in making changes from one type to another. Cats' digestive systems are very sensitive to rapid change. You might mix old food with the new and gradually increase the mix. Don't give milk to your cat as a substitute for water. Some cats, like people, can't digest the lactose in cow's milk. A little as a treat is okay. Make sure that food and water bowls are clean and that food and water are fresh. In multiple cat households, you may need to provide separate or multiple food and water bowls.

One of the common behavior issues with cats is inappropriate elimination. There are many books which give you guidance and tips. Cats may have to be retrained to a litter box or specific location. It takes some patience on your part. Make sure that the litter is free of feces and generally dry. Litter boxes should be accessible and in a safe place. If a cat is frightened by the location of a litter box, it won't go there. In multiple cat households, you may need to provide multiple litter boxes.

Should I adopt a Dog?
Animal Care Services impounds thousands of dog every year. We have written this to help you understand the ownership responsibilities of a companion dog, and to ensure your successful lifetime together. We encourage all potential pet owners to "Just Say Know." The best place to start is by getting a book about dogs and their requirements. It is much easier to take a book back, than a living, feeling pet.

Selecting the right dog for you and your lifestyle is very important. Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, coat lengths and type, color and temperament. The choice of selecting a puppy or an adult dog is yours alone; however, since three out of four prospective dog owners want a puppy, the problem of selecting and preparing for the new arrival usually means the arrival of a young puppy. There is nothing wrong with bringing home an adult dog. In fact, such a selection often has definite advantages. The adult dog more often is house trained and the rigorous feeding schedule necessary for the young puppy can be avoided.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How big will this dog get? Will the little puppy grow so large that you are uncomfortable with him? Are you a "big" or "small" dog person? Will you be able to provide adequate room to fulfill his exercise needs?
  • Will you be able to spend the necessary time to raise him properly or do you have other more pressing considerations? Do you have time to commit to obedience lessons? It's a fact that 96% of all dogs relinquished to the Animal Services Division have never had any obedience lessons. Their owners never had the time to learn basic communication skills for their companion.
  • If you select a puppy whose adult coat will be long and flowing, will you have time to brush him daily?
  • Will his temperament suit your needs? Ask about adult size and appearance. Ask about his temperament. When studying a prospective dog, look for signs of withdrawal from people as well as signs of being "too pushy." Watch for signs of aggression. If you want a calm, stable dog, look for an easygoing animal. If you want an outgoing dog, look for an adventurous animal. Observe reactions to you and your family. Some breeds do not make good family dogs and are not good choices for anyone with children. Animal Care Services Adoption Counselors will be able to help with these choices.
You should ask yourself if you can make financial and emotional commitments to:

  • ·Lifetime of the dog which may range from 7-15 years.
  • ·House training and crate training.
  • ·Possible destructive behaviors and seeking help for them.
  • ·Obedience training
  • ·Regular veterinary care including dental care and vaccinations
  • ·Chew toys and play toys
  • ·Your pet's own bed or insulated dog house
  • ·Leashes, collars, training accessories, ID tags or microchip identification
  • ·A book about dogs and dog training issues.
Oftentimes a dog will pick you. Trust your eyes and your hands to tell if an animal is sound in body. His eyes and ears should not have suspicious discharges or odors. Legs should have strong bones. Bodies should have solid muscles. Lift the hair to see if the coat is free of scales and parasites. Animal Care Services pets sometimes have fleas or ticks, which can be treated with supplies found at the local pet supply store, or your veterinarian's office.

Prepare for your pet's arrival before you bring it home. Allow yourself ample time to properly begin your dog's life with you. Is your backyard fenced? A dog loose on the streets is asking to be run over by a car, be poisoned, or cause problems with your neighbors. Is ample food and water available? If you plan to leave the dog in the backyard while you are at work, he will need a dog house to protect him from the weather.

The dog's first night is likely to be disturbing to the family. Keep in mind that this may be the first time he has been away from his mother, brothers and sisters, and that he may be confused and frightened. Every dog likes to have a place that is only his. He holds nothing more sacred than his own bed. If you get your dog a bed, locate it away from the drafts and/or radiators and heaters. If you have a special room for his bed, be sure there is nothing there with which he can harm himself. If left in a room by himself, he may howl, cry all night, while being next to you might reassure and quiet him. It may be wise to put a loud ticking alarm clock in the room with him, or wrapped in one of your shirts next to him. The ticking makes comforting noises and oftentimes reminds the puppy of his mother's heartbeat. Wrapping the clock in one of your shirts teaches the puppy to bond with you more quickly

Tell me about rabies

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid.

Rabies is an infection caused by the rhabdovirus. It is typically transmitted through bite wounds from an infected animal, though cases of human infection have been reported as a result of inhaling aerosolized bat urine when visiting bat-infested caves. Common carriers of rabies include skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes.

Following a bite from an infected animal, the virus in the animal's saliva enters the victim's tissues, attaching to local muscles cells before penetrating local nerves and eventually progressing to the brain. There is an average of twenty to thirty days between the bite and a detectable virus in the brain.

Early symptoms of rabies in humans are nonspecific, consisting of fever, headache, and general malaise. As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.

Vaccination against rabies is extremely important for pets. It's strongly recommended that even indoor cats be vaccinated as wildlife exposure is still possible.

The Danger of Pet Hoarding? Is it Actually a Rescue?
To someone desperate to find a home for a litter of kittens, the Chubbers Animal Rescue would have appeared to be the perfect haven. Nestled in a wooded lot in Caroline County, Maryland, the former home of Linda Farve and Ernie Mills was a place where people could relinquish cats, seemingly secure in the knowledge that the couple would help the animals find happy homes.

But in reality, behind the facade of the cheerful website and rural home, tragedy lurked. When animal control officers and volunteers from the Caroline County Humane Society and The Humane Society of the United States entered the home on May 1, 2003 they found more than 300 cats, including more than 70 felines in various forms of decomposition. If the smell of animal death weren't enough, volunteers also encountered surfaces covered with inches of waste and garbage.

"In one part of the house, we were stepping on several layers of feces and skeletons," says The HSUS's Krista Hughes, one of the volunteers who served as part of a team to document the situation and rescue the cats. "It was disgusting. The amount of filth was unbelievable."

It didn't start out that way. Several years earlier, the Humane Society of Caroline County had visited the Favre/Mills home and approved Chubbers as a legitimate animal rescue organization. Soon afterward, the couple began accepting and, in some cases, actively seeking out cats from around the East Coast. It wasn't long before the number of cats began to multiply, as this horrific case of animal hoarding unfolded.

A Deadly Obsession

For most people, the term "animal hoarding" conjures up images of an eccentric "cat lady." Despite the stereotype that collecting animals is simply a quirky behavior, recent research has pointed to a direct correlation between psychological problems and the tendency to hoard.

"Hoarding is very often a symptom of a greater mental illness, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. For most hoarders, it is likely that their actions are the result of a true pathology, even though they are still usually able to function quite well in society," says Randall Lockwood, HSUS vice president for Research and Educational Outreach.

Because animal hoarders quite often appear to lead normal lives, it's important to recognize when a person's fixation with animals has gotten out of control. The HSUS defines an animal hoarder as a person who has more animals than he or she can properly care for. Another defining characteristic is the hoarder's denial of his inability to care for the animals and his failure to grasp the impact his neglect has on the animals, the household, and the human occupants of the dwelling.

What's more, hoarders are usually well-educated and possess excellent communication skills. Many hoarders have an uncanny ability to attract sympathy for themselves, no matter how abused their animals may be, which is often how hoarders manage to fool others into thinking the situation is under control.

"Very few hoarder cases simply involve good intentions gone awry, despite the insistence of the hoarder that he or she loves the animals and wants to save their lives," says Lockwood. "It's unbelievable how someone who reports to love animals so much can cause so much suffering."

House of Horrors

For many involved in investigating animal cruelty and neglect, hoarding cases are among the most horrific they ever encounter. "The amount of suffering in a hoarder case is more widespread and of a longer duration than most animal cruelty cases," says Lockwood. "Although the case of a dog being violently killed is shocking, in a hoarder case the suffering can be felt by hundreds of animals for months and months on end."

Indeed, hoarding can have serious repercussions for the animals involved. "Hoarding can often amount to physical, medical and physiological neglect in the extreme," says Lockwood. The unsanitary conditions of the dwelling and lack of veterinary treatment and social interaction for animals all add up to serious neglect. The animals involved often endure a variety of ailments, such as malnutrition, parasitic infestation, infection, and disease.

According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium, many hoarder dwellings have been condemned as unfit for human habitation. Polluted air in some homes is so irritating to the respiratory tract, because of the high level of ammonia present, that a visitor cannot enter without protective breathing apparatus.

Long-Term Solutions

Because of the horrible suffering involved, criminal animal cruelty charges are increasingly being filed in hoarding cases. Yet, because animal hoarding is linked to mental illness, the most appropriate resolution is still being debated. A combination of therapy and long-term monitoring is the often the best approach, in part because of the high recidivism rate. (Most hoarders revert to old behaviors unless they receive ongoing mental health assistance and monitoring.)

Jail time may also be appropriate in some hoarding cases, although, according to Ann Chynoweth, counsel to Investigative Services for The HSUS, it's uncommon for criminal charges to be brought against hoarders, and even more uncommon that those charged receive jail time.

The Caroline County case was unusual in this respect. Both Mills and Farve were sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to three and four counts respectively of felony animal cruelty, yet they were scheduled to receive a mental evaluation only as an afterthought.

"We are pleased that Maryland's felony animal cruelty law was meaningfully enforced in this massive case of animal cruelty, and we applaud the judge for acknowledging the severity of the crime," says Chynoweth. "At the same time, we are disappointed that there was not more attention to the need of psychological counseling in this case."

Community members can make sure hoarders get the help they need, while protecting animals at the same time, by notifying local police and/or animal control if they suspect someone is hoarding animals. In addition, as a basic precaution, anyone who is considering relinquishing an animal to a private rescue group should first visit the premises and ask to see where the animals are kept.

It's vital that people work together to stop animal hoarding. As the Caroline County case and recent studies illustrate, good intentions aren't always enough. It really does seem possible to love animals to death.

Courtesy of Rebecca Simmons. Rebecca Simmons is the Outreach Communications Coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.

Tips on Traveling with your Pet
Dogs who enjoy car travel need not be confined to a carrier if your vehicle has a restraining harness to restrain the animal. Most pet supply shops carry a wide range of doggie travel harnesses that buckle into most standard seat belts to secure your dog safely and securely.

Because most cats are not as comfortable traveling, for their own safety as well as yours, it is best to keep them in a carrier. It is important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don't bounce around and cause possible harm to the animal inside. It is best to do this by taking a seat belt and securing it around over the front of the carrier. Some airlines allow for small pets to be placed in the underseat storage area. Larger pets are required to be in a carrier, and checked-in for shipping.

If traveling in a car, it is also a good idea to travel with your pet in the back seat (although, never in the bed of a pick up truck!), because of the possibility of a front-seat passenger side airbag deploying and causing possible harm to your pet in an accident.

Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the vehicle. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or become ill from having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.

Stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and eliminate. Never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag, and leash.

Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car. On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to 120° in a matter of minutes, even with the windows opened slightly. Furthermore, an animal left alone in a car is an invitation to pet thieves.

There are other safety precautions that you should take anytime your pet goes traveling with you, regardless of the type of mode of transportation, or if the trip is short or far. Be sure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag. A Microchip also assures notification of a found pet. When traveling long distances, in additon to a Microchip, have your dog wear two ID tags—one with a home address and one with a destination address.

Urban Coyotes?
Coyote Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if a coyote approaches me?

The most successful methods of frightening a coyote away from a person are for that person to appear as large and threatening as possible. Making aggressive gestures towards the animal (moving arms and legs), shouting in a low voice, throwing rocks, sticks or objects at the coyote, maintaining eye contact and moving towards active or populated areas are proven techniques of either making the coyote flee, or ending the encounter.

What should I do if the coyote keeps approaching me?

Even if the above methods don't appear to be working, continue to exaggerate them. Do not turn away or run. Keep constant eye contact with the coyote and continue to move towards other people, a building or an area of activity.

Coyotes are moving through my yard a lot recently. Why?

Regular coyote presence in your backyard is a result of a nearby food source. The coyote may be finding a meal in your yard, your neighbor's, or at a house down or across the street from you. Like it or not, someone in your neighborhood is feeding coyotes. Talking with your neighbors about recognizing and removing the following coyote attractants will reduce the potential of having coyotes in your backyard:

  • Pet food stored or fed outside
  • Accessible garbage bins and composts
  • Fruit fallen from trees
Coyotes are very adaptable and though the majority of their diet consists of small rodents they enjoy apples, berries and other fruit, birds, eggs, fish and small crustaceans. The above food sources attract rats and mice as well, which is the mainstay of urban coyote meals. Even a poorly maintained bird feeder will attract wild mammals.

How can I discourage them from my backyard?

It is crucial to understand the importance of a unified neighborhood effort. If there is a regular coyote food source in one yard on your block, there will be coyotes active throughout the neighborhood. Therefore, the elimination of any potential food source is essential. High fences flush to the ground discourage them from entering yards. It is of equal importance to recognize that an indifferent attitude towards a coyote in your yard has a similar effect as feeding.

If a coyote is in your yard it is imperative that you make the animal aware it is not welcome there. Coyotes are most likely to be frightened by aggressive gestures, loud noises and large forms. Coyotes have been scared off properties by people waving sticks or brooms at them, people throwing stones, balls or tins at them, people clanging pots and pans in their direction, or by having the following home made coyote deterrents thrown or moved in their direction:

  • The Coyote Shaker: A juice tin containing forty pennies, wrapped in aluminum foil and sealed with duct tape.
  • The Can Clanger: A group of different sized tins and cans connected to each other by string.
The combination of the light reflecting on the foil and tin, the noise made by the clanging of the tins and the aggressive gesture of shaking / throwing the tins provide several deterrents which effect the coyote's visual (reflective light), aural (sound of metal) and motion (fear of being struck) senses simultaneously, thereby scaring the animal to move on. Don’t stop at your property line. A coyote in your neighbor’s yard is the same thing as having one in your own.

How can I keep my cat safe?

The only way of ensuring that your cat is safe from coyotes is to keep it indoors permanently. The more time your cat is outdoors the greater the risk it faces, not only from coyotes, but from raccoons, cars, domestic dogs, feline AIDS, leukemia, parasites and other illnesses and diseases as well.

How can I keep my dog safe?

  • The most common conflict between coyotes and dogs is with cat-size or smaller dogs. To ensure your pet is safe the best action is to supervise it at all times it is outside and make sure your pet is off leash only in enclosed areas.
  • There have been reports of coyotes taking small dogs from not only the direct vicinity of their owner, but directly off the leash. If you notice a coyote when walking your dog, either gather your dog in your arms if possible, or keep it as close to you as possible while using some of the deterrents noted above and move towards an active area.
  • If your dog, of any size, is off leash, ensure your dog has immediate recall response, not only to eliminate potential contact or conflict with coyotes, but other dogs and people as well.
  • If there is a den with coyote pups nearby, even large dogs may be attacked.
How can I keep my small dog safe on leash?

As mentioned above there have been occasions when coyotes have taken small dogs [less than cat size] directly from the leash. If there are regular coyote sightings in your neighborhood, in addition to the advice and deterrents mentioned above, the following precautionary measures can be adopted to reduce the risk of injury to your pet:

  • If you are uncomfortable making aggressive gestures or throwing objects at a coyote keep a shrill whistle handy when walking your dog. The whistle may not scare the coyote directly (coyotes hear the same daily sirens, car alarms, horns etc. as we do), but it will alert other pedestrians in the area of your need for help.
  • Walk your dog, on leash, in high pedestrian traffic areas such as relatively busy streets, jogging trails and park paths where help is nearby.
  • Coincide the walks with times and locations of activity such as around schools at arrival, dismissal, break or lunch periods, along transit routes or transit connection routes as the work day begins or ends or around parks when activities / sporting events [nightly softball or soccer games] are held.
  • Dog walk with friends and family.
  • Avoid long stretches of bushy areas or paths and roads along abandoned properties.
  • Make sure your dog is ahead of you while walking. If it stops to sniff or scratch behind you while on an extendable leash, keep an eye on it.
How can I prepare my child for potential coyote encounters?

Responsible parenting means keeping your children informed about all the dangers of living in an urban society. Coyotes do pose a risk to children, and kids should be made aware of what behavior [see above] has proven effective if they come into contact with a coyote. It is also important to keep the risk coyotes pose in its proper perspective.

Why should I not feed coyotes?

  • A Fed Coyote is a Dead Coyote: Coyotes who associate people as a food provider invariably end up having to be disposed of for displaying aggressive behavior. For example,  after one incident involving the shooting of a coyote, as a result of the animal nipping a child, a post mortem revealed roast chicken in the animal's stomach.
Feeding Coyotes is a Crime: Title 14 Section 251.1 of the California Code of Regulations, states that feeding of wild animals is considered a form of harassment. Title 14 Section 679f(4) of the California Code of Regulations states that healthy wildlife should be left alone.

What are the leash laws?
Chapter 6.16.100 Dog leash required of the City of Long Beach Municipal Code states that all dogs while not confined within an enclosed space (i.e. inside a house, vehicle, or fenced yard) be secured by a leash no more than eight feet long and  held continuously in the hands of a responsible person capable of controlling the dog.

Exceptions to this law include any:

Dogs under the control of a responsible person in a fenced dog exercise area in a city park, dog beach, or portion of a city park, approved and designated for that purpose by the city council.   

Owners Are Held Accountable for Loose Animals

 – Violations are tracked by owner and animal.

– There are escalating impound fees for an owner to redeem their pet

– Misdemeanor and administrative violations are tracked by the owner for escalating fines or penalties

Penalty Fees – The City does have escalating impound fees

· $25 First impound

· $35 Second impound

· $65 Third impound

· $65 + ($50 times number of impounds over three) Fourth and subsequent impounds

Owners of unaltered animals found running at large pay an additional escalating impound fee of:

· $35 First impound

· $50 Second impound

· $100 Third impound

– Additionally, owners of unaltered impounded animals are given free spay/neuter vouchers and are educated on the need for spay and neutering of pets

What must I present to prove that my animal is microchipped?
To register your pet's microchip with Animal Care Services, you must either have the animal scanned by a staff member onsite, or you may provide the documentation that indicates the micrcohip has been implanted and registered with the microchip company. When licensing your pet, please be ready to provide the following in-person or by mail:

  • Microchip number
  • Documentation from a licensed veterinarian indicating the chip was implanted
  • Certificate of implantation
It is important to note that many pet owners have microchips implanted but fail to submit the registration information with the microchip provider. Animal Care Services provides pre-registered microchips, and will submit the registration information on behalf of the pet owner to ensure successful registration.

What Plants are Dangerous to My Pet?

Learn to recognize dangerous household plants. 


Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and incoordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.

Sago Palm
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean
The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.

Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

This plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.

Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

Autumn Crocus
Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.

These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

English Ivy
Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

Pothos (both Scindapsus and Epipremnum) belongs to the Araceae family. If chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

What responsibility does someone have once they take a cat in or start feeding it?

The Long Beach Municipal Code defines it in the following manner:

6.04.025 - Person responsible—Defined.
Whenever in this Title 6 of the Long Beach Municipal Code, the words "person responsible" are used, they shall mean any person owning, having a proprietary interest in harboring or having the care, charge, control, custody or possession of an animal.

It is no longer acceptable for cats to be considered items to be simply discarded with the assumption that "someone else will take care of it".  Cats have value and anyone feeding (having the care) of a cat can be considered the Person Responsible.  A Person Responsible will need to ensure cats are altered (pursuant to LBMC 6.16.085), vaccinated, and licensed.

What you should know about household hazards to pets
Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet's health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households.


Many foods that are perfectly safe for humans could be harmful or potentially deadly to dogs and cats. To be safe, keep the following food items out of your pet's menu:

coffee grounds grapes/raisins chocolate onions yeast dough tea macadamia nuts alcohol fatty foods salt avocado garlic chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners containing xylitol Always keep garbage out of a pet's reach, as rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could produce food poisoning.

Cleaning Products
Many household cleaners can be used safely around cats and dogs. However, the key to safe use lies in reading and following product directions for proper use and storage.

For instance, if the label states "keep pets and children away from area until dry," follow those directions to prevent possible health risks. Products containing bleach can safely disinfect many household surfaces when used properly, but can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, severe burns if swallowed and respiratory tract irritation can occur if inhaled in a high enough concentration. In addition, skin contact with concentrated solutions may produce serious chemical burns. Some detergents can produce a similar reaction, and cats can be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients such as phenols.

As a general rule, store all cleaning products in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets and keep them in their original packaging, or in a clearly labeled and tightly sealed container.

As with household cleaners, read and follow label instructions before using any type of pesticide in your pet's environment. For example, flea and tick products labeled "for use on dogs only" should not be applied to cats or other species, as serious or even life-threatening problems could result. Always consult with your veterinarian about the safe use of these products for your pet.

If a pet ingests rat or mouse poison, potentially serious or even life-threatening illness can result; therefore, when using any rodenticide, it is important to place the poison in areas completely inaccessible to pets.


Medications that treat human medical conditions can make pets very sick. Never give your pet any medication unless directed by your veterinarian. As a rule, the following medicines should be tightly closed and stored in a secure cabinet above the counter and away from pets:

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen acetaminophen diet pills antihistamines cold medicines vitamins antidepressants prescription drugs    

Soaps and other Sundries
Bath and hand soaps, toothpaste and sun blocks should also be kept away from your pets. They can cause stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep toilet lids closed to prevent your pets from consuming treated toilet bowl water that could irritate their digestive tract.


While they may smell good, many liquid potpourri products contain ingredients that can cause oral ulcerations and other problems, so keep them out of the reach of your pets.

Just one mothball has the potential to sicken a dog or cat and mothballs that contain naphthalene can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested). Tobacco products, pennies (those minted after 1982 contain zinc) and alkaline batteries (like those in your remote controls) can also be hazardous when ingested.


Antifreeze, Herbicides and Insecticides
Ethylene glycol-containing antifreeze and coolants, even in small quantities, can be fatal to both dogs and cats. While antifreeze products containing propylene glycol are less toxic than those containing ethylene glycol, they can still be dangerous. In addition to antifreeze, other substances routinely stored in the garage including insecticides, plant/lawn fertilizers, weed killers, ice-melting products and gasoline also pose a threat to your pet's health if ingested.

When chemical treatments are applied to grassy areas, be sure and keep your pet off the lawn for the manufacturer's recommended time. If pets are exposed to wet chemicals or granules that adhere to their paws, they may lick it off later; stomach upset or more serious problems could result.

Paints and Solvents
Paint thinners, mineral spirits, and other solvents are dangerous and can cause severe irritation or chemical burns if swallowed or if they come in contact with your pet's skin. While most latex house paints typically produce a minor stomach upset, some types of artist's or other specialty paints may contain heavy metals or volatile substances that could become harmful if inhaled or ingested.

Plants – Inside or Around the House
There are many household and yard plants that can sicken your pet. Some of the most commonly grown greenery that should be kept away from pets include:

  • Lily of the Valley, oleander, azalea, yew, foxglove, rhododendron and kalanchoe may cause heart problems if ingested.
  • Rhubarb leaves and shamrock contain substances that can produce kidney failure. Certain types of lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats, resulting in kidney failure — even if only small amounts are ingested.
  • Sago palms (Cycad species) can cause liver damage, especially if the nut portion of the plant is consumed. Additionally, fungi such as certain varieties of mushrooms can cause liver damage or other illnesses.

A few other potentially harmful plants include philodendron, corn plant, castor bean, mother-in-law's tongue, Hibiscus and hydrangea.

For a complete listing of common toxic and non-toxic plants, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website.


Small items that fall on the floor can be easily swallowed by a curious cat or dog. Such items include coins, buttons, small children's toys, medicine bottles, jewelry, nails, and screws. The result may be damage to your pet's digestive tract and the need for surgical removal of the object.

While electrical cords are especially tempting to puppies who like to chew on almost anything, even an adult dog or cat could find them of interest; burns or electrocution could result from chewing on live cords. Prevent this by using cord covers and blocking access to wires.


Don't forget that holidays and visitors can pose a special challenge to your pets. Discourage well-meaning guests from spoiling pets with extra treats and scraps from the dinner table. Fatty, rich or spicy foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea and lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Poultry or other soft bones can splinter and damage your pet's mouth or esophagus.

While trick or treating is fun for children, it can be hazardous to pets. Halloween treats such as chocolate or candy sweetened with xylitol can make a harmful snack. Certain Halloween and Christmas decorations (especially tinsel, ribbons and ornaments) also pose a hazard to pets, so make sure nothing is left on the floor or on tables within reach.

String-like items can damage your pet's intestine and could prove fatal if not surgically removed. While poinsettia is not deadly as popular legend would have it, it could still cause an upset stomach if consumed. Holly and mistletoe are especially dangerous plants. Christmas tree water treated with preservatives (including fertilizers) can also cause an upset stomach. Water that is allowed to stagnate in tree stands contains bacteria that, if ingested, could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

A Special Note of Caution to Bird Owners
Just like dogs and cats, most hazards listed here apply to your pet bird, particularly if it is allowed to roam freely outside of its cage. In addition, birds have unique respiratory tracts that are especially vulnerable to inhaled particles and fumes from aerosol products, tobacco products, certain glues, paints, air fresheners and any other aerosolized matter. Birds should never be allowed in areas where such products are being used. As a rule, birds should never be kept in kitchens because cooking fumes, smoke and odors can present a hazard.

Don't wait! Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Pick up the phone and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee may apply). Be prepared to state your pet's breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Keep the product container or plant sample with you to assist in identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.

Household Hazard Brochure

Where does the City of Long Beach Animal Care provide services?
The Animal Care Services Division provides service for the cities of Long Beach, Cerritos, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Signal Hill. Other surrounding municipalities are serviced by:

Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, Orange County Animal Care Services, South East Area Animal Control Agency, or Los Angeles City/South Los Angeles Animal Services.

Where does the pet licensing money go?
The license revenue collected goes directly back into the Animal Care Services program which allows for services to continue and pays for the care and sheltering of the lost and unwanted pets that end up in our facility.  It also keeps our officers out on the streets responding to all animal related service calls that directly impact public safety and the humane treatment of animals.

Why does the City conduct door-to-door license canvassing?

Door-to-Door canvassing has been a regular activity in the City of Long Beach since the 1960’s. Periodically, the City contracts with the County of Los Angeles to supplement license compliance efforts. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends dog and cat licensing, and door-to-door canvassing as an integral method to enhance rabies control (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 18, 2008). The process of license canvassing results in direct contact with pet owners and provides the opportunity for education about animal care issues. It is also provides residents with the opportunity to report animal-related violations such as neglect, cruelty, barking, defecation, off-leash and excessive numbers of animals on a property.

A quick survey of animal control directors in Los Angeles and Orange counties identified (48) agencies utilized door-to-door dog license canvassing during 2009-2010 to ensure compliance with state laws.

Your Cat - Indoors or Out

Ever wonder what goes on behind closed doors? Healthy, safe cats live out their entire lives, for one thing. If you want your cat to live to a ripe old age, the best thing you can do for her is keep her inside. Allowing your cat to wander around on her own, without your supervision, makes her susceptible to any of the following life-shortening - and often painful - tragedies:

  • Being hit by a car
  • Ingesting a deadly poison like antifreeze or a pesticide
  • Being trapped by an unhappy neighbor
  • Being attacked by a roaming dog, cat, or wild animal
  • Contracting a disease from another animal
  • Becoming lost and unable to find her way home
  • Being stolen
  • Encountering an adult or child with cruel intentions

Some people believe there are good reasons to allow their cat to be outdoors without their supervision, so we've included a number of these objections along with our comments and suggestions.

"But I have a six-foot fence."

Unless you have special fencing that's designed to prevent a cat from climbing out, your cat will be able to scale your fence and escape the confines of your yard. If you do have special fencing, make sure that it can keep other cats or animals from getting into your yard to injure your cat. Some companies manufacturer ready-made cat fences and backyard enclosures.

"But my last cat went outdoors and he loved it."

Your cat may enjoy being outdoors, but by allowing him to go outside unsupervised, you're putting him at risk for a shortened life span. The expected life span of an indoor-outdoor cat will depend on several factors, including the type of neighborhood you live in and sheer luck. But, on average, cats who are allowed to roam outdoors often don't live to see age five. Cats who are always kept safely confined can live to be 18 to 20 years old.

"But my cat's litter box smells."

Scoop your cat's litter box on a daily basis. How often you actually replace (change) the litter depends on the number of cats in your home, the number of litter boxes, and the type of litter you use. Twice a week is a general guideline for clay litter, but depending on the circumstances, you may need to change it every other day or once a week. Wash the litter box with soap and water every time you change the litter; the use of strong-smelling chemicals and cleansers may cause your cat to avoid the box.

"But my cat likes to sun herself."

Your cat can safely sun herself indoors by lying near a window. If you're really intent on letting your cat outdoors, put her on a harness and leash and stay with her while she's taking in the rays.

"But I can't keep him in."

Keep your windows closed or install screens. Remember to always keep your doors closed and teach your children the importance of keeping the doors closed, too. It may take a few days or a few weeks, but if there are enough interesting things for your cat to play with indoors, he'll come to enjoy being indoors. Be sure to provide him with a scratching post and safe toys to bat or carry around.

"But we've always let her out."

You can change your cat's behavior. It will take time and patience, but it might save her life. When you implement your "closed door" policy, give her a lot of extra attention and entertainment. At first she may cry, but don't give in - more often than not, she'll soon be happy to stay indoors with you.

"But my cat knows to avoid cars."

Even if this were true, all it would take is another cat, a dog, or a shiny object to lure your cat into the street and into the path of traffic. Also keep in mind that not everyone will swerve to miss a cat in the road.

"But my cat needs exercise and likes to play with other cats."

Stray cats could spread viruses such as feline leukemia and other fatal diseases. If your cat needs a friend, adopt another cat who's healthy and disease-free. Cats kept safely confined do need extra attention and exercise inside, so be sure to play with your cats regularly using a variety of toys and chase games.

"But my cat yowls and acts likes he really needs to go outside."

Your cat may be feeling the physiological need to mate. If this is the case, make sure your cat is spayed or neutered. Sterilized cats don't have the natural need to breed, and therefore, won't be anxious to go out to find a mate.

Transforming a cat who is allowed roam freely outside into a safe cat will take time, effort, and patience; some cats will adapt more quickly than others. And many cat owners report that keeping cats inside actually fosters the bond between feline and human. If, despite your best efforts, your cat simply cannot make the transition, then vow to keep your next cat safely confined from the start.

Please Spay or Neuter your cat(s). It is the law in the City of Long Beach LBMC 6.16.085 Unaltered cats prohibited.

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