Peach and boys

Peach smiles happily as she heads home with her two new brothers, Vince and Charlie.

This month, 80 Long Beach dogs were given a second chance at life.

According to Angela Robinson of Live Love Animal Rescue, the organization returned five stray dogs to their owners and inspired 75 families to foster shelter dogs through “Foster the 4th.” This program, which eases kennel overcrowding caused by holiday fireworks, has been very helpful to Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) and its furry residents, officials said.

"Foster the 4th continues to be an unparalleled valuable effort for our community's dogs,” LBACS Director Staycee Dains said. “Live Love Animal Rescue continues to come to the aid of LBACS dogs in need. We are very grateful.”

Julie McKibbin was grieving over the loss of her dog when she heard about Foster the 4th. She said she filled out the application because saving a life felt like the perfect way to heal her heart. After a phone interview, an orientation, and a home check, Live Love gave McKibbin and her husband a dog bed, a crate, food and water bowls, food, toys, and a 44-pound Labrador mix named Peach.

“Peach was stressed out and not doing well in the shelter… She was not the type of dog that someone looking to adopt a dog at the shelter would have considered,” McKibbin said. “Once we took her out, she began to thrive and show us her wonderful personality.”

McKibbin said she and her husband had a great time with Peach and would have kept her if they had more space. Luckily, a family with a yard and two children saw Peach’s photo on the Live Love Instagram page (@liveloveanimalrescue) and set up a meeting.

“My favorite moment was when she bonded with her family and you could see how they were such a fit for each other — we saw four people and one dog fall in love and it was such a beautiful thing,” McKibbin said.

New owner Sarina Huber said Peach wakes up with a smile and greets everyone with kisses.

“The kids love the opportunity to play fetch with her in the backyard, and I am enjoying having a walking partner,” Huber said. “We love her!”

Foster pup Donut underwent a similar transformation when she left the animal shelter. Initially nervous and missing patches of fur, Donut “blossomed before our eyes into such an incredible dog,” said Gina Stewart, who started as Donut’s foster mom and then adopted her.

In addition to providing training and basic supplies, Live Love also handles foster dogs’ medical expenses. Mrs. Potts had a lovable nature, but she had little chance of leaving the shelter, due to a torn ACL, a mammary mass, and dental and skin issues. Thanks to Live Love, Mrs. Potts became a foster dog in the Russell home where she immediately showed off her snuggling skills. The family is now considering keeping her.

“She smiles when she sleeps,” Casey Russell said. “We know we made the right decision fostering her.”

Foster mom Diana Bell praised the knowledge and organization of the Live Love team. Bell said she learned valuable information from the orientation process, even though she has owned dogs for years. Fiona, the one-year old Spaniel mix she was fostering, has now found a permanent home with an adoptive family.

“I can see myself fostering again, Bell said. “It has been an incredibly positive experience thanks to the support, training, and peace of mind that Live Love Animal Rescue has provided.”

To learn more about fostering or adopting a dog, or to donate and support Live Love Animal Rescue, go to https://liveloveanimalrescue.org/.

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