Toys, Treats, and Volunteers Needed For 12th-annual Operation Santa Paws December 22

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Justin RuddDuring the holiday season extra help is needed for thousands of abused and abandoned animals in the care of animal shelters and rescues. “Operation Santa Paws” — part of Justin Rudd’s Long Beach-based nonprofit 501c3 Community Action Team (CAT) — is helping by spearheading its 12th-annual canine and feline toy/treat drive to benefit less-fortunate pets this season. The program was started by Rudd in 2001 and has spread to 25 states.

Locally, Rudd is encouraging animal lovers to purchase and collect new dog or cat toys, treats and supplies that will be delivered on Sat., Dec. 22 to shelters in Long Beach, Seal Beach and Orange. Volunteers of all ages are asked to meet at the times/locations listed here to help deliver the goodies:

  • 11:15 a.m.: Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St. @ 605 Fwy., Long Beach, 90815; 562.570.PETS.
  • Noon: – Long Beach spcaLA, 7700 E. Spring St. @ 605 Fwy., Long Beach, 90815; 562.570.SPCA.
  • 1:30 p.m.: Seal Beach Animal Care Center, 1700 Adolfo Lopez Dr., Seal Beach, 90740, 562.430.4993.
  • 3 p.m.: Orange County Animal Care Services, 561 The City Dr., Orange, 92868; 714.935.6848.

For those unable to volunteer at the delivery event, there is a long list of drop-box locations in participating cities/states at Donors can leave goodies in the collection boxes til noon this Fri., Dec. 21.

Alternatively, Itchy Paws Walks, Petsitting & Training will pick up donations at the homes of donors in Long Beach & Seal Beach. To arrange pickup, leave a message with address and times the gifts will be available at (562) 618-3310 or

Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to Santa Paws, 5209 E. The Toledo #1, Long Beach, 90803 or send via Paypal to

The collection begins Dec. 1 each year, with residents, businesses and organizations collecting pet food, grooming products and toys for their favorite local shelter or rescue. In Southern California alone, more than 40 animal care organizations and approx.. 4,000 dogs and cats will be recipients of the goodies.

According to Rudd, some popular items on the shelter wish lists include:

  • Durable dog toys
  • 6’ nylon dog leashes
  • Dog and cat treats
  • Dog and cat shampoo
  • Dog and cat food
  • Unscented clumping cat litter
  • Kennel cleaning supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and hand dishwashing liquid
  • Laundry detergent, dishwashing gloves, baking soda, bleach, paper towels, bathroom tissue
  • Department store gift cards (i.e. Target, Petco)

Because of safety and/or housekeeping concerns, rawhide items, pig ears, and stuffed animals are usually not accepted by the shelters.

Rudd says that the purpose of the program is to bring holiday cheer to the animals. His wish is that the animals get adopted in to forever homes.

Operation Santa Paws is part of the Long Beach-based “Haute Dogs” organization, which also sponsors the Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade, the Bulldog Beauty Contest and helped to form Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. The Haute Dog organization helps to provide for the well-being of dogs while cultivating an awareness of the animals whose world we share. To be added to the Haute Dog e-newsletter database, visit To join the 11,000+ fans on the “Haute Dogs” fan page on Facebook.

Contact For more information about Operation Santa Paws, visit


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