Killed Cyclist Leaves Behind Animals in Need of Care
The 50-year-old bicyclist struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle as she attempted to ride through a red light Tuesday night has been identified as Long Beach resident Susan Curtis.
With no next of kin, Curtis left behind an apartment full of animals that were immediately taken into custody at a shelter. Curtis, described by neighbors and friends as an avid animal supporter and lover, rescued animals and also worked for a dog-walking and dog-sitting service.
The animals found in her residence that were taken to a shelter included her boxer-mix Sadie, six cats--Loki, Polo, Rufus, Luke, Belle, and Spotty--several mice and rats, a guppie, a water snail and a python named Dexter that officials say has already gone home with an investigator.
An outcry among Curtis' friends occurred when fears surfaced that her pets would be put down, something that Ted Stevens, manager of Long Beach Animal Care Services, emphasized is entirely hyperbolic.
"As with all situations when a pet owner dies, we take the animals in and provide 14 days for next of kin to take the pets to another owner or take them on as their own," Stevens explained.
Part of the fear that the animals would be put down was Curtis' lack of any formal family--but Stevens again emphasized that just because a next of kin doesn't exist, doesn't mean the animals will be put to death.
"After that, they become our property and we attempt to find them homes as we would any other animals," he said. He encouraged Long Beachers to come look at the animals; they will be available for adoption soon to safe and healthy homes.
Melissa Knievel, who identified herself as Curtis' employer and friend posted a message on Facebook asking for people to step forward and do as Curtis would have done.
"She was a champion for animals and spent a good majority of her time trying to rescue or find homes for animals," Knievel said. "Now it’s our turn to pay her back for fighting for so many animals. If there is anything we can do for her it would be to make sure her animals find loving, caring and stable homes."
The following animals are available January 30 for adoption, but can currently be visited to see and be put on hold:
- LOKI, white male cat (A486019)
- BELL, black female cat (A486020)
- POLO, black and white female (A486021)
- SPOTTY, grey male Tabby (A486022)
- SADIE, black boxer-mix (A310283)
They are located at Long Beach Animals Shelter, 7700 East Spring Street. For more information, contact (562) 570-7387 or visit www.longbeach.gov.acs.