The Adoptable Pet of the Week is available from the Santa Monica Animal Shelter. Photo by Martin Hernandez.

Hi, I’m Aries. A 5-year-old male black cat, and mine is the tale of Gypsies. Never limited to a roadmap, and in a van we called home, my dad and I were always on the road, bound to the next great place to explore. New encounters were the norm for me, and I rather liked them. Being easily startled and hiding isn’t my style. And oh, how I loved watching the sun rise and set on the Santa Monica Ocean, on-leash and harness with my dad! Sadly, our journey came to an end when he suddenly passed away. Romantic chronicles aside, I’m ready to retire the nomadic life, and settle into a place without wheels to call home. Despite my search for stability, my free spirit cannot be tamed. I’m daring in my pursuit for amusement which is not limited to cat toys. I’ll sing to a chirping bird, swing from a hanging rope, pounce on the occasional passing insect, and roll around on surfaces as if it’s the most exciting thing in the world! Which, I might add, I’ve been told is ridiculously cute to watch! Still, I’m a firm believer that to experience true happiness, one must possess companionship. Presented with the opportunity to make fast friends with people, vice or virtue, I have no respect for boundaries. Without introduction, I’ll tackle you for a hug, and shower you with intoxicating purrs, ravishing headbutts, and gentle leg rubs. Always one to enjoy the company of other cats, I would avail myself to the opportunity of having a feline sidekick! While my days of flying by the seat of my pants are behind me, I’ll still tango with fear which makes life with me just as exciting and full of possibilities for the next epic adventure. Aries ID #A060513 is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter located at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404. The shelter is closed to the public and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at (310) 458-8595. You can learn more about Aries online at


For pet owners, sometimes pets become lost, even with the best prevention efforts. There are many actions that you can take if your pet gets lost to increase their chances of returning home to you.

Act fast! First, report your pet missing to Santa Monica Animal Control. They have many tools and resources to retrieve your pet, and keep the public safe like using their lights to stop traffic, assist in guiding your pets away from danger, and equipment to safely catch them. You can contact Santa Monica Animal Control by calling the Santa Monica Animal Shelter at (310) 458-8595, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, contact the Santa Monica Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch line at (310) 458-8491. Include your pet’s identifying information, any pertinent information regarding their temperament, and their last known location. Request a call return from the responding animal control officer.

Search outside of your home for small pets as they will typically hide around the home rather than wander away. Cats are territorial and are known to stay within a two-block radius of their home, while dogs can venture long distances. Dogs and cats also know their way home and will often return on their own. Someone should be home to greet them.

Canvas your neighborhood for sightings. Give your neighbors your contact details so that they may contact you if they have any updated information.

Search your neighborhood, and their last known location, by both foot and car. Bring pet carriers and dog leashes so that you can capture them and can keep them secure.

If your pet is spotted, do not corner or chase them down. Try to calmly approach them. Avoid running after dogs and cats as this will encourage them to run away from you, which may cause them injury during their attempt to flee. Notify animal control that your pet has been spotted so that they can go to the location to aid in their recovery.

Make flyers that you can post around your community and on all social media. Create a page or group to keep the community updated on your search. This will also provide a space for people to post sightings, and offer help.

File a lost pet notice with all of your local animal shelters, not just the ones nearest to your home. Check back with them frequently for status updates.

Don’t give up! Whether pets are lost for a few hours, or even many months, there is a higher likelihood that pets will still be reunited with their owners if their search is kept up!

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at