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Animal lovers' calendar: Week of August 23-29

August 24, 2009 |  9:50 pm

Mr. FuzzersWhether it involves adopting a needy animal or helping to provide the funds that keep rescue groups afloat, pet-friendly Angelenos have many opportunities to help in the coming weeks.  And if dogs and cats aren't your bag, why not learn a thing or two about sharks instead?  (Are we missing something?  Give us a heads-up by posting a comment!)

This Week:

Through Aug. 31, the Found Animals Foundation is sponsoring "Second Chances for a Second Cat" at the L.A. Department of Animal Services' East Valley and Harbor animal shelters. Through this program, adopters can take home two cats (perhaps Mr. Fuzzers, at right, will be one of them) for the price of one. The East Valley shelter is located at 14409 Vanowen St. in Van Nuys; the Harbor shelter is at 957 N. Gaffey Street in San Pedro. For more information, call 888-4LAPET1.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, Dr. Chugey Sepulveda offers a lecture on the shortfin mako and common thresher sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach from 7 to 9 p.m. The lecture will focus on the biology, ecology and recent movement studies of these two shark species. Sepulveda is laboratory director of the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research. Cost is $8, $4 for aquarium members and free for students with a valid student ID. Reservations aren't required but are encouraged, as the lecture may sell out. Students wishing to use their free entry must make an advance reservation by calling (562) 590-3100. More information at Aquarium of the Pacific's website.

Saturday, Aug. 29, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services hosts a mobile pet adoption event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Griffith Park, located at the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive.  Adoptable dogs and cats from the North Central animal shelter will be on hand to meet and greet potential owners.  To see the North Central shelter's many adoptable pets, check out the Department of Animal Services' website

Upcoming:

Saturday, Sept. 5, Animal Acres, the Acton-based sanctuary that's home to more than 150 rescued farm animals, hosts its annual gala celebration beginning at 5 p.m. The event features an awards ceremony, music and comedy performances and a vegan feast catered by Madeleine Bistro. Oh, and its honorary chairperson is an animal-loving celebrity you may have heard of -- does the name Ellen DeGeneres ring a bell?  More information and tickets available at Animal Acres' website.

Sunday, Sept. 27, Dawg Squad Pet Rescue holds its annual Bowling for Collars event from 1 to 3 p.m. at the AMF Mar Vista Lanes, at 12125 Venice Blvd. in West L.A. The event is a fundraiser for the group's work on behalf of needy dogs, with proceeds going toward food, medical care and rehabilitation costs.  Tickets are $25 for an individual bowler or $100 for a bowling lane, which includes shoe rental and two games each for up to 5 bowlers. More information and tickets available at Dawg Squad's website.

Saturday, Oct. 10, the L.A. County 4-H Youth Development Program hosts its pet symposium from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of California Cooperative Extension, located at 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue.  During the symposium, L.A. county kids will learn about responsible pet ownership, animal-related community service opportunities and pet-centric careers.  This free event focuses not only on garden-variety dogs and cats,  but also rabbits, turtles, chickens and bees. For more information, contact Dawn Fuller at (323) 260-3859 or dafuller@ucdavis.edu.

Ongoing:

It's Shark Summer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, and to celebrate, the aquarium is extending its hours and offering visitors a discount on Sunday evenings. Sundays through Sept. 6, admission fees will be reduced to $11.95 beginning at 5 p.m., and visitors can hang out with the sharks (as well as the aquarium's other sea life) until 10 p.m. More information on Shark Summer events at Aquarium of the Pacific's website.

In Theaters:

"The Cove" tells the horrific story of wild dolphins that are systematically rounded up and slaughtered in a tranquil Japanese port village. "Unlike their larger cetacean brethren whales, dolphins are not protected by the worldwide ban on commercial whaling that has been in effect since the 1980s," our colleague Rachel Abramowitz explains -- and because the dolphins aren't protected, they're seen as fair game for fishermen, who round them up for sale to marine parks around the world. The dolphins that aren't sold have an even worse fate; they're butchered for food. Times film critic Kenneth Turan calls it "a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking," but be forewarned: It's extremely graphic.  Check Zap2It for theaters and showtimes.

"Food, Inc." is the new documentary from producer-director Robert Kenner. It examines the way food gets from the farm to the plate and, critic Gary Goldstein writes, "after [its] disturbing glimpses inside the meat industry, along with its blunt indictment of fast-food giants, you'll think twice before eating just about anything nonorganic." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls it "an essential, indelible documentary that is scarier than anything in the last five 'Saw' horror shows." Check Zap2It for theaters and showtimes.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A lucky cat fancier can bring home both Mr. Fuzzers (ID# A1029892), an 8-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair at San Pedro's Harbor animal shelter, and a second cat for the price of one thanks to the "Second Chances for a Second Cat" program running through August 31.  Credit: Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.  (For more information on Mr. Fuzzers, call 888-4LAPET1 with his ID number.)

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