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Animal lovers' calendar: Week of September 27-October 3

September 28, 2009 |  8:41 pm

Yorkie blessing

The coming weeks are loaded with animal-friendly events and fundraisers to help needy L.A. pets.  Are we forgetting something?  Let us know by leaving a comment!

This Week:

Saturday, Oct. 3, celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi at the 8th annual Interfaith Blessing of the Animals at Long Beach's Marine Stadium, 5225 E. Paoli Way.  The event starts at 10 a.m. with a pet adoption fair and pet-friendly vendors.  The blessing ceremony begins at noon and will include a moment of silence for dogs involved in dogfighting rings and other abused animals.  All well-behaved pets, including exotic species that are legal to possess in the state of California, are welcome to attend the free ceremony.  The event is sponsored by the Long Beach organization Haute Dogs and also includes Cutest Dog and Ugliest Dog contests and a chihuahua beauty pageant. (Contests are $10 to enter with advance registration and $20 to enter on the day of the event.)  Adoptions and vendor fair continue until 2:30 p.m.  More information and directions at BlessThePets.com.

Saturday, Oct. 3, pet expert Warren Eckstein broadcasts his radio program "The Pet Show" from L.A.'s own Hollywood & Highland shopping center.  From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Eckstein will be on hand at the CatGenie pop-up store on the ground floor of Hollywood & Highland.  Store visitors can listen to Eckstein broadcast live, submit their pet-related questions to be answered on-air and meet adoptable cats and kittens from local rescue group Precious Paws. (One prominent Precious Paws supporter will be in attendance: Susan Olsen, whom you may know as Cindy from "The Brady Bunch.")  Of course, you can also bring home your very own CatGenie automatic, litter-free cat box -- and a percentage of the purchase price will be donated to Precious Paws. 

Saturday, Oct. 3, Best Friends Animal Society celebrates its 25th anniversary at its annual Lint Roller Party, with proceeds from the event benefiting Best Friends' L.A.-based programs.  The party is 1980s-themed in honor of the group's 1984 launch year and features music, awards, a veggie buffet and open bar, raffles and both silent and live auctions. General admission is $275 and includes a free CD featuring songs from animal-friendly musicians including the divine Neko Case and Emmylou Harris; a Founder's Reception ticket, which includes admission to a pre-party reception in addition to the main event, will set you back $350.  More information and tickets available at Best Friends' website.

Upcoming:

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, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.  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.

Saturday, Oct. 10, spcaLA invites potential "foster parents" to learn about its fostering program from 10 a.m. to noon at its South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne. "Foster parents" are needed to care for puppies and kittens that are too young to be adopted, as well as older dogs and cats with special needs. More information at spcaLA.com. (The L.A. Department of Animal Services offers a similar program for underage puppies and kittens; more information on that program is available at the department's website.)

Saturday, Oct. 24, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne.  The clinic will offer rabies vaccinations for cats and dogs ($5); DHPP vaccinations for dogs ($15); bordetella vaccinations for dogs ($10); FVRCP and leukemia vaccinations for cats ($15 each); and microchipping for cats and dogs ($25).  More information at spcaLA.com.

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.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A Yorkshire terrier is blessed by the Rev. Arthur Holquin during the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano's annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony in observance of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi in 2006.  Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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