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Animal lovers' calendar: week of Oct. 4-10

Kitten Pet owners, potential adopters and even arachnid enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.  (Are we forgetting an event?  Let us know by leaving a comment!)

This Weekend:

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.)

Sunday, Oct. 11, bring your (well-behaved) dog along when you head to the 9th annual Bow-Wows & Meows Pet Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at William S. Hart Park in Santa Clarita.  The event is free and features adoptable animals, pet-themed vendors, animal information booths, food vendors for both pets and people, a pet psychic and demonstrations of doggie activities like agility and flyball.  Most fun of all: the Fun Dog Show, which includes classes you're not likely to see at an AKC event (like Biggest Dog, Smallest Dog, Best Vocalist, Mystery Mutt, Largest Ears, Silly Pet Trick and Most Physically Challenged).  More information available at BowWowsAndMeows.org.


Saturday, Oct. 17, L.A.-based natural pet food company Dogswell holds its inaugural Homeward Hound Hike, a family-and-dog-friendly hike along Griffith Park's scenic East & West Observatory Trails.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of Animals Foundation, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter here in L.A.  Following the hike, participants are invited to a party with music, food and beverages (both for humans and for dogs) and raffle prizes.  Adoptable dogs from the Friends of Animals Foundation will be on hand as well.  Registration for the hike begins at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m.  Cost is $20; more information and directions at Dogswell'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.

Saturday, Oct. 31, join Much Love Animal Rescue for its 6th annual Bow Wow Ween fundraising event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Topanga Community Club, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.  The main event at Bow Wow Ween is the always-enjoyable canine costume contest, where a panel of celebrity judges will award prizes (worth more than $3,000 in total) to the winners.  The event also features vendors, games, kids' activities and adoptable pets from a dozen local rescue groups.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door; children under 10 enter free.  Entry to the costume contest is $25 per dog.  More information at MuchLove.org.

Coming up in November and December, Villalobos Rescue Center offers a free 8-week training course for L.A. pit bulls and pit mixes at the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services' North Central shelter.  (Exact dates of the course to be determined.) The course covers basic commands like sit and stay and progresses to more advanced tricks and an introduction to agility training.  More information at Villalobos' website.


Through Nov. 8, learn the truth about spiders at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum's Spider Pavilion.  Visitors can enter a walk-through exhibit filled with nearly 100 arachnids of various species -- and it's just in time for Halloween!  Tickets are sold in half-hour intervals throughout the day and cost $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors, and $1 for children; museum members enter free.  More information and directions available at NHM.org.

Through Nov. 28, UC Riverside presents "Intelligent Design: Interspecies Art" at its Sweeney Art Gallery, which features works from 20 artists (most from California) that explore the lives and aesthetics of animals in unique ways.  One featured artist, Sam Easterson, shows video gathered when he attached minicams to creatures including armadillos, falcons, scorpions and sheep.  Another, Nina Katchadourian, explores our ideas of what constitutes a good-looking animal in "Continuum of Cute," for which she chose 100 images of animals which she ranked from uncute to very, very cute.  (Not for the faint of heart: Another artist, Carlee Fernandez, reworked taxidermied animals into shall-we-say-unorthodox pieces of luggage.)  "In the past, art dealing with animals usually addressed issues of representation," gallery director Tyler Stallings told The Times of the exhibition. "I wanted to expand beyond that."  More information at the Sweeney Art Gallery'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.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A kitten is bottle-fed as part of a foster care program.  Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

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Upcoming fundraiser event in Ventura, California at Rubio's for C.A.R.L.

You can help raise money for canine companions in need. Next C.A.R.L. fundraiser is on Sunday October 25, 2009. Rubios in Ventura, CA, from 5:00 to 8 p.m.

Rubios in Ventura on the Internet:

1788 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003-6782
(805) 642-2644

The Irvine Animal Care Center is holding an event at the Chaparosa Grill in the District on October 22nd called "Paws on the Patio". The event will be benefiting the Irvine Animal Care Center's Third Chance for Animals program that transfers animals from overcrowded shelters and gives them another chance to find a forever home. The program is funded by public donations so they need all the help they can get. They recently rescued 31 animals from the Pasadena Humane Society when it was overcrowded from fire evacuees. Please join us for dinner with your dog to help raise money for a good cause. Event details are below:

Paws on the Patio
Benefiting the Irvine Animal Care Center's Third Chance for Animal Program

Thursday, October 22nd 6pm-9pm

Chaparosa Grill - The District, 2449 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782

Tickets: $35 in advance / $40 at the door
• Buffet style dinner - salads, pasta (vegetarian), chicken, rice pilaf, bread, soft drinks
• Prizes for Best Dressed Dog & Best Costumed Dog
• Silent Auction & Raffle

Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to attend and must remain on the patio.

To purchase tickets, visit the Irvine Animal Care Center at 6443 Oak Canyon, Irvine, CA 92618 or download an order form online at http://www.IrvineShelter.org

Here is the link for the Rubio's flyer, so that Canine Adoption and Rescue League gets the fundraising credit. Please go to the website and print out the flyer and bring with you to the October 25, 2009 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. event. Thank you.

Reviewed links 10/13/09.


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