Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Nov. 7-8 and beyond
Whether you're looking to adopt a pet, help animals in need or just gawk at some neat-looking spiders, the coming days and weeks are full of events for animal enthusiasts. (Are we forgetting something? Let us know by leaving a comment.)
Saturday, Nov. 7, 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, Nov. 7, L.A.-based pet rescue group the Brittany Foundation hosts its "A Day in Their Paws" event. During the event, volunteers will spend a 24-hour period living alongside a rescue dog at the group's Agua Dulce sanctuary, located at Anthony Road and Sierra Highway. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., guests can join these volunteers at an open house where they can meet adoptable pets, participate in a raffle and silent auction and enjoy refreshments from Margo's Bark. (Guests can also sponsor a volunteer's freedom from the kennel facility -- read: bathroom breaks -- at a rate of $1 per minute, with proceeds benefiting the Brittany Foundation's work on behalf of homeless animals.) More information at the Brittany Foundation's website.
Through Sunday, Nov. 8, learn the truth about spiders at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum's Spider Pavilion, where visitors can enter a walk-through exhibit filled with nearly 100 arachnids of various species. 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.
Saturday, Nov. 14, join VPI Pet Insurance and approximately 500 other L.A. and Orange County pet owners for the third annual K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk. Pet owners and their dogs will walk a scenic course just shy of two miles long around Long Beach's Shoreline Village Lighthouse Peninsula to raise funds for the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF). Cost is $30; check-in at Catalina Landing begins at 9 a.m., with the walk starting at 10. For more information or to register, head to PetInsurance.com.
Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 14-15, the South Coast Jack Russell Terrier Club hosts its Fun Days event at Orange County's Canyon RV Park/Featherly Regional Park. All terriers (not just Jack Russells) are invited to participate in just-for-fun competitions including going-to-ground, lure coursing and races over both flat ground and hurdles. Setup begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, with competition to start at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to bring an item to share at a potluck lunch to be held at noon both days. Prizes for fastest terrier and most improved will be awarded. Entry fee is $10. For more information, directions and a schedule of events, visit the South Coast Jack Russell Terrier Club's website.
Saturday, Nov. 14 through Earth Day (April 22, 2010), secondhand-clothing store chain Buffalo Exchange and the Humane Society of the United States jointly host "Coats for Cubs." Animal lovers are encouraged to clean out their closets (or parents' and grandparents' closets) and donate any tacky real-fur items found there (including fur trim, accessories and shearling) back to the animals. Of course, it's too late to give the fur back to its original owner, but it can still be used as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife -- and it doesn't do your conscience any harm, either. Fur in any condition is accepted and can be brought to any Buffalo Exchange location. (If you'd like to claim your fur donation as a tax deduction, you'll need to mail it directly to the Humane Society rather than dropping it at Buffalo Exchange; mailing information is available at HSUS.org.) More information available at BuffaloExchange.com.
Sunday, Nov. 15, Best Friends Animal Society hosts its annual fall super-adoption event at the La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Meet adoptable animals from area shelters and rescue groups, shop for pet merchandise at vendor booths, snack at the food court and see agility demonstrations -- and if you're feeling generous, bring some unopened pet food to drop in a donation bin for L.A.'s needy pets! More information at BestFriendsEvents.net.
Saturday, Dec. 5, Kitten Rescue holds its second annual "Fur Ball at the Skirball" fundraising event from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd. The event, hosted by "The Office" star Jenna Fischer, features hors d'oevres, cocktails and dinner, live entertainment, a silent auction, a raffle and more. Tickets will set you back $125 each; an "Angel Table" with seating for 10 is $1,250. All proceeds benefit Kitten Rescue's work on behalf of needy cats and kittens in Southern California. More information at KittenRescue.org.
Coming up in November and December, Villalobos Rescue Center offers a free eight-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. 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.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: A neonate puppy is bottle-fed by a volunteer. Credit: Los Angeles Times