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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Jan. 23-24 and beyond

Reading to a dog

The coming weeks and months are full of events sure to appeal to Southern California animal lovers.  We've got the details on a number of activities, from adoption events to animal-friendly art, amorous zoo animals to migrating whales.  (Are we forgetting something?  Let us know by leaving a comment.)

This Weekend:

Saturday, Jan. 23, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds a mobile adoption event at the Torrance PetSmart location, 3855-59 Sepulveda Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 23, spcaLA hosts PAWS to Read at the Redondo Beach Public Library, 303 N. Pacific Coast Highway, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Through the PAWS to Read program, children practice their reading skills by reading to a decidedly non-judgmental audience: certified therapy dogs. Participation is free; sign-up begins at 9 a.m. at the Children's Information Desk. More information at spcaLA.com.

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 23-24, the Go Green Expo at the L.A. Convention Center features a variety of pet-focused exhibits, training demonstrations and guest appearances from animal-friendly celebrities including actress/dog rescuer Linda Blair and the stars of several Animal Planet programs.  Pets must stay at home for this event; admission for people is $10 for a weekend pass.  More information and a full schedule of events at GoGreenExpo.com.

Sunday, Jan. 24, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds a mobile adoption event at the Encino Farmers Market, 17400 Victory Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 24, San Pedro's Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the L.A.-based chapter of the American Cetacean Society host their annual "Whale Fiesta" (now those are two words we never expected to see in the same phrase) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Whale Fiesta celebrates the beginning of Southern California's whale-watching season and the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale. Activities include making a life-sized sand sculpture of a blue whale, a duct tape whale-sculpture contest and guest lectures about marine mammals. Event is free; more information at our sister blog, Outposts, and at CabrilloMarineAquarium.org.


Thursday, Jan. 28, pet expert and radio host Warren Eckstein will appear at Westwood's pet-friendly Hotel Palomar, 10740 Wilshire Blvd., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eckstein will answer questions about pet training and behavior, and refreshments will be served.  Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Dogs are welcome. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Eckstein's website.

Saturday, Jan. 30, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village and Education Center, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach. 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, Jan. 30, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds a mobile adoption event at the West Hollywood Petco location, 508 N. Doheny Dr., from 1 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 6, join the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) for the seventh annual CARe Show, an exhibition of vintage and classic cars with proceeds benefiting the group's work on behalf of needy animals.  The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion, and also features a live band, food from Ruby's Diner, a disc dog demonstration, prize drawings and more.  Guest admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children aged 11 to 17 and free for children aged 10 or younger.  For more information or to learn how to exhibit your own car at the event, visit CARE's website.

Sunday, Feb. 14, the Los Angeles Zoo hosts "Sex and the City Zoo," a Valentine's Day-themed event for animal lovers, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., docents will offer guided tours of the zoo's most beloved animal couples. A chocolate, champagne and wine reception begins at 3:30, followed by a presentation by Michael Dee, former general curator of the zoo, on the love lives of animals. Tickets are $35 for the general public and $25 for zoo members.  Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve tickets online, visit LAZoo.org.

Saturday, Feb. 20, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Specialty Spay/Neuter Center, 5026 W. Jefferson Blvd. 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). In honor of Spay Day U.S.A., goodie bags will be available during the clinic while supplies last. More information at spcaLA.com.

Tuesday, Feb. 23 is the 16th annual Spay Day U.S.A.; events to encourage spaying and neutering of companion animals will be held across the country throughout the month of February to celebrate. To find events near you or to volunteer your services, visit HumaneSociety.org.


Through Feb. 5, L.A. art gallery Thinkspace plays host to the group exhibit "A Cry For Help," which features more than 100 artists' animal-themed works. According to our sister blog Brand X, Thinkspace "encouraged each artist to weave animal imagery into their work with the aspiration of filling the Silver Lake gallery like a cabinet of natural curiosities." The best part: 20% of proceeds will be donated to Born Free USA and the Animal Protection Institute. More information at the gallery's website.

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 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 taken 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 off at Buffalo Exchange; mailing information is available at HSUS.org.) More information at BuffaloExchange.com.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Two young students read to a mixed-breed dog named Kimo.  Credit: Los Angeles Times 

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Saturday, Feb. 6, the 2nd Annual Dr. Joe Cortese Memorial Motorcycle Poker Run — remembering the popular local vet and Rotarian known as “Dr. Fleas” — takes place to benefit Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE). Register from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Mission Motorsports, 1 Doppler, Irvine, then ride to the 7th Annual CARe Show fund-raiser at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center/Sports Park. There will be cash prizes. The cost is $30 for rider, $20 for passenger by Jan. 29; after Jan. 29 or at the gate, $35 and $25 (includes Show admission, lunch). For more information, visit www.capoanimalrescue.com.


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