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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Jan. 9-10 and beyond

Kittens

Whether you want to adopt a homeless pet, work with zoo animals or simply take in a hockey game while supporting a good cause, the coming weeks are full of things to keep Southern California animal lovers busy. (Are we forgetting something?  Let us know by leaving a comment.)

This Weekend:

Saturday, Jan. 9, local rescue organization 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, Jan. 9, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds mobile pet-adoption events at downtown pet store Pussy & Pooch, 564 S. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; at Fred Hesse Jr. Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and at AHF Pharmacy in West Hollywood, 8212 Santa Monica Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. See photos of adoptable pets at the department's website.

Sunday, Jan. 10, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. holds an informational meeting for potential High School Student Volunteers from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the zoo's Witherbee Auditorium.  Students entering grades nine, 10 or 11 in the fall are eligible to participate in this program, which includes a 13-week training course.  High School Student Volunteers must commit to 60 hours of volunteer work per year for two years. Applicants are required to attend the Jan. 10 meeting, which includes a presentation, group activities and interviews. A parent or guardian is encouraged to attend the meeting's morning session. Free parking is available, and reservations are not required. More information is available at the zoo's website or by calling (323) 644-4702 or e-mailing docents@lazoo.org.

Upcoming:

Thursday, Jan. 14, spcaLA hosts its ninth annual spcaLA Night with the Kings, when the group's supporters will attend a Los Angeles Kings hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks at L.A.'s Staples Center. A portion of ticket sales made through spcaLA's website will benefit its shelter operations, and a silent auction will be held during the game, with all proceeds benefiting spcaLA. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit spcaLA.com.

Friday-Monday, Jan. 15-18, the San Diego Zoo hosts Koalapalooza, its celebration of Australian animals including koalas (naturally), kangaroos and kookaburras. Activities include "Aussie Outback" tours, demonstrations from zoo researchers and veterinarians, opportunities to meet Australian animals, live music and face painting. Plus, you can enter the zoo's contest to choose a name for its youngest koala!  More information at the zoo's website.

Saturday, Jan. 16, 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.

Sunday, Jan. 17, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts mobile adoption events at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies' Rancho Palos Verdes location, 28901 Western Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and at Studio City's Moorpark Park, 12061 Moorpark St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.

Ongoing:

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.

Every fourth Saturday, 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. every fourth Saturday at the Children's Information Desk. More information at spcaLA.com.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A foster pet "parent" plays with two of her charges.  Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

 
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