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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Feb. 27-28 and beyond

February 26, 2010 |  8:19 pm

Brownies

The weekend ahead is chock-full of animal-centric events, whether you want to attend a beauty pageant for dogs (and who wouldn't?), listen to live music while supporting a good cause or simply eat some delicious snacks. We've got the details on those and a number of other events in the coming weeks and months. (Are we forgetting something? Let us know by leaving a comment.)

Saturday, Feb. 27, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts a free spay/neuter event for low-income pet owners (total annual household income not to exceed $31,700) at its North Central shelter, 3201 Lacy St. in Los Angeles (off the 5 Freeway in Lincoln Heights). Vaccinations are included with spay or neuter surgery; reservations are required and can be made by calling (888) FIX-PETT.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 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 nonjudgmental 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, Feb. 27, local rescue group The Mutt Scouts holds a bake sale to benefit its work on behalf of homeless dogs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ("or until we run out," event organizers note) at the Home Ec crafting supplies store, 3815 W. Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.

Saturday, Feb. 27, North Hollywood music venue Kulak's Woodshed hosts a concert to raise funds for Operation Blankets of Love from 8 to 10 p.m. Singer-songwriter Julie Chadwick and other guests will perform. A $10 donation is requested; raffle prizes will be offered and handcrafted items will be available for purchase. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Sunday, Feb. 28, Haute Dogs hosts its annual Bulldog Beauty Contest from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Marketplace, at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and 2nd Street in Long Beach. Bulldogs aren't the only pets that can get in on the act, though; the pageant also features contests to choose the most beautiful senior dog (over 10 years of age), pug and French bulldog. For more information or to enter your pet, visit HauteDogs.org.

Sunday, Feb. 28, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin performs a program of music by composers including Mozart, Gershwin, Sondheim,  Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo and Israeli composer Noam Sivan, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind. The center offers trained leader dogs at no cost to vision-impaired Israelis and operates largely through charitable donations. Rubin, who is blind and has her own leader dog, explained that "as someone who knows the incredible benefits of a guide dog, there is no worthier cause to be supporting." The concert begins at 7:30 at the Colburn School of Music's Zipper Concert Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave. in downtown L.A. Tickets are $50, $20 for students, and can be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Upcoming:

Thursday, March 4, the Voice for the Animals Foundation hosts an evening of stand-up comedy, music, food and drinks featuring animal-friendly comedian-actress Lily Tomlin at The Comedy Store, 8433 W. Sunset Blvd. The event honors actor Dick Van Patten, who founded the Natural Balance pet food company; Paul Jolly, executive director of the PETCO Foundation; and the city of West Hollywood. A reception and silent auction begin at 6 p.m.; show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150, with discounts available for parties of 10 or more; VIP tables are also available (but one will set you back $6,000). For more information or to purchase tickets, visit VFTAFoundation.org.

Thursday, March 4, animal-loving Twitter devotees are invited to a "tweetup" at the Hotel Maya's Fuego Restaurant, 700 Queensway Drive in Long Beach, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for spcaLA's work on behalf of needy Southern California pets, and guests are encouraged to bring a bag of dog food to donate to the organization's shelters. (Two businesses have offered to match all dog food donations, meaning each bag of food brought by a guest translates to three bags of food for shelter pets that urgently need it. That's a great deal for a worthy organization that recently came perilously close to running out of food.) A free sangria toast will kick off the event and happy-hour pricing will be offered on food and drinks. The event features a silent auction, prize drawings and complimentary gift bags for all attendees. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome. More information at spcaLA.com.

Saturday, March 6, 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, March 13, spcaLA hosts PAWS to Read at the Hermosa Beach Library, 550 Pier Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Beginning and independent young readers up to age 12 are eligible to participate; the program is free, but advance registration is recommended. More information at spcaLA.com.

Friday-Sunday, March 26-28, the Pasadena Humane Society hosts "The Well-Adjusted Cat and Dog Workshops" at its shelter facility, 361 South Raymond Ave. The workshops' featured speaker is Dr. Nicolas Dodman, author and director of Tufts University's Animal Behavior Clinic. Dodman will cover issues ranging from phobias in dogs and cats, feline medical problems that may be mistaken for behavioral issues, strategies for dealing with litter box and furniture-scratching issues in cats and dominance issues in dogs. The workshops' three days will be divided into one daylong cat-behavior workshop and a two-day dog-behavior workshop. More information and registration at ThePetDocs.com.

SpcaLA is taking reservations for its two weeklong "Friends For Life" spring day camps for children ages 9 to 12. Campers will learn about pet care and develop animal training skills by participating in obedience and agility classes with spcaLA's adoptable dogs. Guest speakers, training demonstrations and animal-related games and crafts are also on the schedule. First session runs from March 29 through April 2 at the organization's South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne; second session runs from April 5 through April 9 at the South Bay Pet Adoption Center. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Cost is $250 per child; for more information or to register, visit spcaLA.com.

Mark Your Calendar:

Friday-Sunday, April 16-18, America's Family Pet Expo returns to the Orange County Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. The event features informational displays on dog breeds, adoptable animals, pet-themed vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides and demonstrations of activities ranging from dog grooming to K-9 police dog work to dock-diving dogs. Tickets are $12, $10 for people over age 60, $6 for children aged 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. More information at PetExpoOC.com.

Sunday, April 18, local rescue group New Leash on Life presents its fifth annual Nuts for Mutts 5K walk-a-thon in conjunction with the Calabasas Rotary Club and the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center. The walk-a-thon is a fundraiser for New Leash on Life's work on behalf of needy pets in the L.A. area and includes pet-themed exhibits, children's activities, a canine fashion show, a dog training clinic and more animal-related activities. The walk begins at 8 a.m. at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, and continues through the hills of Calabasas. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are welcome to participate. For more information or to register, visit NewLeash.org.

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.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo: Brownies ... need we say more? Rescue group The Mutt Scouts hosts a bake sale Saturday to raise funds for homeless animals. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times

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