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Animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of March 13-14 and beyond

March 12, 2010 |  8:02 pm

Dogread

There are a whole host of events designed with animal lovers and pets in mind happening in Southern California in the coming weeks. We've got the details on a number of them, from mobile pet-adoption events to a St. Patrick's Day party for dogs! (Don't worry; people are invited, too.) If you think we're missing something, let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting the details to us @LATunleashed.

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.

Saturday, March 13, the L.A. Department of Animal Services holds mobile pet-adoption events in Rancho Palos Verdes at Fred Hesse Jr. Memorial Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; in West Hills at Sunrise Senior Living Community, 9012 Topanga Canyon Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and in West Hollywood at AHF Pharmacy, 8212 Santa Monica Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. See photos of adoptable pets at LAAnimalServices.com.

Saturday, March 13, the Four-Legged Friends Foundation hosts its first St. Patrick's Day block party for dogs and their people in Culver City on the 11800 block of Teale Street. The block party is a fundraiser for the group and includes a "Pinups for Pups" fashion show, a dog costume contest, pet-themed vendors and animal-loving celebrity guests including host Debra Skelton (MADtv). Cost is $25 and includes the price of admission for your leashed, well-behaved dog. For $50, you and your dog can have access not just to the block party but also to a private VIP party in the adjacent Zoom Room agility training center. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit FLFF.org.

Sunday, March 14, the city of Beverly Hills hosts "Woodstock 90210," a community event for people and pets, at Roxbury Park, 471 S. Roxbury Drive, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event features a pet parade, agility and disc-catching dog demonstrations, adoptable pets, animal-themed vendors and more. Pet parade begins at 1 p.m. Event is free, but participation in the pet parade is $5 per dog. Actor/natural dog food mogul Dick Van Patten and his dogs will pose for photos with event guests. Free parking is available at nearby Beverly Hills High School, with pet-friendly shuttle service to Roxbury Park. More information at BeverlyHills.org.

Saturday, March 20, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica 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.

Sunday, March 21, the California Wildlife Center, which rescues and rehabilitates orphaned and injured wild animals in the L.A. area, invites the public to an open house event at its Calabasas facility, 26026 Piuma Road. Guests can meet CWC staff and ask questions about wildlife, take a guided tour of the facility and see some of the animals being cared for there. Event is free; refreshments will be served and children are welcome. Arts and crafts projects and face-painting will be available for youngsters. More information at CaliforniaWildlifeCenter.org; to RSVP, e-mail admin@californiawildlifecenter.org or call (818) 222-2658.

Friday-Sunday, March 26-28, the Pasadena Humane Society hosts "The Well-Adjusted Cat and Dog Workshops" at its shelter facility, 361 S. Raymond Ave. The workshops' featured speaker is Dr. Nicolas Dodman, author and director of Tufts University's Animal Behavior Clinic. Dodman will cover issues including 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.

Saturday-Sunday, March 27-28, country aficionados can remember music legend Buck Owens and help homeless pets at the same time at the fourth annual Buckfest. The event, held at the Cowboy Palace Saloon, 21635 Devonshire St., Chatsworth, begins at 6 p.m. and continues until closing time both Saturday and Sunday. Numerous local country bands will perform; all proceeds go to the needy animals at Owens' favorite charity, the Bakersfield SPCA. Admission is free; event also features raffle prizes and giveaways (and a barbeque for carnivores so inclined). Directions at CowboyPalace.com.

Saturday, March 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.

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:

Saturday, April 3, the American Humane Assn. asks pet owners to remember the importance of tagging and microchipping companion animals. The organization is hosting "Every Day Is Tag Day" to increase awareness about this issue. Only 15%of dogs and 2% of cats that enter U.S. animal shelters and humane societies without an identification tag or microchip are reunited with their owners, according to American Humane. Not only is that statistic scary, it's also completely preventable. Learn more about pet identification and what to do if your pet gets lost at AmericanHumane.org.

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

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will open its newly restored 1913 Building with a brand-new "Age of Mammals" exhibition beginning July 11. The exhibition traces the history of evolution "from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the rise of humans -- within the context of epochal changes in the Earth's geology and climate," John Harris, the Natural History Museum's head of vertebrate studies and chief curator of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, told our sister blog Culture Monster. Visitors will get to see specimens like the Simi Valley mastodon, a saber-toothed cat and a brontothere (a species with possibly the most rock 'n' roll-sounding scientific name: "thunder beast"). 

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: Students at a Pennsylvania elementary school read to Buster, a golden retriever mix, in 2003. SpcaLA hosts several opportunities for kids to practice their reading skills by reading to certified therapy dogs this month. Credit: Douglas Bovitt / Associated Press

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