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Southern California animal lovers' calendar: Weekend of Nov. 20-21 and beyond

November 19, 2010 |  7:33 pm

Whether you want to adopt a pet, celebrate Thanksgiving with rescued animals or just chow down on cupcakes for a good cause, the coming days and weeks are full of fun opportunities to help animals. Think we're forgetting something? Leave a comment on this post or send us a tweet @LATunleashed.

This Weekend:

Saturday, Nov. 20, Animal Acres hosts its annual Thankful Turkeys celebration, where guests can feed turkeys for Thanksgiving instead of eating them (and indulge in a guilt-free catered vegan meal themselves). Festivities start at noon with sanctuary tours, during which visitors can interact with Animal Acres' rescued farm-animal residents. Turkey-feeding ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m., followed by a vegan Thanksgiving feast for humans catered by One World Vegetarian Cuisine. Author Rory Freedman is the event's guest speaker. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit AnimalAcres.org.

Saturday, Nov. 20, Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific offers an informative session on the North Pacific for budding marine biologists ages 10 to 12 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Kids will get a chance to touch animals in the aquarium's private classroom touch pools, find out just how large elephant seals can grow, help feed sea otters and more. Cost is $24 per child, $19 for aquarium members (cost does not include aquarium admission). More information at the aquarium's website.

Saturday, Nov. 20, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts a mobile pet-adoption event at downtown pet store Pussy & Pooch, 564 S. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. See photos of adoptable pets at LAAnimalServices.com.

Saturday, Nov. 20, feel good about eating cupcakes at Cupcake Camp L.A. -- described by The Times' food blog Daily Dish as "[p]art fund-raiser, part bake-off and mostly just a really good excuse to eat cupcakes" -- at the Music Box Theater, 6126 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, from noon to 5 p.m. Proceeds from the event will be divided between two animal-related nonprofits, Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue and American Tortoise Rescue, and InvisiblePeople.tv, an organization that helps homeless people access support services through social media. Event includes a cupcake-decorating area for kids, a college-football viewing area for sports fans -- and vegans, don't worry, there will be cupcakes for you, too. General admission tickets are $15; kids 5 and under enter for $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit CupcakeCampLA.BakeSpace.com.

Sunday, Nov. 21, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts mobile pet-adoption events at the Redondo Beach Petco location, 537 N. Pacific Coast Highway, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and at Moorpark Park, 12061 Moorpark Ave. in Studio City, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Throughout November:

Petfinder has declared November "Adopt A Senior Pet Month," and with older pets among the least likely to be adopted from shelters, it's a worthy cause indeed. To learn more, visit Petfinder.com.

Snack lovers can help needy dogs by purchasing chocolate! Handcrafted vegan, kosher candy company Rescue Chocolate will donate 100% of its profits during the month of November to Pit Bull Rescue Central. Better still: Each candy bar flavor has special packaging that highlights an issue facing companion animals (example: "Peanut Butter Pit Bull" aims to tackle "bully breed" stereotypes, and "Foster-riffic Peppermint" touts the need for foster homes to help rescue pets). Other charities that have benefited from Rescue Chocolate's delicious generosity include United Animal Nations, Philadelphia PAWS and the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti. Eat up! More information at RescueChocolate.com.

Upcoming:

Thursday, Dec. 2, Orange County-based film company Change For Balance Productions hosts a free screening of its award-winning documentary "Equine Destiny" at the Huntington Beach Library and Cultural Center, 7111 Talbert Ave., at 7 p.m. The documentary examines the issues of horse neglect and abuse and the alarming rate at which American horses are slaughtered for human consumption. Advance RSVP is required no later than Thursday, Nov. 18. To RSVP, call (714) 848-6565; for more information about the documentary, visit EquineDestiny.com.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5, Emma's Arc offers a two-day seminar on connecting with animals through the practice of reiki. Class takes place at Emma's Arc's Sherman Oaks location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and at Animal Acres' Acton sanctuary from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Students will learn the basics of reiki and how to apply reiki techniques to help animals. Cost is $250, with 20% of proceeds donated to Animal Acres; registration includes admission to a meet-and-greet session with farm animals at Animal Acres and membership to the organization. For more information or to register, visit EmmasArc.com.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5, head to the Long Beach Convention Center for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show, where thousands of dogs will compete in conformation, obedience and agility events. For more information, a schedule of events or to purchase tickets, visit AKC.org. (Hat tip to reader Karen Smith for letting us know about this event!)

Saturday, Dec. 4, Riverside's Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center (formerly known as the Riverside Humane Society) hosts a holiday event and pet portrait session with Santa Claus at its shelter facility, 6165 Industrial Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes a low-cost vaccination and microchipping clinic for dogs and cats (clinic ends at noon); crafts and goodie bags for kids; free dog behavior consulations with a trainer; an opportunity for dogs to test their skills on an agility course; refreshments; and more. Photo keepsakes and photo ornaments are available for purchase at $5 each; 5x7 framed photos are $10; and CDs with five poses are $15. Pets must be leashed or in carriers. More information at the adoption center's website.

Saturday, Dec. 4, Compassion Over Killing offers a vegan cooking demonstration with a focus on holiday recipes at Arjay Plaza, 23215 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance, from noon to 2 p.m. The event includes demonstrations, recipes, food samples and a goodie bag filled with coupons and product samples. Featured dishes include pumpkin risotto with crispy seitan and cranberry-orange truffles. Cost is $20 and advance registration is recommended. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Compassion Over Killing's website.

Sunday, Dec. 5, The City Club on Bunker Hill, 333 South Grand Ave. in downtown L.A., plays host to a fundraising event for a new documentary, "Lost Dogs," from 5 to 9 p.m. "Lost Dogs" follows the street dogs of Chile (remember the heroic stray caught on video pulling his wounded companion out of traffic a few years back?) and the rescuers who work diligently to save them. This event includes a sneak preview of the film; an appearance by its director/producer, Vanessa Schulz; hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar; and a guest appearance by spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein. More information at spcaLA.com.

Sunday, Dec. 12, Canine Companions for Independence hosts a free open house event at its L.A. office,  2312 Westwood Blvd., from 1 to 4 p.m. The organization has paired highly trained service dogs with people affected by hearing problems, physical disabilities, and cognitive and developmental disabilities since 1975. At the open house, visitors can see assistance-dog demonstrations, meet local human-canine teams and learn more about the organization's work. Potential applicants for the program, those who serve people with disabilities in a professional capacity, those interested in volunteering with the organization and anyone interested in learning more are encouraged to attend. Guests are encouraged to RSVP to Karen Nguyen at (310) 446-5700 by Dec. 10.

Ongoing:

The L.A. Department of Animal Services offers low-cost vaccination, microchipping and licensing clinics every first Thursday at its Harbor animal shelter; every second Thursday at its North Central animal shelter; every third Thursday at its South L.A. animal shelter; and every fourth Thursday at its East Valley animal shelter. All clinics begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at 6:30 p.m. More information and pricing in PDF format at the department's website.

Through December, Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific will host Shark Lagoon Nights, in which its famous shark exhibit will remain open until 9 p.m. on most Fridays. Visitors will have the chance to touch bamboo sharks and see larger sharks and rays up close. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the aquarium's website.

Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Volunteers for the Burbank Animal Shelter host a mobile pet-adoption event at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, 1505 W. Olive Ave. in Burbank. See photos of adoptable dogs and cats at the Burbank Animal Shelter's website.

Every Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Dawg Squad Animal Rescue hosts a mobile dog-adoption event at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, 7600 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester. See photos of adoptable pets at DawgSquad.org.

Every Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., Kinder 4 Rescue hosts a mobile dog-adoption event at Book Star, 12136 Ventura Blvd. (just west of Laurel Canyon) in Studio City. See photos of adoptable pets at the group's Petfinder page.

Every Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Forte Animal Rescue hosts a mobile dog-adoption event at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, 3860 S. Centinela Ave. See photos of adoptable pets at the group's AdoptAPet.com page.

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. Participation is free; sign-up begins at 9 a.m. at the Children's Information Desk. More information at spcaLA.com.

Every Sunday, Animal Acres offers hourlong guided tours of its Acton facility at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors can meet Animal Acres' resident cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens and other animals and learn about the sanctuary's work. Cost is $5 per person over age 3. More information at AnimalAcres.org.

Every Sunday, the Gentle Barn invites the public to visit the rescued horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, llamas, sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens and other animals that call its Santa Clarita sanctuary home. The rescue farm is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except in case of rain), and guests are welcome to bring a meat-free picnic lunch. A $5 donation per guest is requested. More information and directions at GentleBarn.org.

Every second Sunday, Evidence of Love Animal Care hosts a mobile pet-adoption event at the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Recreation Center, 14201 Huston St., Sherman Oaks, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 130 dogs and cats from area animal shelters and rescue groups come out to meet potential adopters -- oh, and there's a gourmet food truck, too. More information at EvidenceOfLove.org.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Video: Animal Acres' Thanksgiving 2006 celebration. Credit: TheAnimaltarian via YouTube

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