Animal lovers' calendar: Week of Aug. 9 to 15
Friends of animals -- be they dogs and cats, zoo animals or even sharks -- have much to look forward to in the coming weeks. Here's a selection of upcoming animal-friendly events. (Are we missing something? Let us know in the comment section!)
Saturday, Aug. 15, 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, Aug. 15, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. (GLAZA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences present a retrospective of the films of early film pioneer William Selig at the L.A. Zoo from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Two Selig-produced 1913 silent films -- "The Adventures of Kathlyn" and "Thor, Lord of the Jungles" -- will be screened, and the evening features "animal walkabouts," in which keepers stroll the zoo grounds with their small animal charges, giving attendees a chance to get up close and ask questions. Tickets are free, but reservations must be made in advance no later than Monday by calling (323) 644-6042.
Aug. 20, spcaLA hosts Dodgers Night. Animal-loving baseball fans can purchase discounted tickets to see the Dodgers take on the Chicago Cubs in an evening game beginning at 7:10 p.m. Proceeds from the event benefit the spcaLA's work on behalf of needy pets. More information at spcaLA.com.
Aug. 22, Much Love Animal Rescue holds its third annual Bow Wow Wow Howlywood fundraiser at the Lot in Hollywood from 7 to 11 p.m. Much Love bills the event as a fun night of comedy (featuring the likes of "Saturday Night Live" and "Will & Grace" alum Laura Kightlinger), food and drink (with a vegetarian buffet and cocktails) and a silent auction. The event also honors animal advocates Priscilla Presley, Jacob Fenton, Carole Raphaelle Davis and Carol Sax. Tickets are $200 per person or $1,800 per table of 10. VIP tickets are $300 and include a private cocktail hour to mingle with comedians and celebrities, VIP parking and gift bags. Tickets can be purchased at Much Love's website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 22, 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.
Aug. 26, Dr. Chugey Sepulveda offers a lecture on the shortfin mako and common thresher sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach from 7 to 9 p.m. The lecture will focus on the biology, ecology and recent movement studies of these two shark species. Sepulveda is laboratory director of the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research. Cost is $8, $4 for aquarium members and free for students with a valid student ID. Reservations aren't required but are encouraged, as the lecture may sell out. Students wishing to use their free entry must make an advance reservation by calling (562) 590-3100. More information at Aquarium of the Pacific's website.
Sept. 27, Dawg Squad Pet Rescue holds its annual Bowling for Collars event from 1 to 3 p.m. at the AMF Mar Vista Lanes, at 12125 Venice Blvd. in West L.A. The event is a fundraiser for the group's work on behalf of needy dogs, with proceeds going toward food, medical care and rehabilitation costs. Tickets are $25 for an individual bowler or $100 for a bowling lane, which includes shoe rental and two games each for up to 5 bowlers. More information and tickets available at Dawg Squad's website.
It's Shark Summer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, and to celebrate, the aquarium is extending its hours and offering visitors a discount on Sunday evenings. Sundays through Sept. 6, admission fees will be reduced to $11.95 beginning at 5 p.m., and visitors can hang out with the sharks (as well as the aquarium's other sea life) until 10 p.m. More information on Shark Summer events at Aquarium of the Pacific's website.
"The Cove" tells the horrific story of wild dolphins that are systematically rounded up and slaughtered in a tranquil Japanese port village. "Unlike their larger cetacean brethren whales, dolphins are not protected by the worldwide ban on commercial whaling that has been in effect since the 1980s," our colleague Rachel Abramowitz explains -- and because the dolphins aren't protected, they're seen as fair game for fishermen, who round them up for sale to marine parks around the world. The dolphins that aren't sold have an even worse fate; they're butchered for food. Times film critic Kenneth Turan calls it "a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking," but be forewarned: It's extremely graphic. Check Zap2It for theaters and show times.
"Food, Inc." is the new documentary from producer-director Robert Kenner. It examines the way food gets from the farm to the plate and, critic Gary Goldstein writes, "after [its] disturbing glimpses inside the meat industry, along with its blunt indictment of fast-food giants, you'll think twice before eating just about anything nonorganic." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls it "an essential, indelible documentary that is scarier than anything in the last five 'Saw' horror shows." Check Zap2It for theaters and showtimes.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: A 3-week-old orphaned kitten is fed with a small bottle; kittens that come to shelters without mothers at such a young age require lots of TLC from a foster "parent." In Southern California, both spcaLA and the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services offer programs that teach members of the public to care for orphaned kittens and puppies until they reach adoptable age. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times