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Animal lovers' calendar: End of November and beyond

November 25, 2009 |  5:25 pm


The holiday season is upon us, and what better way is there to celebrate than by helping animals in need?  We've got the details on a number of events in the coming days and weeks; let us know if we're missing something by leaving a comment!

Friday, Nov. 27, local pet-rescue group New Leash on Life, facing a possible closure of its Santa Clarita Valley sanctuary due to a shortage of funds, hosts an online auction to raise a portion of the funds necessary to keep the sanctuary open. Items up for auction include a four-day stay in a $6,000-per-night Mexican villa. More information at NLOL.org.

Friday, Nov. 27 has been named Fur-Free Friday by the animal-rights activists at In Defense of Animals.  Timed to coincide with Black Friday shopping, In Defense of Animals is hosting a number of events around the nation (with several others planned in Canada, Germany and Spain) to draw attention to the plight of animals killed for their fur. Locally, the group plans to demonstrate on Rodeo Drive, with an anti-fur march scheduled to begin at the corner of Rodeo and Santa Monica Boulevard at 11 a.m. More information at FurFreeFridayIDA.com.

Daily through Saturday, Nov. 28, UC Riverside presents "Intelligent Design: Interspecies Art" at its Sweeney Art Gallery, which features works from 20 artists (most from California) that explore the lives and aesthetics of animals in unique ways.  One featured artist, Sam Easterson, shows video gathered when he attached minicams to creatures including armadillos, falcons, scorpions and sheep.  Another, Nina Katchadourian, explores our ideas of what constitutes a good-looking animal in "Continuum of Cute," for which she chose 100 images of animals which she ranked from uncute to very, very cute.  (Not for the faint of heart: Another artist, Carlee Fernandez, reworked taxidermied animals into shall-we-say-unorthodox pieces of luggage.)  "In the past, art dealing with animals usually addressed issues of representation," gallery director Tyler Stallings told The Times of the exhibition. "I wanted to expand beyond that."  More information at the Sweeney Art Gallery's website.


Wednesday, Dec. 2, comedian Carla Collins hosts "Shih-Tzus and Giggles," a night of stand-up to benefit the Bark Avenue Foundation's rescue, spay/neuter and community education programs, at the Hollywood Improv theater. Beyond comedy, the event features a raffle, an auction and drink specials. Cost is $25; event begins at 7 p.m. More information at BarkAvenueFoundation.com; advance tickets available at the Hollywood Improv's website.

Saturday, Dec. 5, 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, Dec. 5, Laguna Beach's Neighborhood Congregational Church hosts its 15th annual Festival and Blessing of the Animals from 1 to 4 p.m.  This free event, at 340 St. Ann's Drive in Laguna Beach, includes a blessing of the animals ceremony led by Rev. B. J. Beu, pet-themed vendors and information on Orange County animal-related charities.  The event is free; attendees are encouraged to bring donations of pet food to be distributed to pet-owning homeless families in Orange County. 

Saturday, Dec. 5, Kitten Rescue holds its second annual "Fur Ball at the Skirball" fundraising event from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 North Sepulveda Blvd.  The event, hosted by "The Office" star Jenna Fischer, features hors d'oevres, cocktails and dinner, live entertainment, a silent auction, a raffle and more.  Tickets will set you back $125 each; an "Angel Table" with seating for 10 is $1,250.  All proceeds benefit Kitten Rescue's work on behalf of needy cats and kittens in Southern California.  More information at KittenRescue.org.

Sunday, Dec. 6, the Irvine Animal Care Center hosts its "Home for the Holidays" adoption event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its 5-acre shelter facility at 6443 Oak Canyon in Irvine.  Over 500 adoptable pets -- each of which has already been spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and had his or her health evaluated by a veterinarian -- will be on hand to meet potential new owners.  The event also features pet-themed vendors, a raffle, a silent auction, a bake sale, "Ask a Vet" and "Ask a Trainer" booths and an appearance by Santa Claus (who will be available for photo ops).  Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.  More information at IrvineShelter.org.

Sunday, Dec. 6, L.A.-based jewelry company Art of War Designs hosts its combination holiday-party-and-fundraiser, with a percentage of all jewelry sales from the evening benefiting Villalobos Rescue Center, a pit bull rescue and training organization in Southern California.  From 6 to 10 p.m., join Art of War for music, cocktails and jewelry-shopping (designs are made from recycled bullet casings; get it?) at the Alibi Room, 12236 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.  More information at Art of War's website.


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 tacky 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 brought 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 at Buffalo Exchange; mailing information is available at HSUS.org.)  More information at BuffaloExchange.com.

Every first and third Sunday, meet adoptable pets from the Los Angeles Dept. of Animal Services shelters -- without having to set foot in a shelter -- at the department's mobile pet adoption event at Moorpark Park, 12061 Moorpark Ave. in Studio City.  The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Every second Saturday and third Sunday, the L.A. Dept. of Animal Services hosts a mobile pet adoption event at West Hollywood's Petco, 508 N. Doheny Drive, from 1 to 5 p.m.  Every third Sunday, the L.A. Dept. of Animal Services hosts a mobile pet adoption event at downtown pet store Pussy & Pooch, 564 S. Main St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Maddock, a shepherd/collie mix, visits with residents of New Horizons, a center for adults with developmental disabilities, as part of New Leash on Life's Lend a Paw program.  New Leash on Life may be forced to close its 13-acre sanctuary due to financial problems; it hosts an online auction Friday to raise much-needed funds.  Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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