Upcoming events for animal lovers

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Whether you’re a cat lover, a dog lover or simply a fan of Halloween and the costumed chicanery it brings along with it, events right up your alley abound in the coming weeks. (Are we forgetting something? Let us know by leaving a comment!)

This Weekend:

Friday, Oct. 16, remember less fortunate kitties on National Feral Cat Day. Want to do more than that to help local feral cats? L.A.-based Kitten Rescue is holding a cat-food drive to help feral caregivers continue their important work at three area pet stores on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18, in honor of National Feral Cat Day. Any brand of dry or moist cat food is appreciated; for a list of participating pet stores, hours of participation and directions, check out Kitten Rescue’s website.

Saturday, Oct. 17, L.A.-based natural pet food company Dogswell holds its inaugural Homeward Hound Hike, a family-and-dog-friendly hike along Griffith Park’s scenic East & West Observatory Trails. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of Animals Foundation, a nonprofit, no-kill shelter here in L.A. Following the hike, participants are invited to a party with music, food and beverages (both for humans and for dogs) and raffle prizes. Adoptable dogs from the Friends of Animals Foundation will be on hand as well. Registration for the hike begins at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m. Cost is $20; more information and directions at Dogswell’s website.



Thursday, Oct. 22, the Irvine Animal Care Center holds its Paws on the Patio fundraiser at Tustin’s Chaparosa Grill restaurant, 2449 Park Avenue, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features a buffet-style dinner as well as a silent auction and raffle. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome (the event is on an outdoor patio, after all) -- and they can even win prizes if they dress up for the occasion. Cost is $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. Proceeds benefit the Irvine Animal Care Center’s Third Chance for Animals program. More information (and a printable form which must be mailed in for advance registration) available at the City of Irvine’s website. (Thanks to reader Emily for letting us know about this event!)

Saturday, Oct. 24, spcaLA hosts a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its South Bay Pet Adoption Center, 12910 Yukon Ave., Hawthorne. 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

Sunday, Oct. 25, support Ventura County’s Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) while eating your dinner. C.A.R.L. hosts a fundraising event at the Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill located at 1788 S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. When diners present a printable flier available on C.A.R.L.'s website, this Rubio’s location will donate 20% of the cost of their meal to the rescue group. (Thanks to reader Bill Solis for the heads-up!)

Saturday, Oct. 31, celebrate Halloween with the needy pets awaiting new homes at the South Los Angeles animal shelter, 3612 11th Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Halloween parade begins at noon and will include adoptable, costumed pets from the South L.A. shelter. Those fine folks who adopt a pet will receive a bonus -- a special picture of them with their new furry friend (not to mention free candy!). Visitors can enter a raffle to win Clippers tickets -- and just might get a chance to meet one of L.A.'s biggest celebrities, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Saturday, Oct. 31, join Much Love Animal Rescue for its 6th annual Bow Wow Ween fundraising event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Topanga Community Club, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. The main event at Bow Wow Ween is the always-enjoyable canine costume contest, where a panel of celebrity judges will award prizes (worth more than $3,000 in total) to the winners. The event also features vendors, games, kids’ activities and adoptable pets from a dozen local rescue groups. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door; children under 10 enter free. Entry to the costume contest is $25 per dog. More information at

Saturday, Oct. 31, Long Beach organization Haute Dogs hosts its annual Howl’oween Parade, billed as the world’s largest Halloween-themed event for dogs. The parade begins at Long Beach’s Livingston Park, 4900 E. Livingston Drive. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., participants will make a 6-block trek around Long Beach, ending up back at Livingston Park. The parade is expected to last about an hour and include an estimated 600 dressed-up dogs. Prizes will be awarded for the top 13 costume entries, and the event also features a kids’ costume contest, adoptable pets, animal-themed vendors and a bulldog kissing booth. To participate in the parade, register online ($15 per dog) or on the day of the event ($25 per dog). ‘Very Important Pooch’ entry, which allows your costumed dog to walk at the front of the parade, is also available -- online only -- for $35. Proceeds benefit local animal-related causes (last year’s event raised over $10,000 for a spay/neuter program). To register or for more information and directions, visit

Coming up in November and December, Villalobos Rescue Center offers a free 8-week training course for L.A. pit bulls and pit mixes at the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services’ North Central shelter. (Exact dates of the course to be determined.) The course covers basic commands like sit and stay and progresses to more advanced tricks and an introduction to agility training. More information at Villalobos’ website.


Through Nov. 8, learn the truth about spiders at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum’s Spider Pavilion. Visitors can enter a walk-through exhibit filled with nearly 100 arachnids of various species -- and it’s just in time for Halloween! Tickets are sold in half-hour intervals throughout the day and cost $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors, and $1 for children; museum members enter free. More information and directions available at

Through 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.

-- Lindsay Barnett