Southern California animal lovers’ calendar: Weekend of Sept. 18-19 and beyond


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If you want to adopt a pet, help worthy animal-related charities raise funds and awareness or watch athletic dogs go surfing (and really, who doesn’t want to watch surfing dogs?), this weekend and the coming weeks are full of events sure to appeal to you. Think we’re forgetting something? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post or sending us a tweet @LATunleashed.

Saturday, Sept. 18, Last Chance for Animals invites Southern California pet lovers to its Puppy Mill Awareness Festival at Hancock Park, 5801 Wilshire Blvd. (near the La Brea Tar Pits), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature educational speakers, animal advocacy and animal welfare information booths, adoptable pets from area rescue organizations and shelters, live entertainment, pet-themed vendors and activities for children.


Saturday, Sept. 18, the L.A. Department of Animal Services hosts mobile pet-adoption events at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies’ Rancho Palos Verdes location, 28901 Western Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m; and at the Canoga Park PetSmart location, 21311 Victory Blvd., from noon to 4 p.m. (The department will also have adoptable pets at the Puppy Mill Awareness Festival, above.) See photos of adoptable pets at

Sunday, Sept. 19, Best Friends Animal Society hosts ‘Strut Your Mutt,’ a walk to raise funds for Best Friends and local animal charities and rescue groups, beginning at the Santa Monica Pier. The event includes pet-friendly vendors, a doggie massage booth, a canine cafe, training demonstrations, a pet psychic, games, contests, an after party and more. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., with the walk beginning at 8:30. More information at Best Friends’ website.

Sunday, Sept. 19, athletic dogs will take to their surfboards for the second annual Surf City Surf Dog event in Huntington Beach, which starts at 8:20 a.m. and continues into the afternoon. For the competition, dogs will be placed in a division determined by their size and experience level, then will compete in heats to advance to a final. The event also includes a costume contest and a ‘Woofin’ Walk,’ where dogs and their owners can complete a 1- or 2-mile course, with proceeds benefiting one of Surf City Surf Dog’s animal-related charity partners. More information at

Sunday, Sept. 19, 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 the Canoga Park Petco location, 6615 Fallbrook Mall Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19-Saturday, Sept. 25, works to raise awareness about homeless animals that often fall through the cracks at animal shelters with its Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week. (Examples of hard-to-place pets include senior pets, FIV+ cats, ‘bully breed’ dogs and black dogs that are the victims of so-called ‘black dog bias.’) ‘It breaks my heart to think that some pets are homeless for years when they are just as wonderful as the younger, fluffier puppy next to them. These overlooked pets often make great additions to a family -- but many people don’t even realize they are discriminating when they begin looking to adopt,’ Petfinder co-founder Betsy Banks Saul says. ‘The goal of this initiative is to bring the issue to the forefront and help find forever homes for these special animals.’ That’s a goal we can get behind!


Wednesday, Sept. 22, it’s National Elephant Appreciation Day -- but then, if you’re like us, you appreciate elephants every day.

Friday, Sept. 24, singer-songwriter Justin Young plays a benefit concert for farm animal rescue and advocacy organization Farm Sanctuary at the Hotel Cafe, 1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, at 10 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased at

Saturday, Sept. 25, animal lovers can support Farm Sanctuary by participating in Walk for Farm Animals, a fundraising event that begins at Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street, at 8:30 a.m. The Santa Monica event is one of over 70 similar events around the country to raise awareness about farm animal welfare and Farm Sanctuary’s work. Though there are several Walk for Farm Animals events in Southern California over the next few weeks, the Santa Monica walk is extra-special because Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president Gene Baur will be in attendance. Registration in advance of the event is $15; you can also sign up the day of the event for $20. For a full list of Walk for Farm Animals events nationwide or to register, visit

Friday, Oct. 1, local farm animal sanctuary Animal Acres hosts a Compassionate Cuisine Celebration at Cal State Long Beach’s Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., from 7 to 11 p.m. The event celebrates World Vegetarian Day and features animal-free food from around the world, including the creations of guest chef Tanya Petrovna; special guests, including Animal Acres founder Lorri Houston; live music; a raffle; and more. Registration is $35 in advance of the event or $45 at the door; proceeds benefit Animal Acres’ work on behalf of rescued farm animals. More information at

Saturday, Oct. 2, Ventura farm animal supporters will have their chance to participate in Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m. at Ventura’s Plaza Park; walk begins at 10:15. More information at

Sunday, Oct. 3, desert residents can show their support for Farm Sanctuary at its Palm Springs Walk for Farm Animals event. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Sunrise Park; walk starts at 10 and concludes, handily, at vegan restaurant Native Foods. More information at

Sunday, Oct. 3, Dawg Squad Animal Rescue invites Southern California pet-rescue supporters to its annual ‘Bowling for Collars’ fundraising event at AMF Mar Vista Lanes, 12125 Venice Blvd., from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 for a single bowler or $100 for a lane that accomodates up to five bowlers. Shoe rental, two games and gourmet food are included in the ticket price. The event also includes a silent auction, raffle prizes and chair massages. More information at

Saturday, Oct. 9, the Desert Paws Animal Discovery and Education Center hosts its Power and Action for Animals 2010 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. The event begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and concludes with a meet-and-greet from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with presentations and panel discussions from a wide variety of animal experts in between. Featured speakers include Elliot Katz, DVM, of In Defense of Animals; Eric Sakach of the Humane Society of the United States; Eric Mills of Action for Animals; Lorri Houston of Animal Acres; Laura Allen of the Animal Law Coalition; and more. Registration is $125 for adults and $75 for students; cost includes continental breakfast and vegan lunch. More information at

Saturday, Oct. 9, kids and teenagers from ages 5 to 19 are invited to take part in the 2010 4-H Pet Symposium at the University of California Cooperative Extension office, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. in L.A., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will learn about pet care and ways to help animals in their communities; talk to adults whose work involves animals, like veterinarians, academic experts and members of the pet-rescue community; and listen to a talk by featured speaker Betty G. Birney, the author of the ‘Humphrey’ children’s book series. (If you’re lucky, you might even have a chance to recite the 4-H pledge: ‘I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty...’) More information at the UC Cooperative Extension’s website.

Sunday, Oct. 10, Long Beach has its own Walk for Farm Animals event starting at Bixby Park (Ocean Blvd. and Cherry Ave.). Registration begins at 10 a.m.; walk starts at 11 a.m. More information at

Sunday, Oct. 17, Farm Sanctuary hosts a Walk for Farm Animals in Claremont beginning at Memorial Park, 810 North Indian Hill Blvd. Registration starts at 10 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30. Vegan cookies are provided! More information at

Saturday, Oct. 23, party for a good cause at the Stray Cat Club, a Halloween-themed masquerade party at a private Beverly Hills estate, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. The event celebrates the 10th anniversary of local charity the Stray Cat Alliance and features a costume contest, catered vegan food, a hosted bar, a silent auction, raffle prizes and more. Tickets are $100 if purchased before Oct. 16 and $125 after. More information at


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 Sept. 30, snack lovers can help animal-protection organization in Defense of Animals by purchasing chocolate! Handcrafted vegan, kosher candy company Rescue Chocolate will donate 100% of its profits during the month of September to In Defense of Animals. 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

Through Sept. 30, the Found Animals Foundation offers a special discount on cat adoption fees at the L.A. City and County animal shelters and the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority shelter in Downey through its Summer Buddies program. Adopt two cats or kittens and Found Animals will pay the second adoption fee (that’s a two-for-one deal, kids -- and it comes at just the right time, because it’s kitten season and area shelters are filled to the brim with adoptable kitties). More information and a list of participating shelters at

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

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 page.

Every first Wednesday through October, Santa Monica’s Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, 104 Santa Monica Blvd., hosts ‘Wine Woof Wednesday’ from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. During the event, guests can bring their dogs along to Pourtal and receive free dog-walking service with any purchase over $25. More information at

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

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. Through the PAWS to Read program, children practice their reading skills by reading aloud 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

-- Lindsay Barnett


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Top photo: Surfing dogs Magneto, left, and Jackson bail from their surfboards after a long ride during the 2009 Surf City Surf Dog competition in Huntington Beach. The 2010 competition will be held Sunday, Sept. 19. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times