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Having a furry Christmas

Robert Blechl

MEDIA CITY CENTER -- After buying a book on how to select a dog, Wendy

Reid and her son, 4-year-old Christopher, took a trip to The Adopt-A-Pet

Holiday House at Media City Center mall to put their new-found knowledge


to the test.

Adjacent to the carousel on the first floor, the house is the site of

the Burbank Animal Shelter’s holiday pet adoption program, which is

running from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 23.


“I’ve been thinking about this for Christmas and heard about the

crisis with dogs,” Reid said Thursday. “I was hoping to rescue one.”

With dogs, cats, and occasionally a few rabbits, the program is

sponsored by the city of Burbank, the Burbank Jaycees, Media City Center

and Nickelodeon Network. To provide a comfortable place where the animals

can frolic, artists from Nickelodeon converted a vacant mall storefront

into a mock living room and bedroom.

The animals are delivered every morning from the shelter and returned


in the evening.

“Many people don’t like to go to the shelter, so (the holiday house)

is a nice environment for them,” said Castaic resident Anne Erickson, a

program volunteer. “It gives people a chance to play with the dogs and

see how they interact.”

Erickson said she hoped the the shelter’s project becomes a regular

display at the mall, although there are currently no such plans.

City officials said they decided to organize the mall program after


hearing of the success of a similar program in San Franciso, where an

empty storefront was also used to show potential owners the available

canines and felines.

“It’s a fabulous idea. They have a variety of ages, which is a good

thing,” Reid said, as Christopher petted a Lhasa apso recently rescued

from the streets.

After selecting a dog or cat at the mall, adopters retrieve their pet

about a week later from the shelter, after it has been given its shots

and cleared with a clean bill of health, officials said.

Reid, who lives in Toluca lake, said the unnamed Lhasa apso,

determined to be between 2 and 3 years old, was a good prospect for her


“He’s the perfect size and right temperament,” she said.


WHAT: Adopt-A-Pet Holiday House.

WHY: To find homes for dogs and cats from the Burbank Animal Shelter.

WHERE: Media City Center mall’s first floor, 201 E. Magnolia Blvd.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily until Dec. 23.

FEES: Costs run from $16 to $49, based registration and spaying or


CALL: 238-5180.