Animal Feeding at Ardenwood: Check for eggs, bring hay to the livestock and learn the animals' favorite foods. 3 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797, www.ebparks.org.
Free Pet Adoptions: Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter are holding a three day adopt-a-thon where all dog and cat adoptions are free. Standard adoption process applies. All the pets have been vaccinated (except for rabies), microchipped and spayed or neutered. Adoptions include a certificate for a free health exam at a local vet, pet related coupons and a pet bed. First year license is free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 7-9. 1590 Fortmann Way, Alameda. 510-337-8565, www.AlamedaAnimalShelter.org.
"Home for the Holidays" adoption event: Kittens, cats, dogs, puppies, bunnies and other animals will be available for adoption ($20 adoption fee) from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Hayward Animal Shelter, 16 Barnes Court. Shelter volunteers will also have a bake sale, raffle prizes and a Christmas gift for each adopted pet. 510-293-7200.
Maine Coon Cat Adoption Fair: Maine coon-mix cats as well as short-and medium-haired cats and kittens will be available for adoption from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 8-9, at Wild Birds Unlimited, 692 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Adopters must be approved in advance. For an application, visit www.mainecoonadoptions.com.
Benefit for homeless animals: East Bay Animal Rescue and Refuge (EBARR) is holding it's Holiday Fundraising Dinner from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 9, at Guadalajara Grill, 5446 Ygnacio Road, Concord. Tickets are $25 and include dinner, raffles, silent auction and more. All proceeds benefit homeless dogs and cats. 925-429-2785, http://EBARR.Org.
Pet Photo Night: Bring your furry friends on a leash or in a carrying case and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. Purrfect Cat Rescue will also be there with cats available for adoption. 4 p.m.-closing, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. NewPark Mall, Newark.
Responsible Pet Caretaking: Kids ages 8-13 will learn what it takes to be a responsible pet caretaker and what is needed to keep pets happy and healthy. Bring a bag lunch. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15. Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton. $50. 925-426-8656.
Adopt a small animal: Chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits and rats from North Star Rescue, Contra Costa Rabbit Rescue and Antioch City Shelter will be available for adoption from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, through Jan. 26, at Pet Food Express, 609 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville. Free nail trims for small animals available too. To see currently available animals, visit www.northstarrescue.org.
Fish feeding time: Get close to crabs, flounder, perch, pipefish and more -- while they eat. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Jan.-Feb. Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Storytime and nature fun: Kids meet characters like the Lorax, hermit crabs and "Swimmy the Fish" through stories, then have fun with live animals, crafts, scavenger hunts and nature videos. 11 a.m. Sundays, Jan.-Feb. Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, email@example.com.
New Year's Day Butterfly Walks: Start the new year off with a visit to a monarch butterfly overwintering site. Use spotting scopes for a close-up look and learn how they survive the long cold season in eucalyptus trees. 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Jan. 1. Meet at the Granary. Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797, www.ebparks.org.
Family Nature Hour: Kids ages 5 and older learn about the world around them with stories, games and activities. Each class covers a different topic. 2-3 p.m. Jan. 5: Animal Adaptations. Jan. 12: Animal Tracking. Jan. 26: Marsh Habitat. Feb. 2: Birding. Feb. 16: Reptiles. Parent participation required. Coyote Hills Visitor Center, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont. 510-544-3220, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Grab a snack and some water and take a walk-up Wildcat Peak. For ages 8 and older. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Jan. 5. Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley. 510-544-2233, email@example.com.
V-I-Peek programs: New programs at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum offer a behind-the-scenes opportunity to see what it's like to work with their unique collection of animals. Eagle Encounter: Learn from eagle handlers what it's like to work with these birds, help prepare a meal and get premium seating for the exhibit hall presentation of Raptors! Keeper Experience: Meet resident animal ambassadors (reptile, bird and mammal) up close and personal and help animal keepers prepare meals, create enrichment activities and assist with a public presentation. Space is limited. Participants must be 10 years or older and advanced registration is required. $175 per person; $150 members. $275 per guardian/child combination; $250 members. 925-935-1978, www.wildlife-museum.org.
Fishing in the City: Learn to fish clinics teach the basics of fishing to children and adolescents ages 5-15. Equipment and tackle are provided. There is no charge for the clinics but there may be a park entrance fee. Each adult may bring two children; a driver's license is required for a rod loan. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dog Adoption Showcase: Pet and play with dogs of all sizes and breeds and get "insiders information" from foster parents who are currently taking care of them in their homes. Noon-2 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 29. Humane Society Silicon Valley, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. 408-262-2133, ext. 150. See available dogs at www.hssv.org.
Dog Book Reading Club: Do you love dogs? Want to learn more about their behavior, training, learning, body language, and using positive training methods? The Humane Society Silicon Valley Dog Book Reading Club meets from 2-4 p.m. fourth Sundays monthly to discuss a different book. 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133, www.hssv.org.
Pet Loss Support Group: This group is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a pet or anticipates one. 6:30-7:30 p.m. first Tuesdays monthly, through Dec. 4. Humane Society Silicon Valley, 901 Ames Ave., Milpitas. Free. 408-262-2133, ext. 178, www.hssv.org.
Holiday pet portraits: Cooper's Dream Rescue is holding an adoption event and holiday pet portrait fundraiser. For a $15 donation ($20 at the door), you'll receive a portrait of your pets alone or with your family and high resolution digital copies of the photos. 1-3 p.m. Dec. 8. Bow Wow Meow, 654 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. Reservations, Jennifer@coopersdream.org.
Mobile Pet Adoption: The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA will host a special mobile pet adoption at Hillsdale Shopping Center, Sixty 31st Ave., San Mateo. From noon-3 p.m. Dec. 15, shoppers can meet shelter animals seeking new homes including cats, kittens, rabbits, dogs and more. www.phs-spca.org.
Puppy Socials: Got a new puppy under 6 months? Bring him or her to the K9 Scrub Club for fun and socialization, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Jan. 29. 1734 Church St., San Francisco. Free. 415-648-2582, http://k9scrubclub.com/san-francisco-store/events/puppy-social-9.html.
Santa Paws Is Coming To Town: Santa Claus will pose for photos with four-legged friends and their families from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 8-9, at Prescott Hotel, 545 Post St. Bring your iPhone and digital camera to capture your pet's holiday moment. Treats and refreshments will be available for both humans and animals. A suggested donation of $10 benefits the San Francisco SPCA. 415-672-2950.
12 Days of Winter Play: Treat your dog to a special 12 day camp featuring holiday themes and activities. Sign up for one day or the entire event. 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 10-18. Wag Hotel, 25 14th St. $7 with purchase of All Day Play. 415-876-0700, http://waghotels.com/winter-camp.cfm.
Silicon Valley animal shelters are launching "Shelters First,' a program to encourage Santa Clara County households to adopt from shelters. In December the adoption fee on all adult animals is $12. Animals can be adopted immediately at Humane Society Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, City of Palo Alto Animal Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, City of San Jose Animal Care and Services and Town Cats. For information, visit www.sheltersfirst.org.
AROUND THE STATE
Sacramento wildlife refuges: Visit several wildlife refuges in the Sacramento Valley that are homes to thousands of wintering ducks, geese and swans. Featured on this trip (Dec. 8-9) is visits to Sacramento National Wildlife refuge on Saturday, followed by Colusa National Wildlife Refuge and Gray lodge Wildlife Area on Sunday. Space is limited and carpooling is essential. Participants may opt to arrive on Friday night for the 7 a.m. start time on Saturday. 916-705-8991, email@example.com.
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival: Join Morro Coast Audubon Society for its 17th Winter Bird Festival, Jan. 18-21. The area is recognized for its diversity of both resident and wintering birds and at last years festival over 200 species of birds were identified. Registration ends Jan. 6. www.morrobaybirdfestival.org.
Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway: Takes place Jan. 24-27 in Chico. Registration and information, www.snowgoosefestival.org.
Yolo Basin Wildlife Area: Tour the 16,000-acre wildlife area with an experienced field trip leader. View flooded seasonal and permanent wetlands, native grasslands and young riparian forests. Depending on the season, look for migrating and resident waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. 9 a.m.-noon, second Saturdays monthly, through April. www.yolobasin.org/events.cfm.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area Guided Wetlands Tours: A wildlife naturalist will lead a group (minimum of 18 people) through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Learn wildlife identification and behavior patterns, conservations efforts and more. The experience can be customized to include requested information, along a half-mile walking route. For information and scheduling, call 530-846-7505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/wa/region2/graylodge/index.html.
Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve docent-led walks: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars and bird books available to borrow at no cost. Visitor Center and main overlook are fully accessible. Day use is $4.32 per person, ages 16 and older. Groups of 10 or more should schedule a separate tour. www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/er/region4/elkhorn.html.
MOBILE ADOPTION SITES
Contra Costa County Animal Services
Halo Pet Adoptions
Send animal related events to email@example.com.