Events

EAST BAY

Meet the Bunnies: Get a close-up look at a rex rabbit, pet a Dutch bunny and see other rabbits that might be hopping around. 12:30-1 p.m. Saturdays: Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. Sundays: Oct. 6. Ardenwood, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 1-888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Dog Day Afternoon: Visit Wente Vineyards with your four-legged friend for an afternoon of music, food, wine tasting and fun. Win prizes for best wag, best costume and best "look-a-like your owner; watch police K-9 demonstrations. Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 28. Wente Vineyards Estate Winery Tasting Room, 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore. Free Admission. 925-456-2305, www.wentevineyards.com.

Introduction to Fishing: Learn the basics of fishing including knot tying and rigging, gear and bait selection and casting techniques. A valid California fishing license is required for ages 16 and older. Gear provided. Ages 5-15 require parent participation. 8-10 a.m. Sept. 28. Lake Chabot, Castro Valley. $21 adults, $17 kids. Registration required. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Wine and Whiskers: Join ARF to celebrate a decade at their Walnut Creek headquarters during Wine and Whiskers. Tickets are $80 and include wine and appetizers. Funds raised from the event support ARF's programs which provide positive relationships between animals and people. 5-8 p.m. Sept. 28. Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek. 925-296-3154, www.arf.net.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day: Talk with club experts about finding the right dog breed, training, grooming and dog ownership as a privilege and a responsibility. Hosted by the Bay Area Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 29. Read Booksellers, 3630 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville. Free. 925-736-9090, www.readbooksellers.com, www.backcsc.com.

Tantalizing Tarantulas: Learn interesting facts about these arachnids. Meet the resident tarantula and learn the best spots to find these critters during mating season. 2-3 p.m. Sept. 29. Tilden Nature Area, Environmental Education Center at Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Tarantula Trek: Learn all about these eight-legged bugs. 9-10:30 a.m. Sept. 29. Black Diamond, 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch. For ages 6 and older. 888-327-2575, www.ebparksonline.org.

Animal Blessing: Bring your furry, feathered or finned friends to a blessing of the animals from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek. Community animal welfare groups will have information booths and Grace Cooperative Preschool will hold a bake sale during the event. www.gracewc.org.

Learn to Fish: This fun "derby style" class teaches kids how to catch their first fish. Learn basic techniques including casting and knot tying, followed by catching a fish from an enclosed net in the lake. Gear provided. For ages 5-17. 4-6 p.m. Oct. 2. Quarry Lakes, 2100 Isherwood Way, Fremont. $44/$21. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Farm Chores for Kids: Crack corn, feed animals, check the chickens and help with other morning chores. 10:30-11 a.m., Oct. 5 and Oct. 19. Ardenwood, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 1-888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Meet the Snakes: Learn about snake adaptations and how these reptiles have become part of our folklore. Create a snake spiral craft. Drop in anytime between 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Coyote Hills, 8000 Patterson Road, Fremont. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Animal Blessing: Peace Lutheran Church is hosting its St. Francis Animal Blessing and Pet Festival from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 6, at 3201 Camino Tassajara, Danville. In addition to individual pet blessings and pet adoptions, there will be live music, pet sketches and a silent auction. Several animal rescue groups, including service dogs, as well as animal experts will attend. Food will be available for purchase. 925-648-7000, www.peacejourney.org.

Blessing of the Animals: Skyline Community Church's ceremony to honor animal companions will be held from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6, at 12540 Skyline Blvd. Oakland. Bring your pet or a picture or even a stuffed animal. Afterward, walk your pet through the labyrinth. Refreshments provided for both pets and humans. 510-531-8212, www.skylineucc.org/2013/09/17/blessing-of-the-animals-ceremony-2013.

Secret Life of the Wood Rat: Take a short stroll to look for signs of this intriguing rodent. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Tilden Nature Area, Environmental Education Center at Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

Delta Saturday Series: Join a "plain English" discussion to help understand the issues facing the Delta and how they affect us. 3-3:30 p.m. Oct. 12; 10-10:30 a.m. Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. Big Break, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley. Registration required. 510-544-3050, BigBreakVisit@ebparks.org, www.ebparksonline.org.

"Owl Moon" Walk: Kids and their families enter the woods on a nearly full-moon night to search for "hoots" and "screeches." Read a story and then take to the trail. Wear dark, warm, quiet clothing and bring flashlights. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 19. A walk for adults will take place from 9 to 10 p.m. under the full moon to listen and watch for winged hungers. Meet at the Canyon Meadow Picnic Area off Redwood Road in Oakland. 510-544-3187.

Living With Mountain Lions: Big cat expert Zara McDonald will give a presentation about mountain lions and the work currently underway to study and protect them. McDonald is founder and Executive Director of Felidae Conservation Fund, whose local project, the Bay Area Puma Project, is the first large scale research, education and conservation program for mountain lions in and around the Bay Area. 7 p.m. Oct. 23. Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek. $15. $10 members. 925-627-2913, http://wildlife-museum.org.

Levee Top Tromp: Explore the back country of Big Break on a guided walk along the levee top discovering the many habitats found in this wetland. 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 27. Big Break, 69 Big Break Road, Oakley. Registration required. 888-327-2757, www.ebparksonline.org.

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.

Loma Vista Farm: Field trips and tours are available for schools, day cares, garden clubs, senior centers and other groups, Monday through Friday throughout the spring and summer. 707-556-8765, www.lomavistafarm.org.

Fish Feeding Time: Get close to crabs and see flounder, perch and pipefish. 3-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Crab Cove, 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda. 510-544-3187, www.ebparksonline.org.

Freshet Fridge Challenge: In honor of National Pet Obesity Month, Freshpet has launched the "Freshpet Fridge Challenge" sweepstakes. To enter, visit www.freshpet.com/fridgechallenge and share "Why you couldn't live without the refrigerator" in 50 words or less, along with a photo of your pet in front of your refrigerator. Winners will be chosen at random. One winner will receive a Freshpet refrigerator and a year supply of Freshpet food; two winners will receive a $500 gift card toward their favorite fresh food store; five winners will receive a $100 gift card toward their favorite fresh food store. Contest ends Oct. 21.

Animeals: The Valley Humane Society operates a pet food pantry that provides regular free meals for dogs and cats of seniors and low-income families. Donations of wet or dry dog and cat food are always accepted, even if opened or recently expired and can be dropped off during open hours at Valley Humane Society, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton. Pet-related items such as litter, treats, and toys are also needed. Pet food distribution takes places through partnerships with local food banks: Pleasanton: Valley Bible Church, first Thursdays monthly, 7106 Johnson Drive. Livermore: Tri-Valley Haven, third Wednesdays monthly, 3663 Pacific Ave. http://valleyhumane.org/programs/animeals.

SOUTH BAY

Pups on the Patio: Sip wine on the patio with your well behaved, leashed dog, during "Yappy Hour" at Cinnabar Winery. 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, 14612 Big Basin Way, Saratoga. Dog treats, goody bags and photos too. No cover; one drink minimum. 408-867-1012, www.cinnabarwinery.com.

Rabbit Haven Adoption and Education Show: Rabbit Haven is holding a rescued rabbit adoption show inside For Other Living Things from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 5 at 1261 South Mary Ave., Sunnyvale. See adoptable rabbits at www.therabbithaven.org then come by to meet them. Adoption fees include a vet check, coupons and an education packet. Nail trims and home health checks are also available to all rabbits for a donation. 831-600-7479.

Youth Science Institute Wildlife Festival: Trained YSI experts will introduce an extensive collection of live and preserved animals from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6, at Alum Rock City Park, 16260 Penitencia Road, San Jose. Learn about local native plants and animals on a guided nature walk at 11:30 a.m. and participate in nature-related crafts. A presentation on "Wildlife Associates" will take place at 12:30 p.m. More than 15 environmental organizations will be on hand to share their resources. $5 suggested donation. There is a $6 fee per vehicle to enter Alum Rock City Park. 408-258-4322, www.youthscience.org.

"A Night Owl Symphony": Meet Sulphur Creek's newest Great Horned Owl, along with other owls native to the Bay Area. Share their unique "songs" and traits, along with some of their favorite habitats. Adults only. 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 12. Sulphur Creek Nature Center, 1801 D St., Hayward. $18. Registration required. 510-881-6700, www.haywardrec.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 erotman@dfg.ca.gov.

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.

PENINSULA

Blessing of the Animals 10th Anniversary: Bring animal companions or a photograph of a pet to be blessed by United Methodist ministers. This fun event provides the opportunity to adopt pets, meet other animal lovers and learn about animal-related organizations. The Homeless Cat Network, SpiritCare Ministry to Seniors and the Peninsula Humane Society will also participate. Prize ribbons will be awarded to outstanding animal guests. 2-3 p.m. Oct. 6. Burlingame United Methodist Church, 1443 Howard Ave., Burlingame. Free. 650-344-6321, www.burlumc.org.

NORTH BAY

Woofstock Benefit Concert: Join the Marin Humane Society for a day of live music, food and activities. Sept. 28. Adoptathon: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Kids Zone 1:30-3:30 p.m. Outdoor concert: 2-5 p.m. (doors open at 1:30 p.m.) Marin Humane Society, 171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato. Adult $15. Kids $5. Free for 11 and younger. 415-883-4621, www.marinhumanesociety.org/site/c.aiIOI3NLKgKYF/b.7882565/k.F99E/Woofstock.htm#.UhPxapJebAu.

Dog Swim: The swimming lagoon at Spring Lake Regional Park turns into an off-leash dog park from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28-29. During that time well-behaved dogs are invited to swim in the lagoon and run on the beach. Prizes available. Donations of $3-$5 per dog benefit the parks. Parking is $7; free for Regional Parks members. Sponsored by Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. 707-565-2041, http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/_templates_parks/EventDetail.aspx?id=2147486001&;date=Saturday,%20September%207,%202013%209:30AM%20-%06 p.m.

Canine Heroes Wine Auction: Enjoy a four course dinner, wine tasting and auctions at this benefit for Guide Dogs for the Blind. 5 p.m. Sept. 28. Guide Dogs for the Blind, 350 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael. Tickets are $300. 800-295-4050, www.guidedogs.com/site/PageServer?pagename=news_events_canineheroes.

Canine Companions for Independence DogFest Walk 'N Roll: Create a team, raise funds, bring your dogs and help Canine Companions for Independence provide highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities, including veterans. 9 a.m. Sept. 29. Spring Lake Regional Park, 400 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa. 707-577-1777, www.cci.org.

Backyard Chickens: Catherine Wolfers shares her experiences of growing a suburban flock of chickens. Learn how to care for and keep a flock safe from predators, build a chicken coop and the laws in place for poultry keeping. 10-11 a.m. Oct. 5. Tamalpais Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave., Mill Valley. $5. 415-388-6393, www.tcsd.us.

Circle Oak Equine Health Fair: Lectures by equine health practitioners from around the country, live horse demonstrations, small group labs on equine massage for fitness, palpation techniques, body working maneuvers and condition assessment. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Circle Oak Equine, 909 Mustang Court, Petaluma. Free. Reservations needed for small group hands-on sessions. www.circleoakequine.com/education/2013-health-fair.

Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon: Dozens of rescue groups will have hundreds of dogs, cats and small animals available for adoption from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5-6 at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. The free event will also have stunt dog shows, local canines demonstrating crime-busting skills, splash dogs, "My Mutt" pet show (open to everyone) as well as vendors with the latest in pet supplies. Every adopting family will get a $25 Pet Food Express gift card. www.bayareapetfair.org.

Maine Coon Adoptions: Maine Coon cats will be available for adoption during the Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5-6 at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. Pet Fair hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. http://MaineCoonAdoptions.com.

Blessing of the Animals: All animals will be blessed at the beginning of the service in the courtyard, after which all (pets included) will proceed into church. 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 6. Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, 3 Bayview Ave., Belvedere. Free. 415-435-4501, www.ststephenschurch.org.

Blessing of the Animals: First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo will observe St. Francis Day with a Blessing of the Animals from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 6, at 72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. All pets -- on a leash or in a crate, cage or bowl -- are welcome. Bring a photo if your pet can't travel. People of all faiths are welcome. Free. 415-456-3713, www.togetherweserve.org.

SAN FRANCISCO

Celebrate San Francisco SPCA 145th Anniversary: Festivities kickoff with a cocktail party from 5 to 10 p.m. Oct. 4, at the Adoption Center, 250 Florida St. The evening includes an open bar, food trucks, "smooch the pooch" booth, flip photo booth and an opportunity to meet adoptable animals. RSVP to events@7x7.com. A carnival themed street fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 5, at 201 Alabama St., with games, beer garden, food trucks, doggy costume contest, kids activities and a performance by cast members of Beach Blanket Babylon. www.sfspca.org/about-us/1868.

Meet the Animals: Kids and families are invited to meet rodents and amphibians, check out a Great Horned Owl and maybe even touch a tortoise. 11 a.m. Saturdays, Oct. 5, 12, and 19. No presentation Oct. 26. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

"Zombies!": San Francisco State University Biology Professor John Hafernik will describe how he serendipitously discovered that a small native fly, Apocephalus borealis, has begun parasitizing European honey bees. Parasitized bees show the "zombielike behavior" of leaving their hives at night on "a one-way flight of the living dead." They soon die and give rise to as many as 16 maggots that pupate and hatch into more zombie flies. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. Free. 415-225-3830, ww.sfns.org.

"Bird Feathers and Bird Bones": Join David Lukas, writer and naturalist, for a presentation on bird bones, feathers and muscles and how they work together to help a bird fly and live in its environment. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. Geared for adults; all ages welcome. Donations encouraged. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

Birding the Hill: Explore Corona Heights Park with Audubon experts to check out its avian inhabitants. Birders will circle the hill to look into several habitats, each of which is enjoyed by different bird species. Beginning birders are welcome. The walk will last about two and a half hours and includes several stairs and a steep path to climb. 8 a.m. Oct. 18. Meet in front of Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco. For ages 5 and older; kids younger than 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Free. 415-554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org.

Puppy Social: Let your puppy (6 months or younger) blow off some steam while learning proper behaviors and socializing with other puppies. 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays. K9 Scrub Club, 1734 Church St. Free. Advance registration required. 415-648-2582, http://k9scrubclub.com/pages/puppy-social.

AROUND THE STATE

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 ldieter@dfg.ca.gov. 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

  • First Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Pet Food Express, 1388 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; dogs and cats.

  • Second Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, 2158 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill; dogs only. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. Petco, 170 Arnold Drive, Suite 115, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Third Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only. PetSmart, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; rabbits only.

  • Fourth Saturdays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Petco, 1301 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Petco, 1170 Arnold Drive, Martinez; rabbits only.

  • Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Contra Costa Animal Services, 4800 Imhoff Place, Martinez; dogs. 925-335-8330.

  • Second Sundays monthly: Noon-3 p.m. Sports Basement, 1881 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek; dogs only.

  • Last Sunday of the month: Noon-3 p.m. Molly's Pup Purree, 425 Hartz Ave., Danville; dogs only.

    Homeless Animals Response Program

    (H.A.R.P.)

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    Saturdays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, 4655 Century Plaza Blvd., Pittsburg; cats only.

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    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Petsmart, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5879 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs only.

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    Sundays: Noon-3 p.m. Pet Food Express, Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, 5829 Lone Tree Way, Antioch; dogs and cats.

    Send animal related events to kbennett@bayareanewsgroup.com.