LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace™ today announced the June 24th grand opening of a new interactive community space right in the heart of L.A.'s Silicon Beach in Playa Vista. Annenberg PetSpace is a new space for the celebration and study of the relationship between people and their pets—and the importance and beneficial impact of the human-animal bond.
The opening festivities at the new space will start at noon, with free food trucks, a DJ and emcee, behind-the-scenes tours, rescued animal adoptions, fun activities for all ages, and many surprises. Find more information on the grand opening here.
Annenberg PetSpace is about more than just fun. A core goal and activity of the space is pet adoption. Starting on opening day, there will be 40 adoptable dogs and 40 adoptable cats from LA County Department of Animal Care and Control. They will be housed in their own adoption suites featuring state-of-the-art interactive digital displays called PetBooks, where, with just a touch, visitors can get answers to questions about each animal and learn what's needed to care for them. The moment guests arrive, a giant touch screen called the PetVision Wall will personalize the guest experience and help them tour Annenberg PetSpace and find the perfect pet.
On opening day, guests can go behind-the-scenes to watch the veterinarian and other professionals give medical and rehabilitative care to the on-site rescue animals. Into the future, there will be public programs featuring staff and experts on animal behavior.
Annenberg PetSpace is the first destination of its kind with a combined focus on adoption, education, and academic investigation into the origin, evolution, and dynamics of the bond between people and their animals, which has become a quickly growing field of study. Today, more than 85 million families own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 American Pet Products Association's Survey. The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute is particularly proud of its multi-disciplinary collaboration, which has already hosted academics in the field of human-animal studies from institutions such as Oxford University, Barnard College, Loyola Marymount University, University of Pennsylvania and more.
Annenberg PetSpace is the latest extension of Wallis Annenberg's philanthropic work, which has long supported organizations and projects dedicated to improving the well-being of people and communities in Los Angeles, surrounding regions and throughout the world.
"In my life, animals have been a profound gift — not just dear companions, but teachers and healers, showing how to live and love fully and in the moment. That's why the opening of Annenberg PetSpace is so thrilling for me. It will be a world-class space in which to study the joys and mysteries of life in all its forms. It will be an innovative and interactive place for families to engage with animals and animal lovers of all kinds. And it will be a chance for me to pass on the kind of awe and affection and insight animals have provided me for all my years," said Foundation Chairman and CEO Wallis Annenberg.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, "Together, the Annenberg Foundation and Los Angeles are leading the way and setting the pace for the nation by providing a destination that supports, studies and celebrates the human-animal bond."
From the conception to the design to the construction of Annenberg PetSpace, the Annenberg team has had the benefit of collaborative planning with Los Angeles area animal welfare organizations. These include experts and leadership from Los Angeles Animal Services, the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, the spcaLA, and the Humane Association of California. All along the way, these partners have reviewed plans and concepts, provided ideas, shared manuals and assisted with staff training.
Here's more information on activities and offerings provided by Wallis Annenberg PetSpace:
In addition to the animatronic dog and cat which welcome visitors, the space offers more delights, including a human-powered hamster wheel, places for kids to climb and explore, a slide, and several areas where animal adoption specialists can bring available dogs, cats and rabbits to play with visitors.
Dog, cat and rabbit adoptions are made possible by Annenberg PetSpace and partnerships with state and local animal welfare organizations, including the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. After medical assessment in the PetSpace Health Center by an in-house veterinarian and animal care staffers, rescued animals will be given any behavioral, medical and physical therapies they need in order to prepare them for their forever homes.
Annenberg PetSpace is a community destination where people can learn more about the human-animal bond through public lectures, workshops, special events, behind-the-scenes tours and other programs. There will be something for everyone—from simple tips on pet care and discussions on animal behavior, to fun do-it-yourself pet related projects. For Instagram and social media fans, there will be hands-on demonstrations of best practices for pet portraiture.
The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute was created to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship, high-level policy discourse, and public education on the relationship between human beings and their domestic animals. The first group of Annenberg PetSpace Fellows—experts in veterinary medicine, sociology, cognitive science, zoology, animal behavior, history, genomics, and urban ecology, and more—convened in March of this year at the Annenberg PetSpace and the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. The Fellows came together with the goal of shaping the Institute's mission and discussed opportunities for engaging academics around the world in collaborative research and dialogue on our relationship with animals. As a result, the participants will be publishing a paper with their findings and recommendations.
Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, Barnard College researcher in dog cognition, said, "As Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Institute Fellows, this group is forging a new way to think about the human-animal relationship. We are each informed by different academic and theoretical perspectives which have an overlap of interest, but divergent histories and methods. The study of human-animal interaction needs this kind of interdisciplinary approach as the field evolves and grows. It's an honor to work with Annenberg PetSpace to advance the study of the human-animal bond."
For information on adoption, volunteering, programs, hours, and more, visit annenbergpetspace.org . The mobile app is also now available on the iTunes App Store.
Contact for Wallis Annenberg PetSpace:
Maria Gonima, Annenberg Foundation Communications Manager
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SOURCE Wallis Annenberg PetSpace