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Previous featured pets Luna and Maggie are still waiting for their forever homes, but Cinderella has been adopted. This week, meet Speedy, a spunky 5-year-old, 75-pound Labrador mix.

If you're looking for joy in your life, this is your guy. Take him for a walk, give him some Beggin Strips — that's about all it takes to make him happy.

Speedy was surrendered to the SPCA of Texas on September 10 because his previous owner died. He is housetrained, but after living in the shelter for a bit, it may take him a few weeks to remember all his training. He has been neutered, microchipped and heartworm tested (he’s negative), and he has received his age-appropriate vaccinations.

Come meet Speedy (#120986) today at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas at 2400 Lone Star Dr., near I-30 and Hampton Road. The center is open seven days a week, noon-6 pm.

Regular adoption fees are $95-$125 for puppies 0-6 months, $75-$95 for adult dogs 6 months or older, $50 for senior dogs 7 years or older, $50 for VIP dogs, $95 for kittens, $75 for adult cats, $50 for senior cats 7 years and older, and $50 for VIP cats.

The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs 6 months and older, initial heartworm preventative for dogs, feline leukemia test for cats 4 months and older, microchip, rabies tag, and free leash or cat carrier. Call 214-742-SPCA (7722) or visit the SPCA website for more information.

Kitty Girl the orange tabby cat starts off shy but warms up quick

Pet of the Week

We have good news to report: Last week's pet, Shadow the Labrador mix, was adopted! This week, meet Kitty Girl, a 7-year-old domestic shorthair with a gorgeous orange tabby coat.

Kitty Girl came to the SPCA of Texas on January 15 after her family had to move away. Though she misses them terribly, Kitty Girl knows that she will find her forever family soon.

This sweet girl can be a bit shy when she first meets her human companions, but she is a real lover once she gets to know you. Unlike most cats, Kitty Girl loves to have her belly rubbed and especially loves to play with feather wands.

Because she loves attention from her human companions, Kitty Girl would do best in a home without any felines. That’s okay, because this sweet girl deserves to be treated like the princess that she is. Kitty Girl is also already litter trained.

Come meet Kitty Girl (#111059) today at the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas at 2400 Lone Star Dr., near I-30 and Hampton Road. The center is open seven days a week, noon-6 pm.

Regular adoption fees are $95-$125 for puppies 0-6 months, $75-$95 for adult dogs 6 months or older, $50 for senior dogs 7 years or older, $50 for VIP dogs, $95 for kittens, $75 for adult cats, $50 for senior cats 7 years and older, and $50 for VIP cats.

The adoption fee includes spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, heartworm test for dogs 6 months and older, initial heartworm preventative for dogs, feline leukemia test for cats 4 months and older, microchip, rabies tag, and free leash or cat carrier. Call 214-742-SPCA (7722) or visit the SPCA website for more information.

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Dallas animal shelter seeks helpers this weekend to nip URI crisis in the bud

Animal News

Dallas Animal Services is one of many shelters and animal facilities across the region that's been hit with an increase of canine upper respiratory infections (URI), including the canine influenza virus (CIV).

Now they're calling on residents to join a sweeping volunteer effort and help nip this thing in the bud.

Working with experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, DAS has created a plan to create a "clean break" and stop the illness from spreading any further at the shelter.

For this plan to succeed, they need to empty two adoption rooms - home to 150 large dogs - between Friday, December 9 and Sunday, December 11, via adoption, foster, or rescue.

To encourage everyone to step up and provide temporary homes for these dogs, Friends of DAS is offering a $150 gift card to thank fosters of high need dogs this weekend. Rescue groups that pull one of these 150 dogs will also get a $150 cash incentive.

DAS will provide fosters with training, supplies (crates, bowls, food) and cover 100 percent of the dog’s veterinary care, including 24/7 online chat with medical personnel.

"Lifesaving is a community-wide effort, and DAS has never needed the community more desperately than we do now," says DAS Director MeLissa Webber in a statement. "Securing placement for 150 large dogs in three days is a big ask, but we are confident our community is up to the challenge."

URI in dogs is like the human flu virus: most experience mild to moderate symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, lethargy, and congestion. With rest and hydration, dogs can improve within 1-2 weeks.

It's rarely life-threatening in dogs, but it spreads quickly and is therefore a challenge to contain in a shelter or boarding facility.

The dogs that need temporary homes have been exposed to URI, but do not all show symptoms.

Webber calls this a perfect opportunity for first-time fosters to get involved.

"Our team will provide you with the training and resources you need and help you pick the right dog for your home," she says. "We are committed to making it easy for you to helps us maximize lifesaving this weekend."

Anyone interested in adopting, fostering, or rescuing dogs from Dallas Animal Services should come to 1818 North Westmoreland Road on Friday from 11 am-7 pm, and Saturday-Sunday from 11 am-6 pm.

The shelter also reminds dog owners that all dogs are currently at risk with URI and CIV spreading throughout the area, as reported by boarding facilities and veterinary clinics. Owners are discouraged from taking pets to doggy daycare, dog parks, pet stores, and boarding facilities.

"This challenge is significant but not insurmountable," said Webber. "We have a detailed plan to save lives and stop this illness, but the bottom line is that we cannot succeed alone. Our success hinges on the amount of support we get from the community. Please help us maximize or increase lifesaving this weekend; nothing is more rewarding!"

To learn more about #DoggyDistancing or the URI outbreak at DAS, visit www.BeDallas90.org/uri.

Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion offers discount deal for summer 2023 concerts

Concert News

It may still be December but it's never too soon to be thinking about summer, and here comes clairvoyant promoter Live Nation with its summer Lawn Pass, a package deal for 2023 summer concert season, available at select amphtheaters nationwide including Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas. (Dos Equis Pavilion is the only Texas venue on the list.)

Lawn Pass tickets guarantee general admission lawn seating and Fast Lane access to more than 30 shows in Dallas during summer 2023, for $199 plus a fee.

According to a release, Lawn Pass will cover a variety of genres including country, rock, pop, and hip-hop. Local venues will have details on their relevant shows, including exclusions, but also with more TBA in the coming months.

The Lawn Pass will go on sale December 14 at 12 pm at lawnpass.livenation.com while supplies last.

But previous Lawn Pass holders can purchase their pass in an exclusive presale beginning December 8.

And since Citi is the official card of Lawn Pass, Citi cardmembers get their own presale window on December 13 from 11 am-12 am through the Citi Entertainment program.

Each Lawn Pass holder will get a custom personalized credential that will serve as their ticket on each show day. These credentials will be shipped to fans in spring 2023.

Participating venues include:

  • · Ak-Chin Pavilion (Phoenix, AZ)
  • · Blossom Music Center (Cuyahoga Falls, OH)
  • · Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek (Raleigh, NC)
  • · Concord Pavilion (Concord, CA)
  • · Darien Lake Amphitheater (Darien Center, NY)
  • · Dos Equis Pavilion (Dallas, TX)
  • · Freedom Mortgage Pavilion (Camden, NJ)
  • · Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Tinley Park (Tinley Park, IL)
  • · Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • · Isleta Amphitheater (Albuquerque, NM)
  • · iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • · Jiffy Lube Live (Bristow, VA)
  • · Lakewood Amphitheatre (Atlanta, GA)
  • · MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre (Tampa, FL)
  • · North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre (Chula Vista, CA)
  • · PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ)
  • · PNC Music Pavilion (Charlotte, NC)
  • · Ruoff Music Center (Noblesville, IN)
  • · RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater (Ridgefield, WA)
  • · Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Springs, NY)
  • · Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View, CA)
  • · St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview (Syracuse, NY)
  • · The Pavilion at Star Lake (Burgettstown, PA)
  • · Toyota Amphitheatre (Wheatland, CA)
  • · USANA Amphitheatre (West Valley City, UT)
  • · Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • · White River Amphitheatre (Auburn, WA)
  • · Xfinity Center (Mansfield, MA)
  • · XFINITY Theatre (Hartford, CT)

For more information, visit lawnpass.livenation.com.

Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio returns heart to the classic tale

Movie review

There have been many instances of competing movies telling similar stories in the same year, but rare is the time when two movies try to tell their version of the exact same story. A few months ago, Disney released a “live action” version of their classic Pinocchio, an unimaginative, soulless film that should have never seen the light of day. Now, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio has come to save the day, bringing an allegorical story that has much more depth to it.

Co-directed by Del Toro and Claymation legend Mark Gustafson, and co-written by Del Toro and Adventure Time’s Patrick McHale, the basics of the film will be familiar. The wood toymaker Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley) creates a wooden boy soon dubbed Pinocchio (Gregory Mann) who is looked over by a cricket, this time called Sebastian (Ewan McGregor). Pinocchio is brought to “life” by a blue fairy named Spazzatura (Cate Blanchett), and Pinocchio soon causes all sorts of trouble for himself and everyone else.

But instead of going straight into that story, Del Toro and his team take the time to fill in some blanks about Geppetto’s life and give some meaning to his wooden creation. An opening sequence showing a tragic backstory sets the mood for the film, one that is serious while not being overwhelmingly dark.

Inspired by but not beholden to Carlo Collodi’s original fantasy novel, the film is a lively and yet somber adventure story, with Pinocchio’s impetuous nature leading to him getting in a lot of sticky situations. Del Toro has set the film in Italy during World War II, referencing real-world figures like Nazis and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to ground the often-fantastical story.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Geppetto and Pinocchio in Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio.

As the film goes along, the idea of whether or not Pinocchio is “alive” is confronted in a unique way, and also juxtaposed with actual life-and-death moments that go right to the edge of the film’s PG rating. While still appropriate for older elementary-aged kids, it is unmistakably a Del Toro movie, with creepy creatures, storylines, and more that make it much more than just something aimed at children.

The stop-motion animation, assisted by the Jim Henson Company, is a wonder to behold for a variety of reasons. The flow of movement is astonishing, and a testament to the level of detail and time spent perfecting every moment by the entire filmmaking team. The characters are clearly made of clay, and yet they quickly become believable as living entities, a fun comparison to the story of Pinocchio himself.

While the film has stars like McGregor, Blanchett, and Christoph Waltz, none of them are showcased in ways where their celebrity overwhelms their character. Geppetto and Pinocchio are played by lesser-known people, allowing them to be interesting just for their voice talent, and not a pre-conceived notion of them.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio is by far the superior version of the story to come out in 2022, returning the heart to the tale that is so clearly needed. With just enough off-the-wall elements and a style that’s all its own, the film from Netflix may just be a contender for best animated feature at next year’s Oscars.

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Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio debuts on Netflix on December 9.