Autumn of the animals

Pumpkin-spice everything, sienna leaves on the trees, decorative-gourd season, cozy sweaters—we get it, fall fever is here. But this month, there's a chance area pets will be even more enamored with autumn than you are, considering the lineup of events centered around our furry friends.

More specifically, Saturday, October 3, is potentially going to go down in the books as the most pet-tastic day the city has ever seen. For the pet-loving yet petless among us, the Franklin Community Library (10055 Franklin High Road in Elk Grove) is hosting a Read to a Dog at the Library event from 11 a.m. to noon in which kids are invited to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to trained therapy dogs (and if you can't make this one, the same event will be held again on November 7 and December 5).

Afterward, head over to Dogtoberfest 2015 at the Mack Road Community Center (7839 Center Parkway) from noon to 4 p.m. The event is designed to promote pet health and the importance of pet adoption, and there will plenty of opportunities to shop for accessories and treats as well enjoy drinks in the “Yappy Hour” beer garden for humans. But what you'll really want to stick around for are the Ugliest Dog and Cutest Canine Pageant and Top Dog Costume Contest; entry fees are $10-$20, and prizes between $25 and $50 will be awarded in each category. General admission is free, but donations and proceeds from the contests benefit local animal-care organizations. For more information, go to

Once the ugliest dog in the land has been crowned, head over to the glitzy Whiskers and Wine event benefiting the Sacramento County Animal Shelter (3829 Bradshaw Road). Tickets, priced at $60-$75, include a sit-down dinner from Broderick Roadhouse, an open bar, and a dessert buffet by Jelly Belly, plus a chance to win a new Mazda Miata, a South African photo safari, a 10-day cruise and other prizes. Find out more at