The first week of November is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week and All for Animals, a nonprofit, public outreach and educational organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of compassion to all animals, is getting a head-start on the weeklong event with a fundraiser to draw attention to the wonderful animals for adoption at Santa Barbara animal shelters.

On Thursday, the public is encouraged to have lunch, dinner, drinks, or dessert (or all of the above!) at Elements Restaurant & Bar, 129 E. Anapamu St., and 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to All for Animals. Elements, which celebrated its fifth anniversary over the summer, is one of Santa Barbara’s most popular restaurants and premier caterers for major social events. It has received a number of awards from local and regional publications, including Best Firetini, the “hottest drink in town.” Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., happy hour from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

There are approximately 65 million companion dogs in the United States and 77 million companion cats. Only about 18 percent of dogs are adopted from animal shelters, while only 16 percent of cats are adopted from shelters. The majority of animals are purchased from pet stores or breeders, from ads in the newspaper, or given by friends and neighbors. All for Animals seeks to increase pet adoption rates from animal shelters by featuring adoptable pets on the Internet and highlighting the wonderful services that shelters offer, such as adoption and behavioral counseling, low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and other life-saving programs.

Whether educating consumers about important animal-related issues or helping save lives through its Adoptable Pet Photo Gallery, All for Animals Inc. has been a leading animal advocacy organization that, for the past 13 years, has sought to bring people and pets together to celebrate the human-animal bond. Click here to make a donation or for more information.

— Karen Lee Stevens is All for Animals’ founder and president.