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December 23, 1987|PATT MORRISON | From Staff and Wire Reports

Dog gone.

At least they hope they will be, by Christmas Eve. And the cats too.

Any inmate of the city's six animal shelters can get out of impound, free, until noon Thursday. The Mercy Crusade and Tailwagger Foundation are picking up the tab--for license, inoculation, and spaying and neutering costs--for families who want the pitter-patter of little paws around the house.

By Tuesday, scores had been adopted, and volunteers hope to beat last year's "bailout" record of about 450 animals, in the 38th annual drive for adoption of a surplus of unwanted and abandoned creatures.

Tailwagger spokeswoman Cindy Carlsen said she heard that a woman once brought in her pet to an animal shelter for adoption, saying "her dog didn't match her new furniture."

You, too, can stand up for America . . . all the way down Colorado Boulevard, on New Year's Day.

The "We the People" Rose Parade float honoring the Constitution's bicentennial is looking for a few more good donors. The Glendale-based California Bicentennial Foundation for the U.S. Constitution, which is soliciting $10 buy-a-rose donations for its flag-motif float, has a new gimmick: anyone who calls today could find his or her name drawn as one of two civilians chosen to ride the float, alongside the celebrity trio of Muhammad Ali, Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin Jr. (the second man on the moon) and that sexagenarian American, Mickey Mouse.

It was once on the Road to Morocco. By now it may be on the Road to a Pawnshop.

Jim Weiss, president of a Hollywood marketing consultant firm, had parked his week-old Toyota in front of his house, and in its trunk were gifts for his clients and Hollywood memorabilia on loan from a touring exhibit, "Hooray For Hollywood," destined for show in Australia.

Whoever stole the presents got more than a few gift-wrapped gimcracks. Weiss told police that the thieves made off with some "kind of valuable" stuff: Bob Hope's beige-and-burgundy, silver-sequined harem costume from "The Road to Morocco," and a fake-turquoise cuff Elizabeth Taylor wore as "Cleopatra." As movie-bilia, the bracelet is valued at $2,000, and the hot harem costume at $5,000.

Police have been provided with an identifying photo: a movie still of the costumed Bob Hope.

From the October day Jessica McClure was hoisted out of an abandoned Texas well, Joe Cruz wanted to do "a little something for her."

Two months later, the West Covina construction superintendent pulled up in front of the 20-month-old child's house, hauling a 7-by-13-foot, three-room playhouse so fully accoutered with carpets, wiring and glittering acoustical ceilings that it could probably bring $100,000 in the Westside real estate market.

Relatives, friends, even Cruz's boss at Kemp Brothers in Whittier, pitched in time and material for the diminutive domicile, and Cruz then drove through snow and rain last week to deliver the maisonette. Jessica was so taken with it once she entered, she refused to come out when her mother called.

Now Cruz's grandchildren are expecting one. "Next year," promises Cruz, who neglected his holiday duties to build the house. "I gotta do some shopping now."

Next to Santa Claus', the biggest heart around this Christmas is alongside the Santa Ana Freeway.

It's 16 feet high and eight feet wide, and it goes ta-pocketa pocketa about 55 times a minute.

The realistic red latex heart uses fans and pulleys to pulse its ventricles around the clock on a billboard promoting Downey Community Hospital's new heart center. "We took this approach," says spokeswoman Ellen Hearton, because with "so many hospitals and medical centers advertising their cardiac and heart programs, we felt we needed something really out of the ordinary to call attention to our new heart center."

Hearton says no other major organ ad campaigns are planned.

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