Did you know that you can support adoptable animals at the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter while also supporting Alameda businesses through web startup Give Goods?

Instead of waiting in long lines at big stores, you can visit local friendly businesses with savings certificates you obtain from the Give Goods website at http://www.givegoods.org/charities/friends-of-the-alameda-animal-shelter/rewards. Visit the website and find out who is participating and what the great deals are that will benefit your shopping list as well as Alameda's homeless animals.

Speaking of shopping, it is the holiday season, and with all of the festivities, we need to be especially sensitive to our pet's needs. The shelter asks you to be especially careful about securing your pets at home. Increased traffic through your home during the holidays provides the perfect opportunity for your pet to escape. The shelter is already seeing an increased number of stray pets that have gotten out of their homes and become lost.

The holidays are also a great time to get your pets' photo taken. The shelter is working with two Alameda business locations to hold Santa Paws Photo sessions. Dates and details are as follows:

Dec. 1: 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Dog Bone Alley, 1342 Park St. Call 510-521-5800 to make an appointment.


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Dec. 9: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Urban Island Home Furnishings, 1901 Broadway. The shelter will also have pets available for adoption. Call 510-337-8575 to make an appointment.

One nice holiday gift is the FANS 2013 calendar. It is filled with great local cats and dogs. The calendars are $16 each and are available at the shelter in Alameda; or you can call 510-337-8565 to order and have them mailed to you for a shipping and handling fee of $1.70 per calendar.

PET OF THE WEEK: MARSHMALLOW is a big soft sweetie. He's also a quiet sort of dog because he's deaf. He likes to play and really loves to hang around people.

DOG ALLEY: The Alameda Animal Shelter has 19 dogs available for adoption. BOSTA is a sweetheart and a mellow gal. She's about 4 years old, and is a tan-and-white pit bull mix. BRUNO is a fascinating dog. He's a Rottweiler-Maltese mix! Bruno is about 8 months old, and is such a cutie.

CAT LAIR: The Alameda Animal Shelter has 41 cats and kittens waiting for adoption. ROSWELL is a big fluffy kitten, about 8 months old, that is a lap cat extraordinaire. He's a handsome brown-gray tabby with white socks.

MAX is a Maine coon cat with a big personality to match his size. He'd love a home where he can be an only cat and have you be his person. Max is about 6 years old and a beautiful gray-white color with a pink nose.

RABBIT ROW: GEORGE and GRACIE are a beautiful black-and-white pair. DUTCH is a dwarf bunny who needs some special care.

To learn more about FAAS, visit our website at www.AlamedaAnimalShelter.org, or you can "like" us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FAAS09.

Mim Carlson, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter's executive director, is filling in while Linda Treml is away. Visit the Alameda Animal Shelter at 1590 Fortmann Way at Grand Street, call the shelter at 510-337-8565 or visit petharbor.com to view the animals.