The holiday season is upon us, and, with this season, there is a need to take extra precaution around the home when it comes to our pets.

Christmas trees create a whole realm of dangers. Poorly secured trees can fall on rambunctious pets as they run around or try to climb them. Pine needles can cause gastrointestinal irritation or worse, intestinal perforation.

Tinsel, yarn and ribbon can also cause problems if they get wrapped in the intestines. Sharp or breakable ornaments are very dangerous and should be kept well out of the way of curious mouths and paws. Christmas trees often contain additives and preservatives, which leech into the water and can be toxic if ingested. If you take extra care of your pets during the holidays, it will make the holiday season cheerful and less stressful for all.

HOLIDAY HELP: The holidays are often a time when the spirit of giving is at its peak. Please consider a gift for homeless animals with a donation to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. The shelter is full with more than 90 pets waiting for their new homes. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to care for them and to make the animals stay in the shelter as comfortable as possible until they find their forever homes. The need to raise funds is ongoing so the shelter can continue to provide the food, shelter and health services for the animals. To make a donation, visit the FAAS website: http://www.alamedaanimalshelter.org/donate.


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Photo op: The shelter, with the support of Urban Island Furnishings, will host a Santa Paws event at which you can schedule a photo session for your pet. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at Urban Island Furnishings, 1901 Broadway, Alameda. Call 510-337-8575 to schedule a photo sitting. The cost is $30 for a 4-by-6-inch print.

FAAS will also have pets available for adoption in addition to a holiday pet boutique. To learn more about FAAS visit our website at www.AlamedaAnimalShelter.org or "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FAAS09.

PET OF THE WEEK: DETER is a red-and-white, 10-month-old pit bull mix. He is eager to please and would do well with puppy training.

DOG ALLEY: There are 20 available dogs at the Alameda Animal Shelter. HAZEL is a darling Welsh corgi and poodle mix, about 1 year old, with the best personality ever. GRACIE is so little! She's only 3 months old and is a Chihuahua puppy that adores everyone she meets.

CAT LAIR: There are 43 available cats at the Alameda Animal Shelter. Black cats are some of the smartest and most outgoing cats around, but they are often overlooked. Consider adopting a beautiful, remarkable black cat and come meet POE, SYDNEY, SCOOTER, MERLIN, NALA, BOO, ELLA, POE and INKY at the shelter.

RABBIT ROW: DUTCH, our special needs rabbit, is still available and living in a foster home. PUTI, a New Zealand white, is also in foster care. Please call the shelter for more information on either of these two bunnies.

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.