Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter had a big adoptathon this past weekend and found new homes for 21 animals, including some special needs pets. Lots of lucky pets found their homes for the holidays.

Everyone at the shelter wishes you the happiest of holidays. Because of the support of the community, the shelter's first year of operating the Alameda Animal Shelter was a huge success. The shelter is thriving and the animals housed there are receiving great care. If you have not been by recently, visit the shelter over the holidays and celebrate this most joyous season surrounded by adorable pets. One of them may even steal your heart.

During this time of year, our pets can become vulnerable to the holiday items added to the household. For this reason, it is important to take extra care to ensure the safety of your pets and make the holiday less stressful. Here are some helpful tips.

Avoid toxic decorations. Bubbling lights contain fluid that can be inhaled or ingested, snow sprays and snow flock can cause reactions when inhaled, styrofoam poses a choking hazard, tinsel can cause choking and intestinal obstruction, and water in snow scenes may contain toxic organisms such as salmonella.

We tend to fill our house with plants during the holidays because they are very festive. Many plants can be poisonous to your pet too including mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies, amaryllis and holly (the berries are especially toxic). Candles are another holiday hazard. While they are delightful, the fumes can be harmful to birds if inhaled. Wagging tails can knock over candles spilling hot wax and potentially causing a fire.

There is still time to purchase your FAAS calendar. The 2013 calendar is full of local cats and dogs that were finalists in our recent pet photo contest. Calendars are available for purchase at the shelter, or you can order them by calling 510-337-8565.

To learn more about FAAS visit: www.AlamedaAnimalShelter.org

Like FAAS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FAAS09

Make a donation to FAAS at: http://www.alamedaanimalshelter.org/donate/

PET OF THE WEEK: Hi, I'm Fawn and I'm a wee bit of a gal. I love to give kisses and be carried around although I like to take walks too. Please come take a walk with me.

DOG ALLEY: There are seven available dogs and puppies at the Alameda Animal Shelter.

FIONA is a stunning pit bull, about 4 years old, who is playful and loves to go on walks.

NIKKI is a cute little brown Chihuahua, about 2 years old with a super sweet personality!

CAT LAIR: There are 33 available cats and kittens at the Alameda Animal Shelter.

BRANDI is a sweet little tortie, about 7 months old, who is kind of shy but just a wonderful kittenish cat.

BYRON is a handsome blue domestic short-hair male, about 2 years old, who is eager to find his new forever home.

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 W y at Grand Street, call the shelter at 510-337-8565 or visit petharbor.com to view the animals.