Get ready for the biggest free adoption event of the year. Maddie's Pet Adoption Days is happening this Saturday and Sunday.

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) is participating in this national event and they will have all their canines and felines available for free to qualified homes, including some puppies and kittens. Their goal is to empty the shelter of available pets during the weekend. FAAS will be open extended hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, and there will be a satellite adoption center set up at the Bay Fair Mall where FAAS will also be doing adoptions. There is no better time to find yourself a new best friend.

FAAS adoptable animals can be found at this link: www.AlamedaAnimalShelter.org/petfinder/. The shelter is at 1590 Fortmann Way in Alameda. Bay Fair Mall is located at 1555 E 14th St., San Leandro, and FAAS will be located in the central court area of the mall.

Here are the top six reasons to adopt from FAAS or another shelter/rescue group this weekend or any other time.

1) When you adopt a shelter pet, you are saving an abandoned animal's life.

2) Every pet adopted from a shelter is one-step toward reducing pet overpopulation.

3) Adopting from a shelter frees space for other abandoned animals.

4) Shelter pets make good companions.

5) The shelter staff will work with you to find a match for your lifestyle/household.

6) Compared to the cost of purchasing a pet, shelter adoptions are very affordable. For example, FAAS spays/neuters, vaccinates, microchips, and health and behavior screens all their shelter pets before adoption.

To adopt from FAAS, everyone in the household must be present to meet the cat or dog. If you have a dog and want to adopt another one, the dogs must do a meet and greet. Bring proof of homeownership (property tax or mortgage statement) or if you rent, bring your lease agreement stating that you can have a pet.

PET OF THE WEEK: KITTENS, look at these beautiful babies! This is just a sample of the lovely kittens FAAS has available for adoption.

DOG ALLEY: There are 19 available dogs at the Alameda Animal Shelter. BUBBLES is a great mixture of poodle and Jack Russell terrier. She's black and white and about 2 years old. She is a very active little girl and very sweet. CHARLES is a very handsome guy. He's a brown and white Chihuahua mix, about 2 years old, and is very friendly.

CAT LAIR: There are 26 available cats at the Alameda Animal Shelter. FLOWER lives up to her name. She's a little black and white kitten, about 2 months old and is blossoming into a beautiful flower. KILI is a remarkably pretty calico cat. She's 11 years young, a bit shy, and looking for a calm forever home after being abandoned by her owner.

UPCOMING FAAS EVENTS

  • Second Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk -- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 15, Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal, Alameda. Register at http://faas2ndannualwigglewagglewalk.eventbrite.com.

    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.