After the Ball is next week! Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter hosts this annual event to raise funds for Alameda's abandoned pets.

This year's event will be the most spectacular ever, with trapeze artists, stilt walkers, art painted by the shelter animals, a wonderful silent and live auction, plus lots of food and wine. FAAS needs your support more than ever due to an increased number of abandoned pets coming to the shelter. After The Ball will be held 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Rock Wall Wine Company. There is also a special VIP reception from 6 to 7 p.m. featuring jazz guitarist Terrence Brewer. Buy your tickets online at www.AfterTheBall.org or by calling 510-337-8565. Tickets for After The Ball are $80 or $100 at the door. The VIP reception is $125.

Sometimes cats come to the shelter that are too shy to be house cats but would make great yard cats. FAAS has two right now that are healthy, spayed, vaccinated and need someplace to live besides the shelter. They have had minimum interaction with humans, have probably always lived outdoors and are ideal for someone needing a feline to help in their garden. All you are required to do is provide them with food and water and watch over them. Our friends at ICRA will help anyone interested in one of these cats by bringing the cat to you and setting up a safe area where the cat can stay until it learns that your home is a safe place to be fed. Please call FAAS at 510-337-8565 to learn more about these garden cats or visit the shelter between 11 a.


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m. and 7 p.m. Wednesdays or 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

September is "Everything Goes With Black and Black-and-White Month" at FAAS. All pets dressed elegantly in black or black-and-white can be adopted for half the regular adoption fee.

The FAAS Photo Contest ends Sept. 30. If you haven't entered your pet's photo, go to www.360photocontest.com/217 to enter and tell your family and friends to vote for your pet. The top vote-getters will be Pets of the Month in the 2014 FAAS Calendar.

Pet Of The Week: Mr. Whiskey is about 8 months old and weighs 65 pounds. He is playful, silly and already knows "sit" and "shake." Mr. Whiskey should go to a home with children older than 10.

DOG ALLEY: There are 22 dogs available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. OSCAR is a 2 year old black/tan Dachshund/beagle. His sister, SHEBA, is a black-and-tan miniature Pinscher.

CAT LAIR: There are 52 felines available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. TURBO is a 4 month old black tabby kitten and KATNISS is a lovely 7-month old black-and-white kitten.

RABBIT ROW: MARTIN, a 1-year-old neutered agouti boy, and MOCHI, a 3-year-old spayed white rabbit with gorgeous blue eyes, are here at the shelter. SPECKLES is a neutered 1-year-old white-and-gold English spot, and BUN BUNS is a 7-year-old neutered mini-rex/lop mix currently in a foster home.

Mim Carlson is executive director of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. Visit the shelter at 1590 Fortmann Way at Grand Street, call 510-337-8565 or visit www.alamedaanimalshelter.org to view the animals.