When Polar Bear came to Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS), he had a bad limp. He is probably a boxer/St. Bernard mix (he's big!) and about 6 years old. Our veterinarian took xrays on his legs and discovered that he had two torn knee ligaments, making it very difficult for him to walk. A specialist very generously offered to repair both knees at a much reduced rate of $4,000, and FAAS turned to the Humane Society of Alameda for help. Their board made our dreams come true by agreeing to pay the cost of the surgery! Polar Bear will recover from his surgery at the shelter and then be made available for adoption in about six weeks. Thank you, Humane Society of Alameda, for giving a gift of new knees to Polar Bear.

'Tis the holiday season, and our pets are counting on us to keep them safe. Here are a few tips to keep your animal companions healthy.

  • Keep holly and mistletoe far away from your pets. They can get very ill if they eat these plants.

  • Your guests may want to share your good food and sweets with your pets, but encourage them to show their love by having a play session instead.

  • Our trees should be secured in the upright position for those curious climbing pets, but remember to also change the tree water frequently so it doesn't get stagnant. Pets often drink this water, and when it's stagnant, they can get ill.

    For more pet safety tips for the holidays, visit the ASPCA website at www.aspca.org.

    Bank of Alameda/Bank of Marin launched a "Give Back" program to benefit nonprofits in Alameda. Five local nonprofits will each get $2,000 based on the number of votes they receive between now and Jan. 3. Please consider casting a vote for FAAS! Only Alameda residents can vote, and you can only vote once! To vote, you'll need to visit a Bank of Alameda/Bank of Marin branch office either at 2130 Otis Drive or 1416 Park St. You don't need to have an account at the bank to vote.

    Pet Of The Week: LUCKY is a 4 year-old Chihuahua mix, who is a little shy but really wants to be a lap dog.

    DOG ALLEY: There are 17 dogs available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. SNOOPY is a very sweet 1-year-old gray/white pit mix. GIZMO is a darling 6-year-old black/white Boston/Yorkshire terrier mix.

    CAT LAIR: There are 28 felines available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. BIG BOY is a 1-year old brown Maine coon cat. CASPER is a 4-month-old white kitten.

    RABBIT ROW: MARTIN, a neutered Agouti, and SPECKLES, a neutered English spot are in foster care. ASH is a 4-month-old white and gray English spot, and ADAM is a 4-month-old hot-tot.

    Upcoming Events

  • High Street Station FAAS Benefit -- 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. all Tuesdays this month except Dec. 24 at 1303 High St. in Alameda; reservations are recommended. Call 510-995-8049.

    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.