Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter wants to ensure that pet owners have a good chance of finding their beloved animals should they ever get lost. One of the very best ways to find your pet if lost is to make sure he or she is licensed. FAAS is the place to go in Alameda for all residents to license their cats and dogs. The ultimate goal of our licensing program is very simple -- to help get more lost pets home.

In addition to finding your pet faster, buying a license helps the abandoned pets at FAAS. Your license fees pay for vaccines, medical care, toys, treats and whatever else the animals need in the shelter. For instance, by buying a one-year $10 license for your spayed or neutered pet, you are giving one shelter pet the preventive vaccines it needs while it waits for its new home. A three-year license for $20 helps two pets receive vaccines. If your pet is not spayed or neutered, license fees are higher. Please call FAAS at 510-337-8565 to get more information about license fees.

There are other benefits for you and your pet, too. As a responsible pet owner, you avoid receiving a fine for having an unlicensed dog or cat (it is mandatory for pet owners to license their cats and dogs in Alameda). Anyone taking their dog to our local dog parks must have a current license for his or her pet. Plus, all licensed pets must be vaccinated against rabies, which keeps our community safer.

To purchase your first-time license, all you need to do is take your proof of rabies vaccine to FAAS at 1590 Fortmann Way. If your animal has been spayed or neutered, please bring that certificate with you, too. The whole process of licensing your pet takes about 15 minutes. After you've bought your first license you can renew via mail. Of course, we always encourage people to visit the shelter and visit with the animals waiting for their homes! Visit the FAAS website at http://www.alamedaanimalshelter.org or call 510-337-8565 for more information.


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PET OF THE WEEK: KODAK is a gorgeous, 11-month-old, black-and-smoke-colored, spayed female.

DOG ALLEY: There are 15 dogs available for adoption at the Alameda Animal Shelter. DANNY -- if you're looking for a whole lot of love in a small package, you've got to meet this dog! Danny is about 2 years old and super-sweet. COCOA is another sweetheart. She's a pretty brown Chihuahua mix about 2 years old.

CAT LAIR: There are 18 cats and kittens available for adoption at the shelter. SKIVVY is a pretty, gray-and-white, 5-year-old female needing a very loving home. MISTY is a beautiful, misty colored cat about 8 years old.

RABBIT ROW: MARTIN is a neutered agouti, and SPECKLES is a neutered English spot. SMUDGE is a handsome, pink-eyed Himalayan. DULCE is a neutered black New Zealander. All are very friendly and affectionate.

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.