On Sept. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m., there will be a most unusual art exhibit opening here in Alameda. The artists are the talented animals at Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) who have painted some beautiful modern art pieces. The exhibit will be at Redux Studios and Gallery, 3215 Lincoln Ave. in Alameda. There will be refreshments, an opportunity to meet some of the artists and, of course, artwork for sale. In particular, you should check out the artwork of celebrity artist LULU, who spent hours fine-tuning her paintings for this event.

Art by animals is growing in popularity in America and internationally. The first known paintings were done in Great Britain by a chimpanzee that demonstrated his talents on TV back in the 1950s. Since then, paintings and other works of art have been created by orangutans, elephants, lions, birds and many others in zoos around the world. Animal shelters like FAAS are adding this enrichment activity as well with very positive results for the animals that seem to enjoy the activity. The paint FAAS uses is always nontoxic and water-based, so it can be easily washed off. The dog or cat is allowed to dip paws into various bowls of paint and then walk, smear, sit, lie down or perform any act desired to create its masterpiece.


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The artwork will be displayed at the gallery for a couple of weeks in September and then will be on display again at the After The Ball event Oct. 17. After The Ball is the biggest fundraiser FAAS has each year. This year's event is better than ever and will be held in the elegant Grand Pavilion. For the first time, some of our shelter dogs will be able to join the fun, plus there will be amazing food, wine, beer, auction items and music by the renowned Terrence Brewer. Tickets are $100 and available on the FAAS website at www.alamedaanimalshelter.org.

Still time left: The Cutest Pet Photo Contest has been extended to Sept. 30 due to problems with the host website. Enter your pet or vote for your favorites by going to www.gbcphotocontest.com/faas. Please call us at 510-337-8572 if you have difficulties entering the contest or voting. The top vote-receiving photos are featured in the FAAS 2015 calendar.

PET OF THE WEEK: Mikay is a 5-year-old tabby that is very a tender, sweet, sophisticated cat.

DOG ALLEY: There are 12 dogs available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. MATTIE is a brown merle German shorthair pointer/beagle mix that is super-cute and sweet. TIMMIE is a black/white dachshund/whippet mix that is about 1 year old.

CAT LAIR: There are 30 cats available at the shelter. FELIPE and FELIX are two handsome 2-month-old orange tabby kittens full of life. GIDEON (orange tabby) and GINNY (lynx point Siamese) are two 4-month-old kittens looking for love.

RABBIT ROW: CUBBY and SQUASH are handsome neutered male rabbits available for adoption.

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.