The Alameda Animal Shelter welcomes Maddie's Matchmaker Adopt-a-thon, an annual adoption event June 4-5 offering free pet adoptions to qualified homes.

More than 44 animal welfare organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties will participate on those dates, too. It all started with a miniature Schnauzer named Maddie whose love, devotion, loyalty and spirit inspired her caregivers to start a charitable foundation in her honor. Last year's adopt-a-thon was a great success, as many pets were adopted and new friends were made by the folks who came to participate.

PET OF THE WEEK: POGO, a neutered male Boston terrier/pit bull mix with a black and white coat, is just about six months old. He was abandoned in a dog park in March and has since been a guest in the shelter, awaiting a permanent home.

On Earth Day, Pogo attended the celebration in Washington Park with the shelter staff and "rocked the day," garnering much attention with his good looks and great rapport with kids. If you saw him there, you may have noticed a red spot on his eye. A vet has now successfully removed it, and he is fully recovered and ready to go home. Come and see this little guy. He's a great catch!

DOG ALLEY: Five dogs were picked up and brought to the shelter as strays this week: A large female tan adult pit bull mix, found at Harbor Bay Landing; a tan and white female Chihuahua found at Lincoln and Stanton; a female tan and white pit bull mix of about one year was found at Otis and Grand; a young female Chihuahua with a white and peach coat found at Otis and Grand; a male black and tan Chihuahua was found in the 400 block of Buena Vista; and a male Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix with a tricolor coat in the 1700 block of Buena Vista. If you recognize any of these dogs as your own or know their owners, please contact the shelter.

MAX is a real beauty of a pit bull mix. He is a big, angelic neutered male with a shiny tan coat and is said to be good on a leash. SAWYER, a neutered male tan boxer adult is still awaiting a new home, as is ROCO, the big, beautiful all-black German shepherd longhair.

CAT LAIR: One stray cat was found on Bayview this week, a gorgeous Siamese of cream and chocolate points, who just loves being held and brushed. She appears to be an adult.

A 3-month-old light gray spayed female tabby kitten, as yet unnamed, was abandoned in a box last month. She will be adopted very soon, so come and meet her. LITTLE THING, a spayed female adult Tortie, is a real darling. She has a great disposition and is loved by the volunteers.

RABBIT ROW: Six-month-old BARNABUS is ready for a new family. This male Silver Martin is gray and has a peach-colored accent on his chest and neck. He is a delight. He is in active litter box training and is already a handsome little guy. TAYLOR is back and is now neutered and ready to go to a permanent home. He is a New Zealand young adult white rabbit with a wonderful soft coat. MANGO is still in foster care as he recovers from being neutered. This tangerine-colored young male is a friendly bunny with lots of personality.

Linda Treml Hallam is an Alameda writer and animal lover. The Alameda Animal Shelter is located at 1590 Fortman Way at Grand Street. Call 510-337-8565 or visit online at www.ci.alameda.ca.us/animalshelter.