Pet Dividends Are Love, Devotion

Pet Dividends Are Love, Devotion


You’re spending about $1,000 a year on your dog. Surprised? 

It might be less than that if you don’t pay for grooming. It might be more if you buy premium food or your pet needs surgery. The annual cost of keeping a cat is less -- but cats live longer, so they cost more than dogs in the long run.

How do I know all this? There are numerous “pet cost calculators” available online nowadays. Check out Talk about eye opening! Multiply the average annual cost by a pet’s lifespan, and you’re looking at more than $12,000 per pet! I still think my pets are good investments, but now I know how much those cute little faces are costing me. 

What is not surprising is how economical a shelter pet can be, especially in the first year. It costs just $125 to take home a Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS)puppy, for instance, compared with the $500 to $1,200 you will spend at a pet store or breeder’s.

Moreover, our $125 fee includes lots of freebies: neutering, microchipping, vaccinations and a doctor’s visit. These services would cost at least another $300 if paid for out of pocket.

Finally, because they draw from a bigger gene pool, shelter pets often have fewer health problems than purebreds. That means fewer vet bills as your pet ages.

No matter how much you invest in a pet, you can’t argue with the return. The love, the devotion, the companionship and the fun — each and every one is a priceless dividend of having a four-legged family member.  

Kitten Season Has Begun!
The first spring kittens are arriving and FAAS needs to stock up on supplies. We would be grateful for donations of formula, nursing bottles, canned kitten food and dry food for mothers and kittens. Find the complete wish list at

May We Have Your Vote?
If you haven’t voted for the Best of Alameda yet, please swing by and cast your vote for FAAS at We’ve been nominated in two Lifestyle and Families categories: Best Charitable Event and Best Nonprofit Group. Voting closes May 31. 

Pardon Our Dust
FAAS is making some long-needed improvements to our front office. Many thanks to the city of Alameda for replacing our flooring and Chevron for donating new furniture and cubicles! 

We should be back up and running on Monday, May 2. Until then, we’re staying open as much as possible during our regular hours of Wednesday through Sunday. We will continue to do adoptions, by appointment. If you see a FAAS pet online that you’re interested in, please call or email and we will arrange for a visit. Thanks for your patience.

FAAS Job Opening
Do you love animals and need part-time employment? FAAS is seeking an animal care assistant. 

The position includes cleaning kennels, feeding and exercising the animals, and interacting with volunteers and the public. Hours are 15 to 20 a week, including weekends. 

If interested, contact Tina Aedo at

Saving More Lives
We’ve crunched the numbers for 2015 and the shelter’s new live release rate is 96.6 percent. In 2014, it was 94 percent. In 2013, it was 97 percent. FAAS’s live release rate is consistently one of the best in the nation for an open-intake shelter. Open intake means FAAS accepts any homeless pet that comes through our doors.  

Thank you for your continued support in helping us care for and find new homes for the abandoned pets of Alameda!

How You Can Help
As a nonprofit organization, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) depends greatly on the generosity of supporters like you to help us care for and find homes for the abandoned pets of Alameda. You may make a donation in person, by mail, by phone, or via PayPal. The shelter’s location and mailing address is 1590 Fortmann Way, Alameda, CA 94501. 

You may charge a donation by calling 337-8565 or by using the PayPal Donate buttons at PayPal accepts Visa, MasterCard and other major credit cards. You do not need to create a PayPal account.

To make a donation in memory of or in honor of a loved one, pet or human, just let us know. Questions? Call 337-8572 or email


Nancy Baglietto is executive director of Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.