Unused Pet Food Makes a Difference to Shelter

Courtesy photo FAAS volunteer Xandra Stein poses with two furry friends while sorting recent donations of much needed pet food and other supplies.

Most Alamedans know that the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) is the community resource for sheltering and caring for more than 1,000 lost, abandoned and homeless animals each year. What is less known, however, is that FAAS helps dogs and cats already living in their own homes as part of families.

The FAAS pet food pantry provides dog food, cat food and kitty litter to pet owners throughout Alameda who are challenged by the rising costs of caring for their animals. Thanks to a community partnership with the Alameda Food Bank, FAAS distributes food and litter one day a month to those needing extra assistance to make ends meet.

Distribution takes place the first Saturday of every month when food bank clients pick up their groceries. Having a pet food and kitty litter give-away program at the same location helps people minimize the number of stops they need to make in order to feed their pets as well as their families. Currently more than 160 individuals and families participate in the program, with more signing up weekly.

The need for pet food and kitty litter is ever-growing, and FAAS depends on donations from the community. Pet owners sometimes purchase a large package of food only to find that their pet does not care for it. Not wanting to throw away the new bag, they call FAAS to see if we can use it. Of course, the answer is yes, although not to feed the animals at the shelter, but rather to feed animals who depend on our pet food pantry.

Bring your donations to the shelter Wednesday through Sunday during our regular business hours. FAAS is willing to accept food donations even if the bag of food or litter has already been opened since larger bags are typically divided into smaller portions anyway. All in-kind contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Artists Unleashed displays animal artwork

Like human artists, our many talented shelter animals savor the opportunity to express their hidden creativity. FAAS will be displaying their artwork at Artists Unleashed from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11, at Redux Studio and Gallery 2315 Lincoln Ave. All animal artwork will be for sale with prices starting at $20.

All proceeds will benefit FAAS. Admission is free and attendees will enjoy free refreshments and the option to purchase wine and beer. Prizes will be raffled off and several animal artists will be present. Information is available at www.alamedaanimalshelter.org/events.

After the Ball coming up in October

Tickets are now on sale for FAAS’ one-of-a-kind fund-raising gala, "After the Ball," voted Alameda’s best charitable event in 2014. All proceeds from this event on Friday, Oct. 2, at Rock Wall Wine Company support the animals at the shelter. Information is available at www.alamedaanimalshelter.org.

FAAS Wish List

With "Kitten Season" in full swing, FAAS needs to stock up on kitten food, specifically Royal Canin, Mother and Baby Cat Food. If you shop on Amazon and want to help, there are a number of ways you can make a difference. Visit: www.amazon.com/gp/wishlist.Type in "Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter" and it will take you to our recently updated wish list.

While online, you can also like FAAS on Facebook at www.face book.com/FAAS09.

Nancy Baglietto is the FAAS executive director.