'Tis the season when we think of gifts for our pets. There are so many choices -- clothing, toys, treats, spa dates and more. All these gifts are wonderful. However, we'd like to suggest the very best gift of all. Please consider giving your pet cat or dog a microchip. It's not cute, tasty or even visible, but it's important. Giving the gift of a microchip ensures your pet will never be lost for long. All veterinary hospitals and animal shelters are equipped to scan pets for a microchip when they come in and determine the owner information. A quick phone call is made, and suddenly the pet and owner are happily reunited.

Sometimes, though, an owner will move or change contact information, or the pet will be given to someone new. With an out-of-date microchip, it is almost impossible to find the lost animal's home. For example, FAAS recently had a young Pomeranian come in that had been running loose in Alameda. The dog had a microchip and we learned from the microchip company that the dog lived in Oregon! When we called the phone number tied to the chip, the phone had been disconnected. Fortunately, in this case, we also had the phone number of who had implanted the chip and called them. They were able to contact the owner, who did live in Oregon, and we began the complicated process of getting the little Pom and his person back together again.


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They are now together and hopefully living happily ever after.

Please remember that after you have given the gift of a microchip to your pet, it's very important to make sure everything gets updated after a move or change of ownership.

It's easy to give this gift. The veterinarians in Alameda all provide microchip services, as does FAAS, and there are numerous microchip clinics throughout the year. Take the time to have your pet microchipped. You and your pet will be glad you did!

Pet Of The Week: TIGER is a handsome brindled male Lab/pit bull mix, about 2 years old

DOG ALLEY: There are 23 dogs available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. TRAMP is a 2-month-old, super-cute terrier mix and is full of puppy energy. TIMMY is a 2-year-old tan Chihuahua mix that would love to be your lap dog.

CAT LAIR: There are 33 felines available at the Alameda Animal Shelter. SAGE has been at the shelter for too long. She's a very beautiful 5-year-old calico. THOR and PIXIE are 2-month-old kittens that enjoy life to the fullest!

RABBIT ROW: MARTIN, a neutered Agouti, and SPECKLES, a neutered English spot are in foster care. ASH is a 4-month-old white and gray English spot, and ADAM is a 4-month-old hot-tot.

Upcoming Events

  • High Street Station FAAS Benefit -- 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. all Tuesdays this month, except Dec. 24, at 1303 High Street in Alameda. Reservations are recommended; call 510-995-8049.

    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.