One of the questions we frequently get asked is, "What kind of leash should I buy for my new dog?" FAAS highly recommends the standard 6-foot leash in a width suitable to easily control your dog. People often think that the retractable leash is better for their pet, but there are many dangers associated with this leash, and owners have to be very careful when using it. Here are things to watch out for:

  • Too many fatal accidents are caused by retractable leashes when dogs get excited about chasing something and dart suddenly into the street. It's difficult to have total control with a retractable leash when your pup is excited.

  • Your dog and you can become easily entangled in a retractable leash, causing you to fall or your dog to be strangled.

  • Thin retractable leashes can cause you a painful burn if your dog rushes past you and the leash goes across your arm.

    If you do decide to purchase a retractable leash for your dog, make sure you buy one that best suits him or her. A thin, string-like leash will not work with a large strong dog. Also, learn how to use the leash before you use it. A very common problem with these leashes is people dropping them when their dog darts away from them. Please also pay attention to your dog 100 percent of the time. Distracted owners can let their dogs get into trouble very quickly with sometimes sad results.


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    If you buy a standard 6-foot leash for your dog, you'll always have your pooch close by you and significantly reduce the possibilities of injuries. The standard leash gives you and your dog a healthy, happy walking experience.

    Don't forget about our Inde-PET-dence Special adoption rate of $50 that is going on the entire month of July. All adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, a microchip, a one-year license for Alameda residents, a free wellness exam, free dog training classes and more.

    Pet Of The Week: JOHNNIE is a 3-year-old sleek man in black. He and June (a tortie) are looking for somewhere to settle down.

    Dog Alley: There are 21 available dogs and puppies at the Alameda Animal Shelter. MAGIC is a super-cute 6-month-old tan-white pit bull puppy with the most amazing ears. HENRI is a 5-year-old Maltese that's cute, friendly and very loving.

    Cat Lair: There are 39 available cats and kittens at the shelter. The FAAS Kitten Kottage is full of kittens of all shapes and sizes. KONA and NIKO are 4-month old gray and black-white kittens. TYRION is a 3-month-old orange-white kitten, BRIENNE is 3 months and blue-gray, and sister YGRITTE is a brown tabby. These are just a few of more than 30 kittens available.

    RABBIT ROW: MARTIN is an Agouti. DULCE is a black New Zealander. CUBBY is a handsome brown rabbit. SQUASH is a good-looking gray fellow. All of the rabbits have been neutered.

    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.