Santa took a break from tending to his reindeer to pose for photos with some of his other four-legged friends during the annual “Santa Paws” event at Pruyn Veterinary Hospital on Sunday.
The event raised money for Pruyn’s Good Sam Fund, which helps fund veterinary care for pets in need.
“We raise money for clients that don’t have enough money to pay for their treatments,” said Cheryl Barr, a vet technician. “If they’re trying everything they can to get the money together to take care of their pet, then we try to kick them some money to help them.”
Barr said this is at least the sixth year they’ve done Santa Paws and said that they’ve raised up to $800 in the past. The money raised is often used to match how much people are able to pay.
“If we get animal control dogs that have a broken leg and it’s going to be like a $1,000 surgery and they raise $500 but they have a hard time coming up with the rest, we’ll donate to that,” said Leah Gavin, another vet technician.
Barr and Gavin help run the event each year, working in tandem to get the perfect shot.
Gavin captured pets’ attention by holding dog biscuits in the air as Barr stood by her side and snapped a photo with an iPad.
Dogs demonstrated their ability to be good girls and boys by posing for photos wearing Santa hats, reindeer antler headbands and wrapping bows.
Although dogs were the main customers, Gavin also brought her bearded dragon.
The golden-colored dragon clung to Gavin’s sweater as she tried to place a bow on it for the photo. “I don’t know if it sticks to the scales,” she said, opting to place its tail and torso into a Santa hat.
Barr said that Pruyn is one of a few veterinary clinics in town that treats exotic animals, adding that she hoped to see a pair of goats come in for a photo with Santa.
Gavin and Barr also brought their French Bulldogs, French Toast and Olaf.
“You need a treat?” Gavin asked as she tried to get the dogs’ attention. “Snack? Walk?” Gavin crinkled a package of bows, but the treats were the dogs' main focus.
Santa even brought his two Rottweilers, Sig and Bullet, who took a swipe at some of his cookies on a table in the hall.
At the end of each photo, Pruyn employees gave the dogs “pup cups” which consisted of a small paper cup filled with whipped cream and topped with a dog biscuit.
Barr said the whipped cream is fine for dogs to have once in a while. “It’s their holiday treat,” she said.