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Pets, owners get portraits taken with Santa at Heart of the Vall - KXLF.com | Continuous News | Butte, Montana

Pets, owners get portraits taken with Santa at Heart of the Valley event

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BOZEMAN - The snow didn't stop people from heading to Heart of the Valley Sunday for the ninth annual Santa Paws event.

A number of 4-legged friends and their owners were in attendance to get their picture taken with Santa.

“Lizzy originally came from Heart of the Valley, so we love coming and giving them money at Christmas time and the picture from Santa is a great benefit too,” said pet owner Kayla Olson.

Olson was just one of many pet owners excited about having their pets take a picture with Santa.

“Today I wanted to have the puppies take a picture with Santa,” said Leah Gann. “We’ve never done it before and it was for Heart of the Valley, so if I’m going to give a donation or pay for a picture, it’s going to Heart of the Valley, so it’s great either way.”

It wasn’t just the pet owners who were looking forward to Santa Paws. Volunteer Lauren Brendal talked about what the fundraiser means to her.

“I’m so excited about being part of Santa Paws. Absolutely love animals. My own dog is a rescue, although not from here. So it warms my heart that we can celebrate the holidays with lots of dogs and cats, and rabbits and all sorts of animals, taking pictures with Santa,” Brendal said.

Heart of the Valley has seen more than 100 pet owners this weekend.

“It’s very exciting, we have a really good turnout as you can see. Yesterday we had about 60 people who showed up. And today has been pretty non-stop since before we opened the doors,” said Operations Director Sharon Burnett.

“We raise between $800-900 a year and all of that money goes directly back to the shelter to help us care for the animals,” she said.

Even Santa was thrilled to take pictures of all the pets this weekend.

“Well I’m a dog owner, have been all my life, so to give back to people who take care of dogs and provide the continuous care that they need when they’re abandoned, it means a lot. It’s my way of helping the community,” said Mr. Claus.

To donate to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, click here.

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