with Santa Claws
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Humane Society of Hall County, 845 West Ridge Road, Gainesville.
What: Pictures cost $25 dollars and include six poses. A CD can be purchased for an additional $3. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Hall County.
Contact: Walk-ins are welcome but appointments can be made at 770-532-6617.
Santa Claus and puppies: What more could you ask for?
The Humane Society of Hall County’s annual "Pet Pictures with Santa Claws" offers people the opportunity to get pictures with their pets in time for the holidays.
Gwen Trimmer, community resource director for the Humane Society of Hall County, said the fundraising event is very popular and has been happening annually for more than 15 years. Trimmer said people enjoy bringing their kids and pets in to get photos for holiday cards.
"While we do raise money with this, I think of this more as a service to the community," Trimmer said.
The cost of the photos is $25 for six poses and a photo CD for an additional $3.
Some have even given additional money to support the Humane Society.
"We’re very blessed. The community is very kind to us," Trimmer said. "People are very generous."
This year, Trimmer anticipates Pet Pictures with Santa Claws will raise about $3,000 for spay and neuter programs.
Trimmer said Hall County has a big problem with pet overpopulation and the Humane Society is trying to educate the community about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.
"We’re really trying to highlight the need," Trimmer said.
Trimmer said this is her favorite event of the year, because she gets to see animals that are well loved.
"We see all the pampered pets ... not the pets that aren’t treated well," Trimmer said.
Though mostly cats and dogs come in for their glamour shots, Trimmer said she has seen some very unique pets pose with Santa throughout the years.
"We have had llamas come in, a miniature horse and until this year we’ve had a lady that brings a parrot," Trimmer said. "We’ve had the gambit."
Santa Claus Ron Gregory and photographer Fox Gradin with Celestial Studios are donating their services this weekend, and Trimmer said they are very patient despite the odds.
They get the animals’ attention using squeaky toys and lights, and Santa Claus has to endure the occasional urination on his lap during the photo shoots.
"Santa has been through a lot. But it’s still a wonderful event," Trimmer said.
Sarah Magness brought her dogs Shelly, Lily, Bella and Sophie to have their pictures taken Friday.
She said she is going to include the pictures of her dogs with Christmas letters.
"We tried to take our own Christmas pictures last year and it ended up being disastrous," Magness said.
She said she is happy not only to have a professional photographer, but to help out the Humane Society.
"We’re contributing to a good cause," Magness said.