Santa Paws Open House at the Humane Society of Portage County
By Taylor J. Hale
Special to the Gazette
PLOVER — Amidst the audible baying of dogs and purring of cats rested a meter of holiday glee this Dec. 1, at the Humane Society of Portage County.
Their annual Santa Paws event drew a festive crowd for pet-centric family photos, treats and open house. The shelter also offered their pet microchipping services during the special event.
“We have been doing this for about six years,” said Amanda Hoks, Humane Society organizer. “It started out as a small open house, and kind of just kept growing. People truly enjoy coming out.”
What started as a simple way to get the public to come and look at adoptable animals, quickly turned into a yearly tradition where pet lovers can grab high-quality photos with their four-legged friends. The event gives animals the spotlight. Letting them show their charm in a celebratory manner.
“We have a lot of people get a photo with their dog or cat on Santa’s lap. It makes a great card,” Hoks said.
The event is also a significant time for the Humane Society to find caring homes for their furry companions. Many people come to grab a family photo with Santa and find a new friend along the way in a kennel or cage.
“A lot of people stop by for the event and notice an animal they’d like to take home, too,” Hoks said.
Hoks also feels that the event is an important platform to teach children good pet ownership skills. She uses the occasion to instruct the youth on how to pick up and handle cats, how to behave around dogs and how to treat living creatures. The staff considers it a perfect opportunity to demonstrate humane practices.
“We teach kids that pets are not stuffed animals. They require a lot of responsibility and work,” Hoks explained.
The holiday event is also the only time of year where the shelter extends their animal microchipping services. Pet owners can fix a microchip in their pet to track in case they run away. Faculty can also verify if your pet already has a chip and confirm existing info.
The Santa Paws event has sumptuous treats, superb holiday festivities and adorable animals. Start getting your dog’s ugly Christmas sweatshirt ready now for next year’s event. For more info on the Humane Society of Portage County visit their website at www.hspcwi.org.