Ho-ho-ho and woof-woof!

Published 1:54 pm Monday, December 4, 2017

The holiday season is known to be a rather special time of the year among families, so it makes perfect sense that many would want to include their fur-babies in on the fun. The Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter teamed up with the Middlesboro Mall to sponsor their annual Santa Paws fundraiser on Saturday, providing animal lovers throughout the area with the opportunity to do just that.

This ‘one day only’ event allowed pet owners to bring their furry friends along with the rest of the family in their quest to visit and take photos with Santa Claus himself. After all, it has been a well-known tradition for many years to bring children out to visit with Ol’ Saint Nick, so why not take this one step forward for those with a special furry addition to their families?

Animal lovers seemed to be thrilled by the opportunity to bring their pets out to the mall, as well as see all of the other unique and precious animals. Professional photos were available for sale, allowing owners to remember the special moment, with one half of all proceeds going towards the Friends of the Shelter.

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“It was a very amazing experience; I especially enjoyed getting to see all of the other dogs. Also, the staff was wonderful and it was awesome to get to donate to the shelter,” said Lyndsey McGinnis, who brought her dog, Bella, all the way from Harlan County to be a part of the event.

The program raised over $300 for the Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter, all of which will go toward funding several of the important assistance programs they provide for animals and animal-lovers throughout the area, such as: their pet food program, which provides low income pet owners with the food they need to sustain their furry friends; their low-cost spay and neutering program; their sponsorship for KIND News, which is distributed to kids throughout the area, teaching them the importance of humane treatment to all living animals; and the immense support they offer for the shelter itself.

“We would like to thank everyone who came out with their pets, as well as the Middlesboro Mall for continuing to host the event each year. It really does mean a lot to us, and it helps the organization to continue providing several important services throughout the county,” said Dinah Presnell, a member of Friends of the Bell County Animal Shelter.