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'Santa Paws' returns to the High Country

Article Published: Dec. 1, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
'Santa Paws' returns to the High Country

People aren't the only ones hanging their stockings with care this holiday season.
Pets deserve a little of the Santa love too, and the Watauga Humane Society (WHS) hopes to capitalize on the canine caroling with Santa Paws, an annual event that's always something to bark about.

"It's an annual event that we have, where people who want their wonderful pets to have their picture with Santa Clause can do so," WHS public information officer Ellen Jo Kraemer said.

Five-by-seven-inch photos of your pet with Santa Claus cost $10. Each additional photo costs $5.

"It really makes for a fun little gift if you don't know what to send anyone," Kraemer said.

And it's not just man's best friend that needs to prep his holiday best.

"We've had people bring bunny rabbits ... gerbils, hedgehogs, you name it, just so long as it's a pet that will do OK in a situation where there's noise and lots of people," Kraemer said.

Well-behaved pets (and owners) are welcome to come out to the Mast General Store annex in Valle Crucis (the Little Red Schoolhouse). The event happens from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5. Dog treats from Best Friends Barkery and hand woven items from weaver Cindy Long will also be for sale. A portion of their proceeds will also go to WHS.
Additionally, the Humane Society is getting some local love from Southern States Subaru (199 N.C. 105 Ext.) Saturday, Dec. 4.

"We just feel like it's important to help others in the community," Southern States' Gene Swift said. "We know that the Humane Society all during the year has trouble taking care of the animals ... so I just felt like they could use extra food and extra toys to help with those animals."

Saturday, the dealership is accepting donations of pet food, hoping to fill one of its vehicles with items for the Humane Society pet food pantry. WHS volunteers will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with several shelter animals.
The event is part of a Subaru program called "Lot of Love," where Subaru dealerships nationwide are partnering with five different organizations (Boys and Girls Club of America, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Meals on Wheels, the Ocean Conservancy and Habitat for Humanity).

"Locally, every new car that we sell, $250 that we sell goes to whatever of those five organizations they want," Swift said.

For more information, call Southern States Subaru at (828) 264-0675.
For more information on the Humane Society or to learn how you can help directly, visit

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