by Dennis Dalman
“Santa Paws” is coming to town – that is, to the Tri-County Humane Society in East St. Cloud for three festive days in November.
During those days, people and their beloved pets can have their photo portraits taken with Santa to adorn this year’s Christmas cards or to frame and place on walls.
Santa Paws, now in its 32nd year, is one of the important annual fundraisers for the local humane society.
The Santa Paws “package” includes a five-minute session with a professional photographer, five portraits on a disc and printing rights to the photos. There will also be pet stocking stuffers and cookies with Santa at each photo session.
The event is sponsored by Country Gallery Photography and photographer Lisa Crayford and by Kloster Commercial Resources whose employees built the homey living-room-with-fireplace set where the photos of pets, their owners and Santa are taken.
The photo sessions fill up fast so people are encouraged to register for an appointment as soon as they can.
The photo sessions will by from 2-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. To make an appointment, call 320-252-0896.
In 2016, the Tri-County Humane Society had a remarkable placement/adoption rate of 96 percent, with 2,875 animals finding homes, 1,275 of other animals fostered out to loving care-givers and 1,643 animals spayed or neutered.
Last year, the Santa Paws program raised about $8,000, and 100 percent of the proceeds was used to help animals at the shelter.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.