On Saturday, December 15th, more than thirty families attended “Photos with Santa Paws” at Meade’s Do-It Center in Irvine to help raise money for the Estill County Animal Shelter. Families from as far away as Bath County drove to have their pet’s and their children’s photo taken with Santa for a good cause. Judge-Executive Elect, Donnie Watson, also attended and brought his great-grandchildren for photos.
The event was organized by Staci May and assisted by Hannah Gregory, both with the Bluegrass Area Development District. Also, in attendance was Girl Scout Troop 7182, Tommy Mullen, Estill County Animal Control Officer, all assisted Chris Jones, who served as a delightful Santa Paws. Santa brought with him items and cash donations from earlier in the month.
This is the third year of Staci May and Chris Jones doing this event and the first year it was done for a charity outside of Lexington. “I was surprised to see so many people attend the event, it was a rainy and cold day, but so many great people came out with their children and pets. Everyone was so generous,” said Chris Jones. In addition to children and traditional dogs and cats, the event saw some non-traditional pets like ferrets and a chicken. In all, the event raised over $300, bringing the three events total to $505 dollars in cash donations and proximately six bags of dog and cat food, bags of cat litter, cleaning supplies, bedding and toys for the animals who won’t know the warmth of a loving home this holiday season.
Tommy Mullen said, “I’m so happy the way things turned out on Saturday! The money raised will go to having our adopted dogs and cats spayed/neutered. Estill County Animal Shelter gets charged $65.00 per animal through the local veterinarian. The shelter covers that expense at adoption, all the adopters have to do is show up. If the adopter doesn’t show, we get charged a fee anyway, for the veterinarians time. Then the shelter has to go to the trouble of taking an adopter to court to recoup that money, when we could be saving more lives, just because one person didn’t show.”
If you’re interested in helping out the Estill County Animal Shelter you can contact them on Facebook, keyword: Estill County Animal Shelter or contact a rural shelter in your area and donate your time, money or items to help make a homeless pet’s holiday season a little more hopeful.
By: Staci May
Planning and Information Manager
Bluegrass Area Development District