The cause for Santa Paws

K-9 Kids event raises funds for Moffat County Humane Society

— Children have their pictures taken with Santa, so why not dogs?

That's what Santa Paws is all about.

Santa Paws is a money-making project of the K-9 Kids 4-H Club, led by Julie Hall. It's also a giving-back-to-the-community project as all proceeds go to the Moffat County Humane Society.

This year's event was Dec. 1 at Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply in Craig. It's the second year for Santa Paws. Club members Kayla Hall, Colton Hall, Danielle Guinn, Elizabeth Tochtrop, and Christopher Williamson were on hand to work the day of picture taking, and each member had a job.

Two members were in charge of promotion. They walked around the store, telling people about the chance to have their dogs' pictures taken with Santa.

One member took the order for the type of photo package desired, since several photo packages were available. Another 4-H member was in charge of collecting the money from customers and making change.

Hall estimates that about 25 dogs had their pictures taken.

Among the breeds represented were: Boston Terrier, Bulldog, German Shepherd, Border Collie, Black Lab and Chihuahua. The dogs posed with Santa in a special setting.

Some sat on his lap, others stood in front of him, depending on the size of the dog. A 4-H member stood behind photographer Kurk Libbee with a squeakie toy to get each dog's attention.

Murdoch's (which according to employee Marianne Maigatter, is a national 4-H sponsor of three years) provided the setting, Santa's costume and the flyers that were put in shopping bags to advertise Santa Paws.

Robert Libbee, of Quality Plus 1-Hour Photography, processed the pictures and gave the 4-H club a discount on the paper used for the photos.

Santa Paws "was a lot of fun," Libbee said. "It was a day of special treatment for the dogs."

According to Hall, last year's donation to the Humane Society was $143.78. She doesn't know exactly how much will be donated this year. That's because the club has one more money-making project before they add it all up.

Sometime during the holiday shopping season, as with last year, the K-9 4-H Club members will gift wrap presents at Murdoch's.

Murdoch's provides all of the gift-wrapping supplies, and customers put donations in a doghouse-shaped cookie jar. These donations will be added to the dog photo proceeds.

"The community is so great about supporting 4-H. I just want the kids to give something back," Hall said. "Giving to the Humane Society is a good way for the kids to do so."

She added that last year the kids felt so good after they made the donation.

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