Holiday of Hope: helping make Christmas merrier for everyone

BURTON — The number of animals brought into the Humane Society of Genesee County increases, according to Mari Brooks, community events coordinator and humane educator for the shelter.

This is partially because pets get lost from their owners or people decide they can’t afford to keep their pets along with what they need to buy for their families.

Fortunately, there is an increase in the number of adoptions made from the shelter.

“Last December, we did 195 adoptions,” Brooks said. “The average for a month is about 100-115.”

For the Holiday of Hope event being held at the shelter from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 1 adoption hours will be extended until 6 p.m.

“We’re going to try to get every animal in the shelter adopted that day so they are in a home with a family for the holidays and forever,” Brooks said.

Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to take photos with Santa Claus during the event.

“We have pictures with Santa Claus for $5, which will be mailed,” Brooks said. “There aren’t a lot of places they can take their pet to see Santa Claus. Sometimes when they bring their pets to take pictures with Santa Claus, they may already be looking to adopt another pet.”

Brooks said this allows the pet owner to see if their current pet gets along with the animal they are thinking about adopting.

“So, the new pet could go home that day,” Brooks said.

Christmas music will be played throughout the event, which kicks off for the season of caring, to help attendees get in the holiday mood.

Custom Canvas Art, Scentsy candles, Earthborn Pet Foods, LuLaRoe clothing and the Genesee County 4H will be at the event. New vendors are still being accepted.

“The Genesee County 4H will be making dog toys,” Brooks said. “We’re going to have a station set up where adults and kids can either make dog toys to leave at the shelter for the dogs or take home for the dogs they have there.”

There is no charge for this activity.

There will be a bake sale with donated items. There are decorated and regular cookies, brownies and breads donated and sold, mostly for $1.

“All of the money raised through the bake sale and photos benefits the Humane Society,” Brooks said.

Each vendor will donate to a raffle at Holiday of Hope, benefitting the shelter.

“We also have pet raffle items, such as pet Christmas stockings, as well as additional Christmas items,” Brooks said. “The raffle tickets are sold for $1 each, six tickets for $5 and 15 tickets for $10.”

There will be bags in front of each raffle item so attendees can choose the item they want to try to win. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

Free microchipping will be offered to the first 15 pet owners expressing interest to ensure if pets are lost from their owners they can be identified and returned home for the holidays.

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