Operation Santa Paws gives to shelters in need

Emmy Johnson, Writer

Operation Santa Paws encourages animal lovers to donate to local shelters this December. From Dec. 1-24, almost every shelter will be accepting donations for Christmas Day to be given to the animals they are housing.

According to National Day Calendar, “Around 7.1 million animals end up in shelters each year and only a small percentage of those animals get adopted. Operation Santa Paws not only brings awareness to shelters but also allows those animals without a home the much-needed supplies they need.”

Justin Rudd, owner of Haute Dogs, founded Santa Paws in 2001. The campaign’s goal is to ensure shelters are stocked up with much-needed supplies they will utilize throughout the year.

“Shelters all around the United States are in need of supplies and direct money donations to keep housing their animals, until they find their forever home, because of that I made it a mission to help these shelters and what better time than Christmas,” Rud stated on hautedogs.org.

Local shelters will post what they need in their donation box, but if donors don’t know what to bring shelters, Haute Dogs has a list of commonly needed items for shelters. This includes dog food, cat food, indestructible toys, litter boxes, cat scratchers, heating pads for infant animals, and donations for vet bills or for special needs animals. The Haute Dog website also includes a list of locations across the U.S. for people to directly donate to.

As reported by Haute Dogs, “If people can’t find a shelter that is accepting donations for Santa Paws or in December, we have locations in the United States and most of Latin America where people can drop off their donations and Haute Dogs will distribute the donations within your state to shelters.”

Haute Dog also notes that donations will no longer be accepted by noon on Christmas Eve and will then be distributed on Christmas Day. When dropping off these donations, shelters ask donors to include their name and call the drop-off location to verify participation so shelters know who’s donating. As of 2021, these locations for drop-off and pick-up have been limited; but Haute Dog encourages people to find areas to donate even outside of the state you reside in.

Locally, Fenton’s Adopt-a-Pet is a shelter to donate to this holiday season. Adopt-a-Pet is also having their own donation event called Santa Paws where any pet can get a picture with Santa Clause for a small fee that will be a direct donation benefitting Adopt-a-Pet.

“While we do accept donations during the Holiday season,” a member of the Adopt-a-Pet team said, “our Santa Paws event is a cash-only event where people can pay and their pet can get a picture with Santa, all the money from this event will go directly into buying necessities for the pets here at Adopt-a-Pet.”

For more information visit the Haute Dog or Adopt-a-Pet websites to find out how to donate and help out some pets this holiday season.