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Santa visits pets wishing for home for holidays.

Byline: Edward Russo The Register-Guard

Santa Claus dropped into the Greenhill Humane Society on Saturday to find out what life is like as a shelter animal.

"It's confined and boring," said the normally jolly old man.

Santa, dressed in his trademark red suit and sporting a bushy, white beard, spent the afternoon in a 10-foot by 4-foot dog kennel at the animal shelter, west of Eugene.

He took time away from his North Pole duties for the second consecutive year to draw attention to Lane County's animal overpopulation problem, and to help more pets find homes during the holidays.

"I just came down to see how dogs live," he said, sitting in a rocking chair.

"Hopefully, other people will come and enjoy the dogs and take them to a good home."

Sisters Hannah and Natalie Edwards of Creswell were among the visitors to the kennels.

They spent time with Santa's kennel mate, a stray border collie from Cottage Grove that shelter staff have named Zoom.

"He's very sweet; a little on the shy side," said Theresa Iverson, Greenhill's operations manager.

Santa is to be in the kennel today, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are asked to donate pet toys, supplies, such as small dog biscuits and leashes, and money to pay for animal medical care. A detailed list is on the shelter's Web site: wish_list.html.

Santa frequently visits the shelter this time of year. During the next two weekends, for example, Santa will be at Greenhill to pose for photos with pets. The portraits will cost $12, with proceeds going to the nonprofit animal shelter.

Photographs also are available on compact disk for an extra $5.

About 2,500 dogs, cats and other animals are adopted each year from Greenhill.

The shelter is open Friday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The winter holiday season is a relatively busy time of year for pet adoptions, Iverson said. "People are off work and many of them are looking for a companion animal," she said.

But Greenhill does not allow pets to be adopted as gifts to children unless the children visit the animal at the shelter first.

"We want to make sure the whole family is involved in the decision, and that it's a good fit for the family," she said.

SANTA AT THE SHELTER Santa Claus is a frequent holiday visitor at Greenhill Humane Society Where: 88530 Greenhill Road Today, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Kennel visit to raise awareness about homeless pets Dec. 9,10, 16, 17, noon to 4 p.m.: Holiday photos with pets For information: 689-1503
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Title Annotation:Animals
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 3, 2006
Previous Article:En route to holidays.
Next Article:VOLUNTEERS.

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