Animal shelter dogs and cats wake up to Secret Santa gifts on Christmas Day


Staff at the Humane Society of Washington County have been working all month long to provide animals in their shelter an amazing Christmas.

“A lot of people want to support us, but they can’t adopt another animal or they aren’t in a position to adopt one right now,” said Crista Kowalski, K-9 Health and Behavior Coordinator at the Humane Society of Washington County. “I felt like this was a good way to ask for donations for people to stuff their stockings.”

On Christmas morning, 68 of the animals that are available for adoption at the shelter were woken up to some well deserved Christmas stockings stuffed with toys and treats.

“I know that my dogs get spoiled on Christmas, so I wanted our dogs here and our cats as well to be able to share that,” said Kowalski.

She started the idea. “We have put all of the dogs names on the stockings as well as the cats, as well as the ones that fit on the stocking.”

The stocking tradition, which took off this year, is to make the holiday season a little more joyful for pets at the shelter.

“They’re filled with everything. Little bags of treats that people donated. Toys that people have been really donating like fantastic well made toys,” she said.

The outpouring of support from the community to give these furry friends a brighter Christmas has been more than she imagined. The shelter hopes to make the stocking tradition an annual event.

“It just brings me so much joy that so many people have come to help with this project,” said Kowalski.

The shelter will be closed Christmas Day.

“We will have essential staff here at the shelter of course taking care of the animals, eating, feeding,” said Noel Fridgen, Communications and Digital Fundraising Manager at the Humane Society of Washington County.

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