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Pets share list with Santa

By Staff | Dec 11, 2012

Comet from Williamsport, a yellow lab mix from the SPCA, is getting his photo taken with Santa at the Lycoming Mall last Monday evening. Owner, Nicole Blank said it is his first Christmas.

PENNSDALE – Christmas is not only important to adults and children, but also to pets. Festively donned in ribbons and bows and Christmas attire, four legged creatures had an opportunity to visit with Santa at the Lycoming Mall on Monday evening, December 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. Families were able to bring their favorite pets to pose for a picture with Santa, either by joining in the family as a group or anxiously posing by themselves. Santa was able to hold many a fluffy friend while photographers tried to capture their attention with squeaky toys, commands, and challenging moments to win the hearts of family members for the holiday season.

Nicole Blank from Williamsport said she wanted to bring her lab mix, Comet who is just over one year for a photo because this is his first Christmas. She plans on sending out lots of Christmas cards.

“This has been one of the busiest this season,” said Cris Gansell-Whitcomb from Picture Rocks. She has been working with Santa at the Lycoming Mall for the last several years on his “Prep and Landing Team”.

The first pet arrived at 5:30 preceding a rather long line. “We had more pets than kids. It’s been steady,” added Gansell who assisted with the photographer and focused on getting the furry critters to sit still long enough for a photo shot. Many of the owners were using treats to help manage their pets.

Santa did have a visit from a beautiful 5 month old white Persian cat named Winston owned by Nancy Keener in Montoursville. Winston wore a little red and white collar with tiny jingle bells while nestled in Santa’s lap. Most of the animals who came were dressed in some kind of costume. The photos become a keepsake. The main challenge was keeping them occupied while waiting in line.

The Lust family from Watsontown came to visit Santa with their two dogs for a family photo at the Lycoming Mall. Santa will also be taking photos with pets on Dec. 17.

Wishing for toys and treats all sizes and breeds of excited dogs, wagging tails happily to be inside such a large building greeted Santa. Close to twenty dogs came the first hour. Tim Lust from Watsontown brought his entire family which included his six year old daughter, Raygan, his wife Nicole and two dogs, Reezen and Stuler. “The dogs are very much part of our family,” said Lust. Throughout the night Santa’s team was kept busy trying to get everyone’s smiling attention at once.

Santa will also be at the mall on December 10 and 17 for more photos before returning to his reindeer at the North Pole.