A recent influx of dogs at the Payson Humane Society threatens to turn a happy holiday season into a dour one for shelter employees who may have to start putting them down -- not to mention dogs like Freckles, who may end up with a few less buddies on Christmas day.
Freckles was selected by shelter staffers to be the "front" dog in a thinly disguised publicity stunt to get some dogs adopted before that eventuality comes to pass.
If, in the process, Freckles finds a home of her own, all the better. While she's billed as a pit bull mix, you won't find a sweeter creature in all of dogdom.
During the photo shoot, Freckles willingly donned reindeer ears, some kind of Santa headpiece, and a Santa hat -- asking nothing in return but a pat of appreciation from the weird humans who insisted on taking away her dignity.
And when she spotted Chelsea the cat in a nearby enclosure, she curiously but tentatively padded over for a closer look. When Chelsea reached through the chicken wire to give Freckles a warning smack, she wasn't the least bit aggressive in return.
Freckles, one of the 35 dogs currently housed at the shelter, is 2 years old and ready to make some lucky family a wonderful holiday gift. If Freckles isn't for you, come on down to the shelter and pick out the one that is.
Dogs and cats cost $70, which includes all shots, spaying or neutering, and an identification microchip. With the Payson Humane Society's Home 4 the Holidays program, those who adopt a shelter animal by the end of the year will receive a special adoption kit, a coupon for free food courtesy of Payson Feed, and a chance to win $100 worth of veterinary fees courtesy of Paws in the Park.
The shelter is located at 812 S. McLane Road, just south of Main Street. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Food and supply drive
Donations are still being accepted for the humane society's Annual Food and Supply Drive for puppies, kittens, cats and dogs.
Among the items especially needed: dog food with low corn content, Kitten Chow, blankets, toys, leashes (4 feet long and 1 inch in width preferred), gentle leaders (medium and large sizes), collars, litter boxes, bowls, Clorox bleach, Pine Sol, paper towels, cloth towels, and wash cloths.
The drive continues through Saturday, Dec. 31. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter, or to arrange a pick-up of large donations, call (928) 474-5590.