A dog is man’s best friend, but I have a feeling my canine companion won’t like me too much once I dress him up in holiday-themed garb for a posed Christmas photo. Luckily for him, there’s a treat at the end of Paws N Claus.

The annual Siouxland Humane Society event will be held this weekend, Friday through Sunday (Nov. 3-5) at 819 Gordon Drive, and then again the following weekend (Nov. 10-12). In addition to being a fundraiser, Paws N Claus mainly serves as a way for Siouxlanders to get photos of themselves with their pets.

Paws N Claus debuts one week earlier than previous years. Director of development Missie Fischer said it’s to ensure that guests get their pictures back before Thanksgiving – about the time when most people would be sending out Christmas cards.

“It used to be the second and third weekend in November,” she said. “But it was butting right into Thanksgiving and people wanted them before then. I know it’s a little early, but it’ll get them in the spirit.”

For $35, people get three photo prints and a CD. Pet owners reserve the rights to those photos on the CD and can use them for any purpose. Most often, Fischer said, people use the photos as holiday greeting cards for friends and family.

“This is a rare opportunity where you can bring your pets and it doesn’t just have to be a dog,” she said. “It can be a cat, hamster, gerbil, bunny – they either have to be in a kennel or on a leash. And they have to be good around other animals because they’ll be in line for appointments.”

Decorated like a true winter wonderland, the photo area gives off plenty of jolly vibes with its snowy backdrop and holiday props. And if pets aren’t exactly looking the part, the Siouxland Humane Society has included plenty of dog- and cat-friendly scarves, scrunchies and other trinkets to match the occasion.

Guests also have the option to have their pet portraits taken alongside Santa Claus.

Paws N Claus is also a way to start shopping for all those four-legged friends. During the event, toys and treats will be made available for purchase. Visitors can also participate in various raffles.

Scheduling an appointment is encouraged. Call 712-252-2614 ext. 7. One sitting costs $35, two sittings cost $60. Three poses allowed with pets by professional photographer.

All proceeds gained from Paws N Claus will go toward the Siouxland Humane Society.

“It’s for a really good cause,” said Fischer. “Some people have been doing this for years and they’re looking forward to it. I think what really makes it stand out is even though you can get your picture taken with your pet more often these days, you usually don’t get the rights. They can do whatever they want with the CD. That’s a plus.

“It’s a one-stop shop. You can get gifts for your animals, support the shelter and get your picture taken. And you can walk away with some good raffle items.”

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Weekender reporter

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