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Four-legged friends don their best for Santa pics

By Charlo Greene 6:49 PM December 18, 2013

25 percent of proceeds go to nonprofit

ANCHORAGE - Now that Mark and Barbara Cochran’s children are all grown up, their three-and-a-half-pound pomeranian Hialeah is their baby.

“We’re really big pet lovers, so I brought Hialeah here for my wife,” Mark Cochran said.

With her nails trimmed and her fur fluffed, Hialeah was one of dozens of animals who showed up at the Sears Mall Wednesday to have their photos taken with Santa Claus.

“I told my neighbors and everybody out in the Valley, ‘Come on in to Sears! Support a good cause and get a photo of your pet with Santa,’” Barbara Cochran said.

Pet Pictures with Santa is an effort by nonprofit group Friends of Pets to raise money for sick dogs and cats who would otherwise go without the treatment necessary to be put up for adoption.

“If an animal has a major medical and there’s nobody that can treat that issue, we’re not going to let that animal continue to suffer,” said Brooke Taylor, Anchorage Animal Care and Control public information officer. “We’re going to have to make some hard choices.”

Worst of which would be euthanizing the sick animal.

But with 25 percent of all proceeds from Pet Pictures with Santa going toward Friends of Pets, each shutter of the camera lens increased funds for medical care, spay and neutering services, rescue, foster and adoption of area animals.

So far this year, Friends of Pets have rescued 57 dogs through Anchorage Animal Care and Control and have provided enough money to spay and neuter 96 cats.

Dec. 18 was the last day this holiday season to have pets’ photos taken with Saint Nick. You may still, however, help out local animals in need of medical care by visiting the Pets of Friends website.

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