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Furry friends snap pictures with Topeka Christmas Elf

Published: Dec. 13, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Animal lovers had the chance to start a new holiday tradition with their furry friends Sunday.

Tender Loving Care Pet Nursing Hotel hosted a first of its kind photo shoot with the Topeka Christmas Elf at Fairlawn Plaza Mall.

“They’re like our children,” TLC’s Founder and CEO Leslie Fleuranges said.

“The same way people take their children to go sit on Santa’s lap and say what they want, this is an opportunity for pet parents to bring their fur babies out and get their picture with the Topeka elf.”

The elf said it was hard to hold his excitement in to meet the pets of Topeka.

“I feel that I need to bring joy to everyone that I possibly can especially to those with fur,” he said.

All proceeds from the photo shoot benefited Helping Hands Humane Society.

Fleuranges said the fundraiser holds special meaning to her because of the enthusiasm she’s seen for pet adoptions this year.

“We basically cleared the shelters earlier this year so that pets are in the homes, loving homes and they’re not being abused, they have somewhere warm to go,” she said.

“This is really a great opportunity the pandemic of all things gave us as a gift.”

The Moser family is one of many that added pets to their pack this year when they adopted their dog, Royal, in March.

“It’s good to give him a home, a nice home, we had been looking for a nice dog for our boys for a long time,” dad Scott said.

Kirstie Whittaker said she is especially grateful for her dog, Tyke, during the holidays.

“They’re company, they’re nice to have with you somebody to welcome you when you come home somebody to make you feel better when you’re having a bad day,” she said.

In the midst of a pandemic-impacted holiday season, Fleuranges said pets can help make spirits bright.

“Maybe you feel less upset that you can’t get out because you have this darling little fur baby to take care of to snuggle up with to feed to take care of and that’s what the holidays are all about,” Fleuranges said.

“Being with people and things that you love and are meaningful to you and give you.”

Tender Loving Care Pet Nursing Hotel plans to hold a holiday themed fundraiser in the spring where pets can meet the Easter Bunny.

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