Guests spent Christmas with the animals during 'Spread Love with Pets' event at Fox Valley shelter

APPLETON -- In an effort to share a little holiday cheer with our "four-legged" friends, the Fox Valley Humane Association opened its doors to the public on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25. Organizers said the very first "Spread Love with Pets" event was a "pawsome way" to spend the holiday.

Shelter leaders said holidays at the Fox Valley Humane Society are typically very quiet.

"We just have our staff here, taking care of the animals, and that's usually it for them," said Vicki Prey, executive director. "But today? Not today. Not today. They are getting a lot of attention today.

From Chip, the dog behind the desk, to the lobby bustling with activity, hundreds of people filtered into the Fox Valley Humane Association Wednesday morning.

Prey said Christmas was the theme.

"The dogs all have stockings on their kennels, and there have been treats put in them," said Prey.

People were encouraged to visit with the animals. The Freimuth family stopped by from Greenville.

"So, it's Christmas morning, and we did our Christmas with Santa, and we always want to give back every year, and this year, we came to the dog shelter here," said Adam Freimuth.

The center of attention was a little dog named Alyssa. Ashley Freimuth read her a story.

"I think they do (appreciate it)," said Ashley Freimuth. "I think they do, and they don't mind if you mess up, which is a great thing."

Jacob Wehler and his family socialized with a mixed-breed named Sophie.

"She's a sweet girl," said Wehler of Menomonie. "She was really good on the leash, and she obviously likes scratches and attention. She's a big, fluffy dog."

Jessica Hanson from Beloit spent time in the cat rooms.

"I'm a cat lady, so I love the little kitties," said Hanson. "They're so sweet. I just love the little play areas. They're awesome."

"Today is just a day for our community to come in and enjoy the animals, and the animals to enjoy our community," said Prey.

People weren't able to adopt any of the pets at this special Christmas event, however, they could schedule a follow-up appointment, if they saw a dog or cat they were interested in.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Fox Valley Humane Association.