Santa returns to Ridge Animal Clinic for 2021 pet photos

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by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (November 20, 2021) – For 21 years, Ridge Animal Clinic has arranged pet photos with Santa — a free service for their furry clients. This year the event was scheduled on Saturday afternoon, when the clinic is usually closed, which allowed staff to focus on the photo ops.

Staffers Rose (striped sleeves) and Jess (blue scrubs) shepherd Hairy, an Old English Sheepdog, in for his appointment with Santa. Owners John (left) and Kristen (red coat) have been long-time customers of Ridge Animal Clinic, but this was their first time bringing Hairy and Hondo (already inside) to visit Santa there. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
In what used to be the main waiting area, Ridge Animal Clinic staffer Jennifer takes photos of 13-year-old Missy with Santa. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Coco the Basset Hound enjoys a moment with Santa. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Pepper the pug wore a Christmas hoodie for her photo with Santa. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Ridge Animal Clinic staffer Becky crops and prints the photos under the supervision of Lloyd, her chihuahua. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Chihuahuas Tres (left) and Torry calmly pose in their Christmas sweaters. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Jayne is reunited with her two chihuahuas after their photo session. Pet owners waited in the vestibule or in their cars throughout the process, and they received their printed photos within a few minutes. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
From left: Dr. Kerri Katsalis, Nina, Jennifer, Becky, Rose, Jackie, and Jess take a moment between appointments to pose with Santa and a few of their own pets. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Each year, the Santa photos are free, a way to say thank-you and Merry Christmas to clients and friends of Ridge Animal Clinic. Guests are welcome to make a donation to one of the animal-related causes supported by the clinic — Kitties for Keeps or Settlers Pond Shelter. Kitties For Keeps is a no-kill, foster-based cat rescue that finds homes for abandoned, abused, and neglected cats. Settlers Pond Shelter was founded by Roland and Pinky Janota on their family farm in Beecher, Illinois, as a no-kill rescue for “any type of animal in need.”

Pinky and Roland Janota (aka Mr. and Mrs. Claus) founded Settlers Pond Shelter because of their love for animals. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

Settlers Pond Shelter is located at 1301 E Offner Road in Beecher, Illinois. The shelter is open to the public and encourages visitors of all ages to learn about farming, hooded animals, and exotic animals.

Ridge Animal Clinic is located at 3667 Ridge Road in Lansing, Illinois. Call 708-474-3100 for more information.

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