JACKSON TWP. St. Nick paid a special visit to Pet Supplies Plus on Portage Street Northwest on Dec. 7 to sit with the pets shopping in the store for a photo. It was hosted by Second Chance Pet Rescue. The group holds the annual event so that pets have a chance to get a photo with Santa and have some private time with the big guy.

Lynda Marshall, who runs Second Chance, said they have been coming to the store for a couple of years. They hold the event over two weekends in early December.

“The photos are free, we do have a collection jar out to take donations should anyone want to donate to the rescue,” Marshall said. “We use the proceeds to pay our veterinarian bills to spay and neuter the pets we rescue.”

Pet parents were able to download their photos from professional photographer Ben Lehman’s website for no cost. The photographer and Santa volunteered their time.

There were dogs of all sizes and types all spruced up for their photos. Chuck Cerett brought his pet tortoise for a photo. Sheldon, the tortoise, is seven years old and weighs about 60 pounds. He sat next to Santa and turned his head to the left and then to right, as if he were posing.

“I brought her over last year for photos too,” Cerett said. “She enjoys coming out for different events and I try to get her out as often as I can.”

He was showing photos of when he got the tortoise for his daughter and Sheldon was the size of large button. Sheldon was a big hit as people watched her walk around the store and sit for a photo with Santa.

Most of the dogs were comfortable with the bearded guy, except for Diesel the Great Dane. He was a bit skittish and want to sit next to Santa. When he looked at him and saw the beard, just like many young kids, Diesel got nervous. He eventually settled down and sat just perfect for his photo.

Second Chance for Animals is an all-volunteer organization that has been rescuing animals in Stark County for more than 20 years. The group’s goal is to aide homeless, abandoned and abused animals. For more information, visit the website at secondchanceohio.org or email secondchance4animals@yahoo.com.