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Students send a stern message to President Trump on guns. Also on our nationwide rundown: One expert's view of why canceling student-loan debt would boost the economy; plus the Trump budget calls for a 90-percent cut to a decades-old public lands program.

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Santa and Helpers Deliver Adopted Pets to New Nevada Homes

Nevada Humane Society volunteers are dressing like Santa and his elves and delivering shelter pets to their new homes on Dec. 24-25. (alvimann/morguefile)
Nevada Humane Society volunteers are dressing like Santa and his elves and delivering shelter pets to their new homes on Dec. 24-25. (alvimann/morguefile)
December 22, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Santa and his elves will hand-deliver newly-adopted shelter pets to surprise families on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in several parts of the state.

The second annual "Santa's Sleigh" program is run by the Nevada Humane Society, which serves the Reno/Sparks and Carson City areas. Pets can be adopted today or tomorrow; they'll hold the animal until the 24th or 25th and send a volunteer dressed as Santa or an elf to your door to make the delivery.

Adoption manager Jessica Branton said the reaction last year was overwhelming.

"Most of them were children, and the kids, of course, are just super-surprised," she said, "jumping up and down, jumping all over you, trying to pry the pet out of your arms, just so excited."

Shelters around the state are running promotions, discounting and even waiving some adoption fees, especially for older pets or those who have been in the shelter for a while. They also have free and reduced-price programs for seniors who adopt a pet.

Branton said they want to encourage people to adopt animals rather than head to the pet store. Her agency has adopted out 500 animals so far this month - but she said they've taken in just as many.

"We obviously get a lot of adopters during the holidays, which is great," she said, "but there are always animals that need a home, hundreds of animals. We do get a lot of surrenders this time of year."

In Las Vegas, the Animal Foundation shelter is offering a huge discount on adoptions in December. It costs just $5 to bring home any dog that's been waiting for a family 10 days or longer, and all pit bulls, adult cats and rabbits.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV