HOULTON, Maine — The Hollywood Pet Salon on Saturday was an animal lover’s dream.
There were cats to be cuddled, dogs to be doted on and a treasure of treats available for both people and pets.
The store was bustling with activity throughout the afternoon as the Houlton Humane Society partnered with Hollywood Pet Salon to sponsor the ninth annual “Homes for the Holidays” initiative. The event is held to encourage the adoption of cats and dogs while also serving as a fundraiser for the Houlton Animal Shelter.
The store was bedecked with luminous Christmas trees, red bows and multicolored lights.
Just inside the front door of the store, Lee Oliver of Linneus stood by a resplendent Christmas tree with his cat Tippie sitting on his shoulder.
Oliver said he comes to the event every year.
“I enjoy showing off my cats,” he said with a grin.
Kristie Taylor and her daughter Jill also attended the event. The Houlton residents made dog biscuits to sell for the fundraiser.
It was the first time 11-year-old Jill had attended the event.
“I just want to help,” she said.
To raise money to care for the animals at the shelter, crafts and baked goods were for sale and a silent auction was held. Christmas trees and wreaths also were up for sale.
Santa was a huge attraction, as children grabbed their pets to have a photo taken with St. Nick.
In the back of the room, a few cats meowed and looked from their cages at visitors. All were up for adoption. There also was a book created by shelter staff that showed all of the animals they have available for adoption.
Cathy Davis, president of the humane society, was on hand at the event and said she was pleased with what she saw.
“Business has been steady,” she said. “Santa has been a big hit, and we hope we can generate a lot of interest in adoption through this.”
The shelter has had a bit of a reprieve lately. At one point earlier this year, the shelter had more than 200 cats. Thanks to adoptions, the number has decreased to 190.
Davis said she wanted to see even more animals go to good homes.
“Today we are really trying to focus on adoptions and raising funds to take care of our animals,” said Davis. “It is going to be a great day.”