A Southern California shopping mall has apologized to the family of a young girl with autism after she and her service dog were turned away by a Santa who was either allergic to the dog, afraid of the dog, or just a most unjolly sort.
The Santa on duty during the incident at The Shops at Mission Viejo was fired, as was at least one elf, and the mall has invited both the girl and her dog back to visit with a more compassionate Santa.
The girl, Abcde (pronounced Ab-Suh-Dee) Santos, had waited in line for half an hour with her service dog Pup-Cake. But before Abcde could take a seat on Santa’s lap, she was turned away, apparently because the man playing Saint Nick was not a fan of Pup-Cake, a pit bull, ABC7 reported.
“The dog is not a breed when it is a service animal,” Miller told ABC. “A service animal is a highly trained companion to an individual and the breed is secondary. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives an individual with a disability the right to have their companion and service animal with them to do the job that they’re trained to do.”
Friend say Abcde, rather than wanting to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas, had hoped to ask him what he was wishing for this year.
Miller said even though Abcde was turned away by Santa and associates, the fact that she patiently waited 30 minutes to see him was something to celebrate.
“Any person who has a child on the spectrum would look at that and think ‘Wow,’” she said
Abcde’s mother wrote about the incident in a Facebook post. She said after Santa refused to meet with the girl and dog, the family offered to take Pup-Cake outside. They were told the visit would still not be allowed because Santa had dog allergies.
Miller said the shopping center responded quickly once they were told what happened.
“We do not condone the behavior displayed by Santa and have worked with our partners at Noerr, the company that hires our Santas, to replace this Santa with one that is more compassionate to our guests’ needs,” The Shops at Mission Viejo wrote on its Facebook page. “We look forward to welcoming back the Santos family and Pup-Cake for a special Santa experience.”
Noerr’s CEO also posted a statement to the mall’s Facebook page:
“For 26 years, The Noerr Programs has devoted itself to sharing the heart of Santa through the creation of magical Christmas experiences for all children and their families. The entire team at The Noerr Programs sincerely apologizes for any distress caused by this situation, and truly regrets the incident. We have reached out to the girl’s family, in an effort to extend a private Santa visit with complimentary photos of both the child and her service dog.”
Whether that happier ending will come to pass is questionable.
Abcde is still upset by what happened. ”Right now Abcde does not want anything to do with anything Christmas,” the family said in a statement.
“The family is working on reigniting that hope she had; if and when it happens she will visit Santa at The Shops. She will have her 30 seconds with Santa so she can ask him what he wants for Christmas. If she wants to. Not until then.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 3rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abcde santos, americans with disabilities, autism, autistic, california, children, christmas, girl, line, list, mall, mall santa, mission viejo, noerr, photos, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pup-cake, rejected, santa, santa claus, santa photos, service dog, southern, the shops, the shops at mission viejo, turned away, waited, wish
Included for free with any adoption during the holiday special are spaying and neutering, rabies vaccination, DHLPP vaccination, bordatella, de-wormer, flea preventative, a general examination, a food sample, a month of free veterinary care insurance, and Felv testing for cats and kittens.
Normal adoption procedures apply, and Baltimore City residents will need to purchase a $10 pet license. Puppies and kittens under six months old are available for adoption at $65, through December 31, 2010.
People who would like to give the gift of an animal to some one else can purchase a BARCS gift certificate for $65.
To adopt an animal from BARCS. stop by the shelter (behind M&T Bank Stadium) Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., call 410-396-4695 or visit BARCS online.
BARCS is hosting a Holiday Open House at the shelter this Saturday, December11, and Sunday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring cookies and punch and, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., photos of your pet with Santa. Photos are $10 each for a digital print and the proceeds will benefit the animals at BARCS.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animals, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue and care shelter, barcs, cat, cats, christmas, dog, dogs, fees, free, holiday, photos, photos with santa, rescue, santa, shelter, special, waived
First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha and first dog Bo, made an appearance at the Children’s National Medical Center Tuesday. Mrs. Obama, once Bo made sure Santa kept his distance, read “The Night Before Christmas” to the children.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barack obama, barking, barks, bo, bo obama, children's national medical center, dog, first dog, malia, michelle obama, obama, portuguese water dog, president, santa, sasha
More than 100 dogs showed up Saturday to have their photos taken with Santa in Baltimore’s Riverside Park.
Most, like this sweet beagle, seemed happy to get a little face time with St. Nick. About 2 percent wanted nothing to do with the fat bearded man in red. Only one growled at Santa. And Santa only growled once, when he stepped in dog poop.
Other than my boots, which I’ll clean up one of these days, there were no casualties, and about $1,000 was raised for the Franky Fund at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
Combined with an earlier Photos with Santa event in November at Federal Hill Park held last month, nearly $2,500 was raised for the fund, which is used to provide medical care for seriously sick and injured animals.
Those who purchased photos can view and download them here.
(Photo by Gail Burton)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, barcs, dog, dogs, franky fund, fundraiser, fundraising, pet, photography, photos, photos with santa, pictures, riverside park, santa, santa claus
It’s time for some good cheer, dammit.
And in that spirit, Santa invites all pets and their owners – both those who have been good and those who have been bad — to come to Riverside Park in south Baltimore this Saturday to have your pet’s photo taken with his merry old self.
If seeing Santa, and getting a lasting, suitable for framing memory of your pets’ visit with old St. Nick, isn’t enough, there will also be free treat bags, while supplies last, and Santa himself will award a FURminator to the dog who appears in most need of it.
And there’s also the fact that all proceeds go to a very good cause – the Franky Fund at BARCS, which is used to provide emergency medical care to seriously sick and injured animals so that they may be doctored up and adopted out, as opposed to that nasty alternative Santa doesn’t like to talk about.
Santa will be at Riverside Park between 10 a.m. and noon, assuming he can find a parking space for his sled.
The event is sponsored by BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter), Brazen Tails, Ride Entertainment and the South Jersey Thoroughbred Rescue and Adoption Center.
Photos will be taken by Gail Burton, a freelance photographer who works for the Associated Press covering the Ravens and Orioles. The fee is $10, and the photos will be posted online for easy downloading.
How does Santa know all this? Because he’s Santa. And as for those two or three dogs who — like leaping Lola above — wanted nothing to do with Santa last year, I’m looking into ways to make myself less intimidating and more appealing, including smearing myself with bacon grease.
On another holiday related note, tune in tomorrow (Thursday) for an ohmidog! quiz, the five winners of which will receive holiday treat bags for their dogs. The quiz will be posted at 9 a.m., and the first five contestants to submit the correct answers win.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, brazen tails, christmas, christmas cards, dog, dogs, events, franky fund, fundraiser, my dog, ohmidog!, parks, pet, pets, photographs, photos, riverside park, santa, santa claus, spirit, st. nick, visit, with santa, your dog
Locust Point Dog Park has announced designated hours for small, elderly or otherwise fragile dogs — 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. daily.
The new policy — now posted in signs at the park — will be self-policing, meaning that little dog people will have to ask the big dog people to leave in the event they are not following the rules.
The dog park committee also announced that Saturday’s “Pet Pictures with Santa” fundraiser — with City Councilman Ed Reisinger as Santa — raised $550 to help support the maintenance of the dog park. Baltimore City, though it helped build the park, does not pay for its maintenance. Clean-ups at the park take place on the second Saturday of each month, with the next one scheduled for Dec. 12 from 10:30 to noon. The dog park is closed during clean-ups, and volunteers are invited to pitch in.
If you missed getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa, there are more opportunities on the horizon. Canton Dog Park will be holding a similar fund-raising event on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon.
Two more pet photos with Santa events are being held to raise money for BARCS Franky Fund for sick and injured animals. On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon at Federal Hill Park, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to noon at Riverside Park.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barcs, big dogs, canton dog park, christmas, clean up, dog parks, dogs, federal hill park, franky fund, fundraiser, large dogs, locust point, locust point dog park, maintenance, pets, photos, riverside park, santa, small dogs
It has been almost a year since the day Santa almost lost his shih-tzu. Well, it wasn’t really Santa, it was me. And it wasn’t my shih-tzu, it was a friend’s — and a dog who normally jumps on me as opposed to off of me.
Still, it’s a rare dog who doesn’t want his or her photo taken with Santa Claus — and there are four opportunities coming up.
The first is tomorrow (Sunday) — at the new Locust Point Dog Park.
Pet Pictures with Santa runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds go toward the maintenance of the park, which opened this fall.
Canton Dog Park will be holding a similar fund-raising event on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon.
Two more Photos with Santa events will be held to raise money for Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter’s Franky Fund, which helps care for seriously sick and injured animals that arrive at the shelter — On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 to noon at Federal Hill Park, and on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 to noon at Riverside Park.
All the events are for good causes, and the photos make great Christmas cards.
(If you know of others pet photos with Santa events, please feel free to add them to this entry in the form of comments.)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, barcs, christmas, dog, dogs, federal hill park, latrobe park, locust point dog park, pets, photographs, photography, photos, photos with santa, riverside park, santa, santa claus