PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For the eighth straight year, pets got to meet their new family on Christmas Day.

The Humane Animal Rescue team was at it again, this time with CEO Dan Rossi, who with pets in tote, played his role as Santa Claus.

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It all began at 9:30 a.m. when Rossi, staff and volunteers assembled at the Humane Animal Rescue East Shelter location on Hamilton Avenue in Homewood. The team departed shortly thereafter to make their deliveries of puppies, kittens and a bonded pair of cats to their new homes.

Rossi was able to spend quality time with a puppy named Dwight, before he met his new family, the Werner Family.

Photo Credit: (Humane Animal Rescue)

“This is Dwight, he’s one of our Christmas Deliveries this morning,” said Rossi. “This is our eighth year doing Christmas Deliveries of pets to families in the Pittsburgh region. He’s a lucky guy! He’s a lab terrier mix of some sort. It’s tough to know exactly what you’re going to get with a puppy, unless we know the parents. Besides this guy going to his family, we have several cats going out to families across Pittsburgh.”

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The program that began in with the Animal Rescue League in 2010, continued following their merger with the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Jan. 2017 to form Humane Animal Rescue.

“Every year, about a week before Christmas, we give families the option to pick out a pet, adopt it, and we’ll hold it for that time frame. On Christmas Morning, volunteers deliver the animals to the families,” said Rossi. “We have several volunteers help with Christmas Deliveries, which is very nice of them to give up their Christmas Mornings to help us to surprise these families. It’s a really nice and popular thing to do, especially for Christmas-time and especially for families that have kids when we show up, because it’s bound to be a surprise!”

The Werner Family was not the only home that got a special Christmas delivery, volunteers made several other stops including a pair of bonded cats to the Sgarlata Family in Bethel Park as well as a kitten to the Jimenez Family in Pittsburgh.

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To learn more about Humane Animal Rescue, visit their website.