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Four Legged-Friends Tell Santa Their Wishes at JV Mall

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Rudy, an 11-month old puppy, waited in line for his turn Sunday night to jump into the lap of Santa Claus.

Rudy and his owner Jen Ritz were at the back of the line at the Jefferson Valley Mall's pet photo night, where pet lovers could bring animals of any kind to get their photo taken with Santa.

"I just figure we'll put it with the rest of our family and holiday photos," Ritz said.

Down the line Ximena, Joseph, Emily and Madeline Barbuscia waited for their two kittens, Buddy and Oliver, to get their chance to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas-- something their mom, Ximena, said was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"To get kids and kittens in the same photo for the Holidays won't last forever, so we wanted to do it now while they're all young," Barbuscia said.

Throughout the night, English bulldogs and golden retrievers dressed with Christmas bells and festive sweaters sniffed around Santa's boots before positioning themselves on the couch next to St. Nick. Family photos were taken for Christmas cards for families like the Gallos. Mom Pat and daughter Adrianna posed with their Morkie Charlie.

Kathie Iaconnetti, the owner of Duke the Golden Retriever, said she would use the photos to update friends and family through Facebook-- not the old fashioned way of sending a photo around.

Maureen Benz said she loved bringing her English bulldogs Mona and Maggie, but thought her dogs enjoyed it more.

"I think they loved it, they absolutely loved sitting up there with Santa," she said.

Lauren Penchina, director of marketing for the Jefferson Valley Mall, said over the years she had seen a slew of animals, including turtles, parrots, cats and dogs.

"It's really a wonderful event, especially because our Santa Claus is just as good with the kids as he is with the pets," Penchina said.

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