Wesley Worrel is afraid of snakes.
“Sometimes I have nightmares about boa constrictors,” Worrel said.
For about seven years now, however, Worrel has served as “Pet Santa” at Hummingbird Farm, and it’s a role he played again on Saturday.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., people brought their pets to the farm and had photos taken with Santa, all for a worthy cause.
“So far I’ve been lucky not to have any snakes,” he said.
Worrel also said he’s also lucky that an animal has never had an accident on him.
Worrel and Lee Spear, owner of the farm with his wife, Lori, said the farm has offered pet photos with Santa since 2004. Prints are $25 to $55.
Worrel and the event photographer, Brett Bradford of Johnny Appleseed Creations, donate their time. Bradford said the only money he keeps is what it costs him to print the photos.
The rest of the money goes to Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation, or WAIF.
Lori and Lee Spear met a WAIF representative at a local business expo years ago and the idea of pet photos with Santa was born.
Cinnamon O’Brien, who works for WAIF, had a booth this year near the Santa photo area for people to learn more about the animal shelter.
Lori Spear said she and her husband have five cats, two dogs and two parakeets, and they have their own animals’ photos taken with Pet Santa.
Hummingbird Farms provides holiday attire for pets whose owners want to dress them up.
Worrel said he enjoys being Pet Santa.
“I have my own pets, so it’s fantastic,” he said. “They’re pets, but they’re like kids in their unconditional love for you. And they don’t give backtalk.”
Worrel said he has three dogs and two cats.
Lori Spear said Santa Pet photos is her favorite event at Hummingbird Farm.
“It’s the festive time of year,” she said. “Just seeing them is the best part.”w