Santa Claus passes out sweets to the children who came to enjoy some festive fun at the Dec. 9 annual mince pie and mulled wine fundraiser for the Humane Society of the BVI. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

The jolly man of the hour made his early visit to Nanny Cay on Dec. 9, where he welcomed families celebrating the holidays and supporting the territory’s animal friends.

The Humane Society of the BVI raised $2,500 to put toward the vet bills for its rescue animals during its annual mince pie and mulled wine night.

The event welcomed families and furry companions to the beach bar for an evening of fun that included a raffle, a concert by students from Cedar International School, a collection of letters to send to the North Pole, and, of course, an opportunity to meet Santa Claus.

On Dec. 14, community members also participated in an annual Christmas pub quiz at Bamboushay in aid of the humane society.

Freedom flight

In addition to its annual events, the organisation is also seeking support for a special Christmas Freedom Flight.

The flights help transport dogs in the Virgin Islands to partner shelters in the United States, where they have a better chance of being adopted.

Flying out adult dogs can be a particular challenge due to weight restrictions. However, the humane society is planning a trip for six shelter dogs to be fostered at Rylie’s Rescue in Philadelphia.

A Go Fund Me campaign to send a few of the dogs had already raised nearly double its original $1,600 goal last week, and a Dec. 10 update said two dogs had departed the island, with an adopter already lined up for one.

Updates about the campaign can be found at