MISSOULA, Mont. -

Roughly 15 volunteers with the Humane Society of Western Montana donned Santa and elf hats as they drove around town delivering adopted animals on Christmas morning. It was all part of the Missoula shelter's first-ever "Secret Santa Adoptions" program.

Parents arranged for the deliveries ahead of time, and the kids were non-the-wiser.

"This is a day that's all about love and family, and what better way to express that than bringing a new family member into a home," said Humane Society board member Spider McKnight.

Subaru of Missoula and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals teamed up to write up a $4,000 grant for the shelter this holiday season. The grant is known as the "Share the Love" grant, and the money was used for neutering and spaying procedures, microchipping, marketing and expenses associated with transferring animals from other Montana community shelters and from around the country.

"It's amazing. It's a once in a lifetime thing. It was so hard when I adopted [our new puppy] on Friday to not just bring her home but I knew it would be really amazing for [my family] to have the Christmas morning experience," said Missoula resident Gail Bourguignon.

Roughly 10 animals were delivered around Missoula on Christmas Day, and about 50 adoptions total were made over the last week. The Humane Society hopes to continue the program next year.

- Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter