ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A group of animal welfare officers that normally issue citations in Albuquerque's International District spent their Christmas morning issuing something else, Christmas cheer to children.
Kathryn Waite and two other animal welfare officers spend a lot of their time patrolling through Albuquerque's international district.
But Christmas morning they changed up their routine.
"I've been working this area for quite a while and you start to know these people, and it's important that you build a reputation, a good reputation with these people, and that you help them out no matter what," Waite said.
This year, Waite and her fellow officers saw the need to spread Christmas cheer.
They gathered up stuffed animals, sock monkeys and beanie babies and handed them out to families they know and don't know.
Jazmin sotelo met waite earlier this year.
"I think that's really awesome…great stuff that they're doing," Sotelo said. "They've never done this before. I think it's awesome to do every year. Let them know that they aren't bad guys because that's what most of the people think about them. I think it's great."
Waite stopped by to give Sotelos' brothers a gift.
She says she couldn't let this Christmas pass by without passing on her good fortune.
"It's been a special year," Waite said. "We've all been fortunate with our health, we all have jobs and a lot of people don't. And i just thought maybe this year we needed to do something special."
While this is the first year these officers have handed out gifts in the International District, Waite is hopeful it won't be the last.
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