There are few things more contagious than joy and excitement during the holidays as Christmas approaches. The pile of presents under the tree grows larger, the stockings wait to be filled and there’s generally way too much sugar readily available.
Many families involve their pets in the festivities with custom-made stockings or some treats or toys.
But what about the pups who have no families?
Thanks to generous donors and volunteers, some shelters are still able to provide some of that characteristic joy by letting shelter dogs pick out their own toys from an extensive lineup.
Dogs Trust Ireland posted a video of its toy giveaway on Dec. 21, and it’s probably one of the most heartwarming videos you’ll watch this Christmas season.
Dogs were taken into a room with hundreds of toys arranged in a long line and encouraged to pick one. There was a lot of springing about, along with enthusiastic toy-shakes and frantic indecision.
Most of the pups seemed overwhelmed at the prospect of so many toys and could barely contain themselves. Others seemed to have very specific tastes and immediately found “the one.”
“It’s finally #SantaPawsDay — the day all our dogs get to pick their own Christmas present!” Dogs Trust Ireland posted. “We couldn’t squeeze them all in, but we hope you smile as much watching this as we did recording it.
“To all our supporters and everyone who sent a Santa Paws present for the dogs, thank you so much, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas, from all the dogs and the humans at Dogs Trust!”
Since being posted, the video has racked up over 330,000 shares and 14 million views — a whole lot of Christmas spirit being spread.
Many other shelters run similar programs during the holidays, and it’s adorable every time.
Rescues and shelters find other ways to celebrate, too. Some arrange for “fancy” homemade dinners for the pets in their care, making sure to provide dog-safe options of holiday favorites.
“The shelter staff and volunteers came together and prepared holiday meals for the shelter animals!” the City of Denton Animal Shelter in Texas posted before Christmas 2019.
“The dogs received a small portion of chicken, unsalted green beans, sweet potatoes, and white rice. The cats had chicken flavored wet food. And everyone had a little whipped cream for [dessert]!
“The shelter animals all enjoyed their meal and ready to spend their holiday at the shelter. Thank you to all the volunteers And city staff who donated food, helped prepare the meals, and helped serve to every animal! We couldn’t have done this without you!”
Lots of shelters also post “wish lists” this time of year, so that if you feel like giving a little extra, you can help spread holiday cheer in the ways they need it most. Some even ask for extra foster or sponsor families so that pets can be in homes or have a better chance of finding a home over the holidays.
You can check out your local animal shelter to see what opportunities it might have available to help pets in need.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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