Unwanted dogs write letters to Santa Claus with the hope of finding new homes

Picture of dogs who wrote letters to Santa Claus
Four-legged friends looking for new homes (Picture: Dogs Trust)

Christmas is a time of year when many people will be thinking about adding a four-legged friend to their home.

In light of this, staff in the shelters across the country have penned letters to Father Christmas on behalf of the dogs in their care who are looking for new homes.

Before considering whether to rehome one of these furry friends, Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Owen Sharp, says: ‘Dog ownership is incredibly rewarding, but as the message in our slogan – A Dog Is For Life, Not Just for Christmas – highlights, it’s also a huge responsibility.

‘With Christmas just around the corner and many of us still working from home, it may seem like the perfect time to get a dog. For some, this will be the case, but we’re asking everyone to consider how their life could shift further down the track when daily routines or personal circumstances change.’

‘If you feel that sure now is the right time to add a new member to your family, help us change the tale for rescue dogs and consider adopting a dog like these who all have their paws crossed that 2021 will be the year they find a loving new home.’

Here are some of the heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of the four-legged friends looking for love this Christmas.

Juno at Dogs Trust Ballymena

Juno the border collie with his letter
Juno the border collie with his letter (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Beautiful three-year-old Border Collie Juno is a sweet shy boy who’d love a family that will take him on quiet walks and give him the love and attention he deserves. He is an active lad who loves the beach. Juno is looking for an adult home but could live with teenagers 16 and above.

He’d love his new family to visit several times to get to know him before taking him home.

Storm at Dogs Trust Basildon

Siberian Husky Storm
Strom the husky (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Four-year-old Siberian Husky, Storm, has been looking for a home since September 2018 – more than 800 days. He’s active, playful, and independent and once Storm gets to know you, he is a friendly and loyal boy and loves toys and treats. Storm’s ideal home would be with owners who would play all day with him, in a quiet and preferably rural area, where he doesn’t see too many other dogs or strangers.

His new owners will need to be prepared to be involved in his ongoing training – food is the way to his heart so once you bond with Storm, you’ll have a friend for life.

Make sure your pet is in good company. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.

Snow Cloud at Dogs Trust Bridgend

Snow Cloud the Welsh Collie with his letter
Snow Cloud, a Welsh Collie, with his Christmas letter (Picture: Dog’s Trust)
Snow Cloud is a six-year-old Welsh Collie who has been looking for a home since January 2020. He is a cheeky lad with a playful personality and he is looking for a quiet, rural home away from the hustle and bustle of busy roads and noise. He needs an adult-only home with minimal visitors.

He gets on well with other dogs and would love to live with another four-legged friend who can show him the ropes and help him settle into his new home. His new home should have a large secure garden so he enjoy off-lead play with his toys.

He does have some ongoing issues with his legs so his home will need little or no steps for him to use. Snow Cloud is looking for patient owners who are prepared to work with the centre’s training team both prior to and post adoption and, for this reason, Snow Cloud is looking for a home within an hour’s drive of the rehoming centre.

Teddy at Dogs Trust Darlington

Teddy the German Shepherd with the Dogs Trust team
It’s Teddy’s second Christmas at Dogs Trust Darlington (Picture: Dogs Trust)
This will be Teddy’s second Christmas at Dogs Trust Darlington. He is a seven-year-old German Shepherd who is looking for a pet-free, adult-only home. He attracts lots of attention with his handsome looks but having new people approaching can be an uncomfortable situation for him. New owners will need to find quiet walking areas for Teddy to explore to help him feel at ease.

He shows affection to the people he knows and enjoys playtime, but food is at the top of his favourite list. Training sessions are the best part of his day for extra nibbles.

Blaze at Dogs Trust Evesham

Blaze the Collie cross with his canine carer
Blaze the Collie cross with his canine carer (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Handsome two-year-old Collie cross, Blaze, has so much potential to flourish in the right home. He likes his treats, adores playtime with his favourite people and enjoys showing-off just how clever he is. Tennis balls are Blaze’s favourite thing in the world, so a plentiful supply paired with a large, secure garden would make Blaze very happy.

He will require multiple meets to get to know his new family who will be supported by the centre’s training team pre and post-adoption.

Blaze will fit into an active family in a rural location with lots of space to explore safely at his own leisure.

Blaze must have an adult-only home with no visiting children and he must be the only pet.

Megan at Dogs Trust Evesham

Meghan the three-year-old Labrador cross with her carer and letter
Meghan is a three-year-old Labrador cross (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Three-year-old Labrador cross Megan is a soppy girl full of character. She can be shy to start, but with a slow and steady approach, she soon learns to trust new people.
Megan will require several meets with her new family before heading home which would need to be in a quiet, rural location, as she becomes very overwhelmed by the sight and sound of traffic and loud noises.

Megan would thrive in an adult-only home with her very own garden to chill out and play in. She may be able to share her home with another confident dog.

Bosco at Dogs Trust Evesham

Bosco the Collie with his carer and Christmas letter
Bosco is quite happy in his own company (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Five-year-old Bosco is a brilliant boy who adores spending time with the people he knows. He’s a clever Collie and one of his favourite things is his training sessions. Bosco will require a hands-off approach to begin with, but will make a fantastic companion once settled. A rural home is top of Bosco’s wish list, where he can enjoy life without the worry of loud noises. Several visits will be required before Bosco heads home, and consideration should be made for his hip dysplasia which he is on long term medication for. Bosco is seeking an adult-only home with no visiting children. He would like to be the only pet in his home. Bosco is quite happy in his own company and can be left for a few hours if given a comfy bed and a brain game to keep him occupied.

Milo at Dogs Trust Glasgow

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet owners in the United States spent $60.28 billion on their furry friends in 2015. That number is expected to rise by more than $2 billion in 2016.

Milo the Husky with his letter to Santa
Milo is a quirky boy (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Three-year-old Husky Malamute cross, Milo, has been in the care of Dogs Trust Glasgow since August 2020.

This quirky boy is looking for an owner who has experience with similar breeds and can help introduce him gradually to the joys of living in a home.

Initially, he’d like an outdoor run or kennel and will need a secure garden where he can keep up his training.

His ideal family will have older children over the age of 16 and no other pets. The time spent on Milo and his training will be worth it as he will make a great addition to the right home.

Arnie at Dogs Trust Harefield

Arnie, a lurcher, with his Canine Carer
Arnie has so much love to give (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Five-year-old Lurcher Arnie has been looking for a home for a year. He is a firm favourite among staff and is the friendliest boy with so much love to give, he just needs to be given the chance. This lovely Lurcher will happily show off his tricks in return for treats but is equally happy lazing around in his kennel for most of the day.

His new owners will need to be patient with him and understand that he is worried by strangers, so he’ll need plenty of quiet walks.

He enjoys the company of dogs when out and about but will need to be the only pet in the home. He can live with children aged 16 and above. Arnie would love a home with a secure, private garden to run around in.

Tasha at Dogs Trust Leeds

Tasha an Akita with her letter to Santa Paws
Tasha with her letter to Santa Paws (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Nine-year-old Akita, Tasha, is a friendly dog who just adores being around people. Despite her age, she is still a very playful girl that loves her toys and having lots of fuss and attention.

If you want a guaranteed snuggle buddy, Tasha is it. She is looking for an adult-only home without visiting children, where she can be the only pet. Her ideal new owners will have a secure garden so she can play off lead and she’ll also require access to quiet walks away from other dogs.

Tasha’s new owners will need to be patient with her while she settles into her new home. She can’t be left alone initially but should be ok for short periods if this is done very gradually.

Tasha has arthritis so potential adopters will need to carry on her medication at home and be aware of the ongoing cost before making a commitment to adopt her.

Jaffa at Dogs Trust Loughborough

Jaffa a crossbreed with his career Eve and letter to Santa
Jaffa with his canine carer Eve Cooper (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Seven-year-old crossbreed Jaffa is a sweet, sensitive boy who loves cuddles and spending time with his two-legged human friends.

This dog absolutely adores long walks in the countryside where he can explore to his heart’s content without being troubled by lots of other dogs, and he gets very excited if there’s the chance of a game of fetch.

He absolutely loves his food, which is great for doing training with him as he is a clever boy and works hard for a tasty treat.

He would like his new family to be around most of the time, especially whilst he settles into his new home, and he would like an adult-only home where he is the only pet so he can lap up all the love. He would also like to live in a rural location.

Buster at Dogs Trust Manchester

Buster the Lurcher with his canine carer and letter to Santa
Buster is super smart and loves to learn (Picture: Dogs Trust)

Buster is a two-year-old Lurcher who arrived in the shelter October 2020 when his owners could no longer care for him.

He has a huge personality and bags of energy and loves nothing more than to run around and play with his toys. He’s a super smart boy who loves to learn and enjoys mental stimulation from his puzzle feeders.

Buster is looking for an active home with a family who can keep up with him and take him of plenty of long walks. He could live with teenagers aged 16 plus and would need to be the only dog in the home, but could have doggy walking pals who are accepting of his exuberant nature.

Help your pet be as active as nature intended. Exercise and play time are necessary for your pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t give your dog opportunities to be physically active, or if you don’t encourage exercise for your kitty and find ways to make it happen, you may well end up with a bored, destructive, overweight pet whose health will spiral downward throughout her lifetime.

Leo at Dogs Trust Manchester

Leo is a Patterdale Terrier with his canine carer
Leo prefers the company of humans to other dogs (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Leo is a four-year-old Patterdale Terrier who has been with Dogs Trust for a couple of months after being handed in by his previous owners who could no longer care for him.

Leo prefers the company of humans to other dogs and would love to live in a pet-free home with owners who are looking for a high-energy dog who loves an adventure.

Leo would enjoy a quiet, with access to rural walking spots where he wouldn’t need to meet other dogs.

He’d thrive with a family who can help him to help him build his confidence and work on his training. A large secure garden would be perfect for him so he can enjoy off-lead exercise and play until his heart’s content.

Nessie at Dogs Trust Merseyside

Nessie a four-year-old Lurcher with her Christmas letter
Nessie is looking for a special someone (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Nessie is a four-year-old Lurcher who is waiting patiently at Dogs Trust Merseyside for her special someone to fall in love with her. When she first arrived at the rehoming centre, she was quite poorly but is now fully recovered and has come on in leaps and bounds in terms of her health, and her confidence. She loves to head out on walks, enjoys a gentle fuss and loves to cuddle up with her carers. Nessie will need her own garden to play in in her forever home and although she would like to be the only pet in the home, she can live with children aged 14 and over.

Paxo at Dogs Trust Newbury

Paxo a lively lurcher with three legs
Paxo loves good and learning (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Paxo is a lively three-year-old Lurcher, who doesn’t let the fact he only has three legs stop him living his best life. He loves his food and learning new things – he’s such a clever boy.

He is looking for a calm home environment, in a rural area with understanding owners who can help him thrive and are happy to continue his training.

Paxo can be unsure of people he doesn’t know, so will need to be introduced to his new owners slowly and will need minimal visitors to the house.

Lillie at Dogs Trust Newbury

Lillie the Beagle
Lille is a typical Beagle (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Eight-year-old Beagle Lillie is looking for owners that have plenty of Beagle experience. She’s a typical Beagle – loves to use her nose and be out exploring and she is super independent.

She’d like a quiet but active family who loves to explore as much as she does. She’s a very clever girl and already knows lots of tricks but her new owners will need to be prepared to continue her ongoing training, particularly managing how she feels around food as she does have the tendency to not want to share this with anyone. Lillie could live with another established dog in the home.

Mike at Dogs Trust Salisbury

Mike the Labrador/Mastiff and canine carer Grace
Mike has been going home with canine carer Grace (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Mike has been looking for a home for nine months. For the last few months, he has been going home with his favourite Canine Carer, Grace, on her days off and has proved himself to be the perfect house guest. He is a nine-year-old Labrador/Mastiff cross, who is a true gentle giant.

He is an extremely affectionate fella who thrives in the company of his humans and feels most content and relaxed, knowing you are close by.

He would love a family who are around most of the day, building up the time left alone gradually. He is looking for a quiet, adult only home that has few visitors. He’d love his own space in his new home where he can retreat to when guests arrive as he can be wary of strangers. He’s particularly worried by men so he would prefer a female-only home.

Learn everything you can about your dog’s habits and behaviors. If you and I were having a conversation over coffee and I asked you to tell me about your significant other, or your kids, or any other special person in your life, chances are good that you could say quite a bit about them. In fact, you may know more about them than you think.

Mike would need to be the only dog in the home, but he’s happy to have walking buddies when out and about. Mike loves his toys and loves playing outside, so a good-size, secure garden will be required for him to explore and play safely off lead.

Kelly at Dogs Trust Shoreham

Kelly a German shepherd with her letter to Santa Paws
Kelly has been looking for a home for two years (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Kelly, a four-year-old German Shepherd, has been searching for a home for around two years. She struggles to be left alone so she’d love a family who are always around to keep her company. Kelly is very smart and enjoys her training, so owners will need to continue teaching her new things in her new home. She’d like to be the only pet, away from neighbouring dogs and a garden of her own is essential, so that she can have fun running around. She’s a fun girl to be around and once she knows and trusts you; she’ll be your perfect pal.

Despite being an active girl, owners will need to be mindful that her exercise will need to be limited due to her hips.

Rafa at Dogs Trust Snetterton

Rafa a Collie cross with his letter to Santa and Canine Carer
Rafa is looking for a home to spend his twilight years (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Collie cross Rafa is 11 years old and, as an older boy, really deserves to find a retirement home to spend his twilight years. He has been at Dogs Trust Snetterton since November 2019 and will be spending his second Christmas at the centre. Rafa is a sweet, sensitive boy who loves treats, long walks and curling up in a comfy bed. He’s looking for a female-only home in a quiet area with a garden for him to potter in. He needs to be the only dog in the home but is happy to meet calm, friendly dogs out on walks.

Brodie at Dogs Trust West Calder

Brodie a Deerhound cross with his letter and Canine Carer
Brodie is sweet and friendly (Picture: Dogs Trust)
Brodie is a sweet and friendly six-year-old Deerhound cross who is looking for a quiet life and a comfy couch to call his own. Brodie needs experienced dog owners with a secure garden where he can spend some time off his lead to play with his toys or relax and watch the world go by. Brodie doesn’t like spending a lot of time on his own and requires a new family who can keep him company during the day. He adores his walks and would love to live in a rural area where it is peaceful and there are few dogs around.

This dog can be a little shy when meeting new people and is more comfortable and affectionate with men. Brodie needs an adult-only home where he is the only pet in the house.

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