Based in Dublin, Dogs Trust is Ireland's largest dog welfare charity and they've been doing their due diligence in dog rescue since 2009. In 2019 they successfully re-homed 1,913 dogs.
This year, the global pandemic has transformed how animal welfare, rescue, and rehabilitation centers are able to connect with the public and serve animals in need. This has propelled social media outreach to the forefront and there's nothing really wrong with that.
Some of our best and most favorite dog stories have come around because a dog's photo, a dog's story, or even a dog's antics have been posted on social media. So many dogs have found their forever homes thanks to the power of the Internet.
Social media outreach has had a great impact in helping pets all year find their forever homes so sharing photos, stories, and videos of prospective pets is definitely part of the key to success.
Thanks to a ton of donations from their supporters, the staff found themselves with quite the stash of toys and gifts for their homeless dogs. However, they did something a little different this year than picking out gifts for the pups.
“We recorded 35 dogs picking a toy and then spent (many) hours editing it to show the best reactions. One or two just wanted pets and snuggles more than a toy.
The dogs were let in one by one, so we didn’t have to worry about any of them wanting the same toy.”
“In 2017, we decided to do Secret Santa Paws for the dogs, where staff members bought a long-term dog a present specifically for them, and we recorded it and got a great reaction.
In 2018, we wanted to do something different, so again the staff donated toys, but we thought the dogs might like to pick their own."
"We lined them up, and it was the best day… the dogs were SO happy and watching them was just amazing. So we did it again this year, and combined supporter donations from under our tree in the reception with staff toy donations.”
In the video you can see how the staff meticulously arranged all the toys on the floor and then one by one let the dogs go into the room. Keeping the dogs one at a time helped prevent any mishaps.
Some of the dogs chose their toy very quickly, while others took a little time to make the right choice.
“As you will see, deciding on which toy was a big decision for some dogs and some delighted in the squeakiest toy they could find."
“We put a pause on adoptions over Christmas every year, so the dogs in the video are still with us, but we hope to find them their Forever Homes in the new year! We have had other shelters lining up toys and letting the dogs pick them. and they have tagged us in their posts, which is amazing!"
"Sniffing the toys and picking one out requires concentration for the dogs, and really brings out their different personalities. It’s just fantastic for us to see them being so happy over something so simple, and we really, really hope this will help them all get adopted in 2020!”
"We have plenty of dogs of all shapes and sizes; small ones and tall ones, cheeky ones and squeaky ones, fluffy ones and scruffy ones, all ready to meet their new owners."