A big-hearted Cork couple are playing Santa to thousands of unwanted dogs across the country this Christmas.
Tony and Alice Cross are kitting out over 2,000 pups with a cosy coat to keep them warm this festive season.
The couple, who are behind pet store chain Maxi Zoo, donated €160,000 of their stock to 15 animal charities throughout Ireland to make sure the lonely mutts stay dry at Christmas.
“A dog’s breed, age, size and state of health affect how well it can withstand cold. Not every dog is robust and the slender breeds can freeze quite easily,” Alice said.
“A lot of dog breeds are originally from warmer climates and need protection in cold seasons. “Their hair is often not thick enough to insulate their bodies so it made perfect sense for us to donate dog coats,” she added
Although the dog-loving couple ensure that each of their stores supports a local dog charity, this is the biggest project they have ever undertaken.
“Putting a dog in a coat has nothing to do with vanity. It is about responsible pet ownership. There is no good reason why a dog’s clothing should not be as good as that of its owner’s outdoor clothing,” said Alice.