Homeless dogs' Christmas presents arrive from Arizona
Published 22/12/2015 | 13:46
Rescue dogs spending Christmas in kennels have received presents from more than 5,000 miles away following a plea by a local council.
Sedgemoor District Council began running their annual Santa Paws shoe box and gift appeal for stray and homeless dogs in Somerset in early November.
Since then, hundreds of gifts have been left at pet shops and council offices around the county - with parcels also arriving by post.
Shoe boxes filled with presents such as dog chews, toys, balls, blankets, food and treats now fill a room at the council.
Most parcels came from Somerset, with some from other locations in the UK - but one was sent from Arizona in the US, more than 5,000 miles away.
Dog wardens decided to launch the Santa Paws appeal as more dogs are brought in as strays during Christmas, and they can be difficult to re-home.
Fiona Dickson, a dog warden for the authority, described the level of donations as "truly heart-warming".
"We are absolutely delighted with the huge number of donations received through our 2015 Santa Paws appeal," she said.
"The dogs may not be able to say thank you but we can reassure everyone who donated there will be lots of wagging tails when we drop off the parcels of goodies at kennels across the area.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their donations but also to remind everyone that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, and if owners acted more responsibly, considering the implications of owning a dog before getting one and getting dogs spayed and chipped, we often wouldn't have to put dogs in kennels or find homes for these poor unwanted animals."