Dogs Trust Ireland made tails wag across the Internet in 2021 after sharing a heartwarming video of precious pups selecting their own Christmas toys.

The video, nearly four minutes in length, features a number of pups in all shapes and sizes rushing in with excitement to select their very own Christmas gift from an array of toys.

It’s #SantaPawsDay - the day all our dogs get to pick their Christmas gift! Sadly, we couldn’t fit them all in, but we hope the pure joy of the ones we did makes you smile!
To all our supporters and everyone who sent a gift, thank you! We hope you have a very Merry Christmas! 💛

— Dogs Trust Ireland (@DogsTrust_IE) December 21, 2021

All of the dogs featured in the simply smile-inducing video - Flounder, Gizmo, Chase, Sasha, Milo, Janice, Nico, Nero, Switch, Queenie, Dobby, Buster, Loki, Charlie, Butch, Minnie, Betty Sue, Bailey, Bran, Rex, Shep, Ross, and Missy - were only delighted to select their new Christmas toy in the heartwarming clip. 

The special "Santa Paws" video came shortly after Dogs Trust Ireland, the country's largest dog welfare charity, appealed to the public to consider the responsibility that comes with getting a dog, and noted the high rate of requests from people asking for their dogs to be rehomed.

The charity said in December 2021: "We are particularly concerned where dogs are being sourced with the prevalence of puppy farming in Ireland, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic when the demand for dogs saw prices soar into the thousands for puppies being sold online."

Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland, explains: “We are pleading with the public not to purchase puppies in the run-up to Christmas.

"Sadly, this is the most lucrative time of year for puppy farmers, and we know genuine dog lovers don’t want to fuel this vile trade. It’s not just the puppy that you buy that’s affected, it’s the parents of the puppies that are left behind in often appalling conditions that suffer the most and that’s why we launched our End Puppy Farming campaign in November. We want to show that the public wants to see an end to the horrors these poor dogs endure daily, all in the name of profit.”

Becky Bristow, Executive Director at Dogs Trust Ireland, added: "We understand that not every family is in a position to adopt a dog or puppy and we also understand there are reputable dog breeders.

"However, due to the nature of the puppy farming industry, it is extremely difficult to buy a puppy responsibly at present. Advertisements of cute puppies online in home environments are often a smokescreen and the same photos are often used repeatedly. If you are considering getting a dog, please visit our website for advice.”

Dogs Trust Ireland suggests that instead of buying a puppy this Christmas, you can sponsor a dog instead. 

You can learn more about Dogs Trust Ireland on its website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.

*Originally published in December 2021. Updated in December 2023.