Lifestyle & Human Interest

Shelter Continues Heartwarming Tradition To Have Santa Visit with Gifts: 'Shelter Animals Deserve a Christmas'


This holiday season, many people will give to those in need — and sometimes, that includes animals.

Many local shelters keep updated wish lists on Amazon where generous souls can order items for the animals at the shelter. One shelter in Romania is going a bit beyond that, and has a Christmas tradition that involves decor, wrapped presents and — of course — Santa Claus.

The shelter, called “Sava’s Safe Haven,” located in Galati, Romania, is a family-run operation that was started in 2012.

“The shelter has been built thought donations without any support from authorities or local companies,” the shelter’s website explains. “There are currently 270 animals residing in the shelter (mostly dogs and puppies but also a number of cats who were rescued from the streets).”

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“This shelter is still reliant upon donations from animal lovers which enables the lean to cover costs of food, veterinary care and repairs. The shelter has no employees and is run entirely by the Sava family who alone care for all the animals.”

“The sanctuary consists of the kennels, a playground which needs expanding, quarantine room, puppy room cat room and an attached veterinary clinic room incorporated within the building.”

That many dogs is a lot of pups to care for, and the family has made a point of celebrating the holidays in style, believing that even homeless pets deserve a “real” Christmas.

Their videos of Christmases past are available on their YouTube channel. They also share the adorable videos and photos on their Facebook page, where they are also raising awareness of their need.

The videos show dogs of all shapes and sizes being released from their kennels to congregate around Santa, who has brought a large sack of presents.

Tails wagging, they approach the suited man and tentatively sniff at the gifts. Some are wearing sweaters, and some are a little skittish, but each one gets a treat. Santa also serves extra-special grub on Christmas, which the dogs seem to really enjoy.

“Our dogs can’t wait to have Santa Claus again this year!” the shelter posted on Dec. 9. “Lots of presents, joy, and goodies!”

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“‘Christmas as a story, even for shelter dogs'” our project that made history and brought happiness to all animal lovers knowing that shelter animals celebrate their Christmas, even when they are in a shelter.”

“We launched this project in 2012 when we started to build Sava’s Safe Haven shelter, and we will not stop. Shelter animals deserves a Christmas.. even they are in kennels.”

The shelter also urged anyone interested to donate to the cause so that the pups will have a day to remember. If you are interested in making a shelter animal’s Christmas extra-special, you can also consider looking up your local shelter’s wish list or — if you have the means — fostering a needy pet over the holidays.

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