Britain's unwanted dogs share heartbreaking 'letters to Santa'

All I want for Christmas is a home! Adorable rescue dogs ‘write’ letters to ‘Santa Paws’ pleading to be adopted by a loving family this festive season – so, could YOU take one of them in?

  • Shelter dogs across the UK are sending letters to ‘Santa Paws’ in the hope of finding a home for Christmas 
  • Lurcher Mistletoe, two, who lives in west London has been wishing for a family of her own since last year
  • In Salisbury’s Dog Trust Centre, Pomeranian Max is looking for an owner who will match enthusiastic nature

Rescue dogs across the UK are ‘sending letters to Santa Paws’ with the help of their shelters in the hope of finally finding a loving forever home for Christmas. 

Carers from the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross and the RSPCA have penned the messages to ‘Santa Paws’ on behalf of the pups staying at their centres to try and encourage social media users to rescue the dogs.

Sharing adorable images of the animals with their letters online, FEMAIL has revealed a selection of the most touching examples. 

They include two-year-old Lurcher Mistletoe, based in west London, who has been dreaming of a forever home ever since she was rescued by the Dog’s Trust in December 2020. 

Meanwhile, in Salisbury’s Dog Trust Centre, Pomeranian Max, six, is looking for an owner who will match his enthusiastic nature but take the time to get to know him and build trust. 

Adam Clowes, Operations Director at Dogs Trust, said: ‘All of our dogs deserve to have wonderful lives at the heart of loving homes and we have our fingers and paws crossed that every single dog we are looking after will find their very own special someone soon.

‘Our slogan, “A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas” , is as relevant as ever and with demand for dogs still at an all-time high, we would really encourage everyone thinking of getting a dog to not rush into it and to do their research. 

‘That way they can make sure they are ready to welcome a four-legged bundle of energy into their life and be as confident as possible that they can give their dog everything it needs for its entire life. If you’ve done your research and there is still a dog-shaped space in your life, then it may be the right time for you.’

Shih Tzu cross Gruffalo is a quirky lad who is looking for a special home and currently staying at The Stubbington Ark, in Hampshire. The four-year-old struggles to relax around new people as he’s had an unstable past and this has led to him feeling uncomfortable being handled – particularly with grooming – so he needs an experienced, adult-only home

Smiley Pomeranian Max, six, has been staying at Dogs Trust Salisbury for the last two years. He’s a cheeky boy who is happiest when he is out on a walk – he loves walking across the fields, Despite his happy enthusiastic personality, Max does find some aspects of life a challenge so his new owners will need to be prepared to take things slowly and work with the centre’s expert behaviour team prior to adoption to ensure he can make a smooth transition into home life

In Leeds, Jake, seven, is a Lurcher who has had a very unsettled life to date. He was originally handed over to Dogs Trust in May 2015 due to his owners’ change of work commitments. He was just one year old. He was rehomed again in 2015 until 2019 when he was returned after a change in personal circumstance for his owner. Jack is the sweetest and most loving boy. All his handlers adore him and can often be found in his kennel giving him extra cuddles. He is very happy when he is curled up on the sofa with a human friend. His unsettled life has led to some anxieties, so Jake has been working on a special training programme which has worked brilliantly to build his confidence with new people




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Spud is an 8-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier looking for his forever home at the Blue Cross Bromsgrove centre after a change of circumstances. Whilst he is an older dog, he still enjoys getting plenty of attention, a variety of walks and a treat or two

Teddy, eight, is a lovely Jack Russell who is always on the go and staying at the Dogs Trust Glasgow. He loves his training and playing with squeaky toys. He is full of beans and will require an owner who can keep up with him. Teddy is working extremely hard on his training, he is constantly learning and improving and he is looking for a new home with an experienced dog owner where his training can continue. Teddy requires to build a relationship with his new family before going home. This will require multiple meetings at the centre to build a bond before he goes to his forever home. Teddy needs to be the only dog in the home and he can live with children over 16. He needs someone who is around most of the day to help him settle and keep him busy with enrichment. His perfect home would be a calm, quiet home with few visitors and a secure garden where he can play

Greyhound Jay, two, is an ex-racing Greyhound and has been with Dogs Trust since January 2021 in Ilfracombe, after retiring from the track. He is a firm favourite at the rehoming centre and loves to head off on walks with staff and volunteers. Jay is affectionate and loving with a shy, sensitive side. Jay is looking for a quiet home environment and would love to be the only pet in an adult-only home. He’s looking for a slow pace of life and would love access to quiet walks away from the hustle and bustle. He will need his adopters to be patient and understanding, giving him the time to adjust to home living

In Shoreham, Lurcher Biggles, who will be three on January 1, has been in the care of Dogs Trust for two years. He originally came to the centre as a stray, so there wasn’t a lot of history on him, though it was clear to see he was a hugely energetic chap who was enthusiastic, yet sensitive about the world around him. Biggles is lots of fun to be around, he loves his toys, learning and his food – all of which make him an excellent companion for reward-based training

Rambler, a seven-year-old foxhound, is staying at the Dogs Trust Merseyside. Rambler is a fantastic character who happily spends his time at the centre playing with other dogs, meeting and greeting people and enthusiastically exploring the grounds in true Foxhound style. The team say he is an easy going boy who loves to be with people. He is strong but walks nicely on his lead and loves nothing more than chilling out with his friends when he’s had a chance to sniff to his heart’s content

Belgian Malinois Mali, four, came to Dogs Trust Newbury as a stray. She is a super sweet but sensitive girl, who can get very overwhelmed with the outside world. Because of this she has been at the shelter for quite some time whilst it’s worked with her to help change some of those emotions and teach her better ways of coping, when she’s feeling like things are a bit too much. Super smart (as well as beautiful), Mali has made some fantastic progress

Also in Newbury, Patterdale Terrier cross Griff, six has been with the Dogs Trust since February, after his owner could no longer care for him. He is an active boy who loves to be on the go, working both his body and brain. He absolutely loves his food and will do almost anything to get it, including raiding your pockets. Griff can take time to get to know new people but after a couple of meets he will start to wag his tail for you

Sweet Lurcher Stella, five, is staying with the Dogs Trust in Shrewsbury. She was found as a stray so it’s not surprising that she likes to take her time to get to know people, so she knows she can trust them. But once she knows you, you have a loyal, loving, fun friend for life who is always happy to see you. Stella walks beautifully on the lead and happily ignores other dogs when she is out and about. She loves her food and playing with her toys, after which she can always be found relaxing on a comfy bed snoozing or watching the world go by

In the Dogs Trust Kenilworth shelter, Zuma, a three-year-old crossbreed is a gentle giant with a big heart – and a big bounce. Staff adore him and along with adoring them in return, Zuma also loves his toys and food. As well as being one of the many ways to his heart, they are a great reward when it comes to doing training with him – he’s always willing to learn if there is a tasty treat or a great game to be had! If you’ve got space in your home, and on your sofa, for this gorgeous boy you will be guaranteed a loyal canine companion, and lots of fun

Crossbreed Zelda, two, arrived at Dogs Trust Darlington in July and prior to being rescued, she led a very sheltered life. Zelda had never previously met another person or dog or been on a walk. Despite this lack of socialisation, she is a super affectionate girl with a lovely temperament who loves nothing more than a cuddle from people she knows. She loves human company and doesn’t like being on her own. Zelda enjoys her training sessions and makes a very eager pupil and she now enjoys her walks and playing with her toys

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Chunk, eight, has been at Dogs Trust Bridgend rehoming centre since October 2021 when his owner could no longer care for him. He is a super-friendly boy who is missing his home comforts so he’d love a quiet home where he can enjoy cuddles, toys and treats which are just a few of his favourite things. He could live with children aged 14 and above but would need to be the only dog in his new home with access to quiet walks where he wouldn’t need to come into contact with many four-legged friends. A private, secure garden would be ideal so he can have a mooch around and play to his heart’s content

Beautiful Lurcher Mistletoe, two, arrived into the care of the Dogs Trust West London centre as a stray, and little is known of her life before that. She originally came into the centre on Christmas Eve 2020. Mistletoe is a really beautiful girl and she knows it. She does have a shy side, but once you know her, she will show you her bouncy personality

Mistletoe is looking for a family who can show her the ropes and introduce her to the world. Mistletoe adores other dogs and would ideally have a dog friend to keep her company already in her new home 

Akita Gucci is an 18-month-old who has spent over a year at the RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter in Exeter, Devon, waiting for her forever home and is now facing her second Christmas in kennels. She is very special and has lots of love to give but needs owners who can give her the time and patience she needs

German shepherd Jake is facing his second Christmas in RSPCA kennels and staff at the Southridge Animal Centre in Hertfordshire are desperate to find him a loving new home. He is a very sweet boy who can be wary of new people and other dogs but is a real softie with his friends and adores fuss and attention

His favourite thing in the world is playing with a tennis ball. The nine-year-old would like an adult-only home in a quiet, rural setting with no other pets and experienced owners who can work with a behaviourist to help him moving forwards

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