Rescue dogs share heartbreaking letters for Santa Paws

Could YOU give one of the UK’s loneliest dogs a home? Rescue pups promise to be good boys in their heart-breaking ‘letters to Santa Paws’

  • Rescue pups from all over the country have shared their letters to Santa Paws 
  • The Dogs Trust is hoping to find these good boys and girls a new home for 2023
  • Some have been in the care of their shelters for years hoping to be adopted
  • Read more: When is it too cold to walk my dog?

Many pets will receive extra cuddles and treats fort Christmas this year, but as snow settles around the UK, these lonesome rescue pups are hoping that a festive miracle will bring them a forever home. 

Staff at Dogs Trust shelters around the UK have written heart-breaking letters to Santa to tell the stories of the unwanted pups they look after in hopes of finding them a good family.

In Snetterton, two-year-old Belgian Shepherd Lily is ‘keeping her paws’ cross to find a home next year. 

Meanwhile, eight-year-old Shih Tzu Gilbert, who goes by Gilly, and lives at Dogs Trust Cardiff, ‘said’ he was wishing for a quiet home where he could get plenty of snuggles. 

Lily is a two-year-old Belgian Shepherd staying at Dogs Trust Snetterton, is a very active girl who loves to be on the go. Agility, hiking, dog sports… Lily could do it all! She’s an absolute joy to train and already has a lot of tricks under her belt. Lily hasn’t had the best start in life, so is hoping to find her special someone who could take a chance on her and continue her training in the home. She would like a potential adopter to come and meet her a few times before she is comfortable, but she’s an absolute cuddle monster with people she knows. Home needed: Lily would love an active adult-only home, ideally in a semi-rural location with a decent sized secure garden. She’d need to be the only pet in the home and someone around for the majority of the time.

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.

‘We will make sure that every dog in our care has a wonderful Christmas but unfortunately due to the increasing costs of everyday living, many dog owners are currently having to make very difficult decisions when it comes to caring for their dog.

‘Our kennels are at capacity and we are concerned that as fewer people can afford to welcome a dog into their life, we will face a housing crisis for dogs in the coming months, which is a tragedy for both dogs and owners.

‘We understand the pressures people are facing but we would encourage anyone that is looking for a four-legged friend to share their life with, to consider adopting one of our gorgeous dogs and give a dog in need another chance to be happy at the heart of a loving home.’

Cody is a friendly Lurcher currently at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe. The two-year-old pup arrived in May due to a change in his owner’s circumstances. Although initially shy, once he knows you he adores a fuss and snuggles – he is happiest when he is with his people. He is a fun boy who enjoys playing with toys, but is also happy to travel in the car to head out on quiet walks where he does not have to worry about strangers. Home needed: He is looking for a home with adults who are around for the majority of the time. He’d like to be the only pet in the home with a good-sized enclosed garden where he can let off steam. He’d thrive in a quiet home without too many people coming or going

Barney is a six-year-old Dachshund cross who arrived at Dogs Trust Ballymena in December 2020. He does have some medical and behavioural needs which the team can discuss with potential new adopters. Once Barney has been introduced slowly to new people, he has quite a charming nature. He loves to play with his ball and enjoys country walks. Very much a water baby, he enjoys splashing around in a muddy puddle. He’s partial to a treat and responds well to training because of this. Home needed: Barney is looking for a quiet adult-only, pet-free home, with adopters who are happy to take him on quiet walks away from the hustle and bustle and other dogs. Despite his size, he is no lap dog and likes a hands off approach until he knows you

Eight-year-old Shih Tzu Gilbert goes by Gilly and arrived at Dogs Trust Cardiff from another rehoming centre after he was found abandoned. He takes a little time to warm to new people but the key to his friendship is food. Once he’s established you have snacks, he’s the most attentive boy! He likes a hands-off approach initially but once he knows you he loves a fuss. He’s quite independent and likes to explore. Home needed: Gilly needs experienced owners who can give him a quiet environment. He can be protective over resources so owners who have previous experience with this would be ideal. His perfect home would have few visitors and a predictable routine. He enjoys social friends out and about but doesn’t want to live with another dog. Owners should be able to give him the space he needs to relax and decide when he wants fusses as he isn’t always in the mood for a cuddle

At Dogs Trust Manchester, nine-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Albie loves people and is eager to please. He is a very clever boy who can do lots of tricks (especially when treats are involved). He loves to snuggle up on your lap for some snuggles and attention. Despite his age he is still a very active boy who loves to go on adventures and explore. Home needed: Albie is searching for a home where he can be the only pet as he can find interactions with other animals quite stressful. He can live with children over the age of 10. he would love a family that want to continue training as this is something he loves, before snuggling up on the sofa to watch TV in the evenings

At four, Lurcher Lucy, who is known as Lucy Long Legs  at Dogs Trust West Calder, arrived in July as a stray. She is a fun and playful girl who can be a little nervous until she gets to know you. She is friendly, loving, very sweet and extremely clever. She loves food and which helps her to learn new things – since arriving she’s learnt how to sit and wait, give paw and even sit between your legs. She loves going for walks and running around, putting those long legs to good use! When she’s calm, she enjoys getting tummy rubs and a good neck scratch. Home needed: Lucy’s ideal home would be an adult-only, pet-free environment where she can enjoy heading to quiet walking spots. She is an active girl so will need an active home who enjoys walking and training. Her new owners will need to visit her a few times to build up a bond before adoption

Angel, a six-year-old American bulldog, arrived at Dogs Trust Merseyside in May due to change in owner’s circumstances. She’s super snuggly, very playful and loves to love! She can be wary of new people, but is doing really well at being introduced slowing to new faces. Everybody adores her and she is always excited to see us. Home needed: Angel can live with children aged 14 and over, but with no other pets. Her new family will need to pay her a few visits so she can get to know them

Eight-year-old Bulldog Rosco has been at Dogs Trust Leeds for around seven months, after a change in his owner’s circumstances. He’s a beautiful boy who, despite his size, can be a little shy initially. Once he knows you, he is very affectionate and loves to play with toys, he is very clever and likes to show off his repertoire of tricks! Home needed: Rosco would like a home where any children are over 14. He does have some medical needs and is receiving treatment for his skin allergy and ongoing pain medication, which can be discussed with potential new adopters. He’s not a fan of stairs so he needs either a single-storey home or a house where he can access everything he needs on one floor

White German Shepherd Snow, seven, has been at Dogs Trust Loughborough for around seven months, after his owner couldn’t care for him anymore. He is a sweet and affectionate boy with those he knows and trusts – you know that you have made it as his friend when he paws you for fuss! He loves his treats and gets lots as rewards as he progresses with his training – he’s a very clever boy! He adores to have a run around off-lead and often gets bursts of zoomies! Home needed: Snow is in need of an adult-only home with access to quiet walks and a secure garden. He is a strong lad so will need a family who are confident with his strength on-lead. Snow needs to be the only pet and to have someone around throughout the day to keep him company.

At Dogs Trust Shoreham, nine-year-old German Shepherd Lenn arrived a couple of months ago when his owner couldn’t care for him any more, and has received very little interest. He is a beautiful natured dog who has stolen the hearts of all his canine carers. All Lenny wants is love and cuddles. He’s a super affectionate chap who will happily snooze on the sofa with you after his walkies. Despite his age, he still thinks he’s a puppy and likes to bound around after his toys like a big goofball. Home needed: Lenny will need to be the only pet at home and the youngest members of his family will need to be 17. He would like a garden of his own to play in

Four-year-old American Bulldog cross Gingerbread was originally rehomed as a puppy back in January 2019, but sadly arrived back in the Dogs Trust care at the Bridgend centre in May 2022. She is an energetic girl who loves to play with her toys. She’d like a few introductions when meeting new people so she can get familiar with them, but once she knows you, she is loving and affectionate. Home needed: Gingerbread can live with children 14 years and over but she will need to be the only pet in the home. She would like access to quiet walks away from too many dogs

Poor crossbreed Lexi, eight, arrived at Dogs Trust Evesham in May when her owner sadly passed away. She is such a cheeky, playful, and charming girl who enjoys being around her favourite people. She has such a sharp mind and loves her treats. She’s got so much love to give and will make a brilliant companion once she’s settled. Home needed: Lexi needs to be the only pet but can live with secondary school age children. She would prefer a quiet home where she can spend time with her favourite people and then head out for walks in quiet locations

Bruno is an eight-year-old Presa Canario Cross who has been at Dogs Trust Manchester for around five months, after his owner became ill. He loves to spend his day pottering around the garden with his nose to the ground or sunbathing and snoozing away in the home. Bruno loves to carry around his toys and will always bring them to his carers when greeting them before heading out for a walk. He is a sweet boy who once he knows you turns into a big cuddle bug and loves to have a bum scratch and belly rub from his favourite people. Bruno enjoys short walks, but especially likes jumping in the car for a drive around! Home needed: Bruno could live with older teens aged 16 and above. A private, secure garden that he can call his own would be ideal. He enjoys company so wouldn’t like to be left alone for too long. He’s happy to meet dogs out and about but would prefer to be the only pet in his new home. Bruno struggles with stairs so he needs either a single-storey home or a house where he can access everything he needs on one floor. On a recent home trial, Bruno was a dream in the home and spent his day either mooching round the garden or snoozing away on his bed

Rottweiler Ragnar, five arrived at Dogs Trust Kenilworth back in July so the team would love to find him a home in the new year. Ragnar loves toys and food! He can be quite protective of these because of how much he loves them, so his new family will need to be able to manage this in the home. Because he is so foodie, he works really hard for treats, which is helping him with his training. He is very playful and silly and also good at keeping himself entertained. Home needed: Ragnar would like to be the only pet in an adult-only home so he can all his favourite things to himself. He could be left for a few hours once settled as long as he has things to keep him occupied

Toffee, a two-year-olfd Mastiff cross arrived at Dogs Trust Glasgow a year ago after being found as a stray. He’s super loveable and has a goofy personality! He loves to learn new tricks and go for adventures. He can be worried by other dogs and strangers but has been working on his training and has come on leaps and bounds, including making a few doggy friends. He’s got buckets on energy and loves to burn off steam. Home needed: Toffee is looking for a patient and experienced family who are around for most of the day initially until he is settled. He’s looking for an adult-only home with no other dogs, and access to a secure garden would be ideal. He will need to meet his new owner several times before going home to build a relationship, but he will be your best friend in no time

Collie cross Tilly, nine, is facing a year in our care after arriving at the Newbury centre when her owner became ill. She is a sweet and affectionate girl who loves cuddles from people when she gets to know them. She also likes going for nice, long walks where she can sniff and explore her surroundings. Home needed: Tilly isn’t fond of too much noise so a quiet home that’s not on a busy road and has limited visitors would be ideal. She will need a garden to potter about in and would need access to nearby walks as she’s not keen on car travel. She can live with children aged 11 or over but will need to be the only dog in her new home 

Beautiful Fernando is a two-year-old Pointer Collie cross. He arrived at Dogs Trust Basildon as a stray in April. He’s super clever, loves to play and thrives on learning new things – he will do anything for a treat. He doesn’t mind walking with smaller dogs but can be a bit worried by bigger ones. He’s lots of fun and is really goofy, his canine carers adore him! Home needed: Fernando is looking for an adult-only, pet-free home, with adopters who are willing to give him a bit of space when he needs it and continue his training

Chase is a two-year-old Lurcher who arrived at Dogs Trust Darlington in March 2021 due to a change in his owner’s circumstances. He’s a friendly chap who is super affectionate to those who know him and loves to lean in for a cuddle and a fuss. He absolutely adores his food; he certainly isn’t a picky eater! This comes in great for his training as he is a very keen student when there’s a treat involved. Chase gets on well with most dogs and loves a good rough and tumble play time with them. He thoroughly enjoys playing with his toys – stuffed toys are his favourite! Home needed: Chase is looking for a quiet adult-only home and could live live with a dog that matches his playful nature. He will need someone to continue his training and build up his time left alone slowly. A garden to play in would be ideal. His new owners will need to live within an hour of the centre as Chase will require multiple meets and home visits prior to adoption which will involve a phased transition into his new home

If you think you can give a dog a loving home, please call Dogs Trust on 0300 303 0292 or visit 

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