You're About to Witness the Best Christmas Ever for These Shelter Dogs and Cats

“YOU get a present! And YOU get a present! And YOU GET A PRESENT!!!”

It’s sad to say, but the holidays can be a bleak time at rescue shelters. Even if the animals aren’t totally aware, there are less potential forever families visiting, and a palpable sadness in the air. But one region of shelters—the Animal Rescue League of Iowa—has gone out of its way to make the holidays extra-special for their homeless furry friends.

The ARL Iowa hosts an annual Tree of Life event (December 1–31), intended to brighten up the animals’ spirits. Every holiday season, the league collects donations for all of the animals (either hand-given or sent through their Amazon Wish List), and the gifts are sent to various locations in the area. One by one, the adoptable dogs and cats are taken to the pile of presents to select a toy or treat—and their resulting excitement is enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes.

It’s not too late to donate—and it’s certainly not too late to adopt (from the ARL or any shelter near you)!

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