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Animal lovers, prepare to shed a tear over the RSPCA Christmas ad

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Kayleigh Dray
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The RSPCA has released an extra-special advert for Christmas 2017 – and it’s already been viewed over 2,300,000 times on Facebook alone.

It should go without saying by this point that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. However, despite all of us being all too aware of the many responsibilities that come with owning a pet (as well as the incredible benefits, of course), the RSPCA expects to receive a whopping 2,000 calls a day over the next few months about animals that are desperately in need of care.

So, in a bid to shine a light on the issue, the charity has released a festive advert, which follows the tale of Woody, a cute soft toy dog, who is given as a Christmas present.

His young owner is ecstatic to find Woody waiting for him under the tree and, for the first few weeks, Woody travels with him everywhere. But, when he gets dirty and wet, the little toy is soon tossed out with the rubbish – and left to wait by himself in the cold.

Thankfully, he is found by the RSPCA and taken to an animal clinic, where they nurse him back to full health.

However, in the final shot of the ‘Kindness At Christmas’ advert, a little twist is revealed.

Woody is, of course, not a toy, but a full-grown Labrador – and he’s finally found a home with someone who sees him as more than just another Christmas present that falls out of favour once the novelty has worn off.

The advert has touched the hearts of people around the country, with many taking to Twitter to admit that it left them in tears.

Speaking about the ad, RSPCA superintendent Simon Osborne told Get Surrey that the season genuinely still brings a ridiculous amount of abandoned dogs to the charity’s door, despite the Christmas message having been hammered home for years.

“It’s a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers, but winter really does come with its own challenges and issues.

“In fact, we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone.”

He added: “During the festive season alone last year we rescued more than 25,000 animals, many of whom had been cruelly abandoned, injured or abused.

“But we also saw so many acts of kindness by animal lovers, from the passer-by who rescued a shivering and sick puppy days before Christmas, to those who reported suffering animals to our cruelty hotline, or volunteers caring for animals in our centres and branches.

“We are asking animal lovers across the country to show kindness this Christmas by supporting our winter appeal.”

The appeal’s soundtrack is a cover of the Simply Red song Stars, performed by RSPCA worker Lucy Ellie.

Proceeds from the single go straight to the RSPCA. However, the charity is also appealing for donations this Christmas to help cover the £10,000 that it will cost to feed the thousands of animals in their centres over the three days of the festive period.

Find out more on thee website here.

Images: RSPCA

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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