Their Only Christmas Wish

Christmas is just 3 days away. As many of you prepare to spend the holiday with your loved ones, I'd like to give a voice to my loved ones... to the millions of homeless animals in this country... who may not have anyone to love them this Christmas... if not for you. 

For shelter pets, Christmas is just another day. Obviously, dogs and cats can't understand why this particular day is significant to so many people... because the day itself isn't what's important to them.

Yet... these shelter dogs (and cats) still have needs on Christmas day... and New Year's day... and every other day of the year. To them, there's no such thing as a "holiday." 

While the rest of the world takes a break for the holidays, these animals don't get a "break." Regardless of the time of year... every single pet, in every single animal shelter, still needs food, water, walks, and love... every single day of the year. 

But... if everyone else is busy with family, who takes care of these animals on the holidays?

Well, for the luckiest shelter pets, a special someone offers to sacrifice their own holiday... for them. Someone offers to sacrifice time with their own family... for them. Someone offers to sacrifice their own needs and desires... for them.

Someone... like me.

This someone... is usually the someone... who needs a holiday break more than anyone. This someone is usually the someone... who rarely gets to see their family. This someone is usually the someone... who denies their own needs, over-and-over-and-over again... for others.  

And this someone... the someone who sacrifices so much... is also the someone who never even complains about it...

And because of that someone... the luckiest shelter pets are fed, walked, and loved every single day of the year --including holidays... without question

But honestly... those are the lucky dogs...

In many shelters, one person is left to work on holidays-- alone. That someone is expected to do the jobs of many other people... without help. And because that person has no additional help, many of those shelter animals... just have to do without...  

Maybe the shelter is hoping that volunteers will show that day, to lend a helping hand... but in reality, that's rarely the case. Volunteers are usually non-existent on those days...

And so... on holidays, many shelter dogs don't get that much-needed walk. Many shelter dogs don't receive that desperately-desired special attention. On those days... many shelter dogs... don't even get noticed. 

On holidays, many shelter pets wait in a cage. They wait for their favorite volunteer to arrive... to take them for their special walk. But these dogs just can't understand... why no one will come for them today. And so... they wait.

They wait for someone to notice them... an employee, a volunteer, or an adopter. But that day, no one is there for them. They won't get to be special today. And so... they wait.

They wait for the touch of a caring hand. They wait for a comforting smile. They wait... for their chance to smile, too. But those pets must keep waiting... because today is not their day.

As each of you spends time with your families this holiday season... please remember that millions of homeless animals are not so lucky. Please remember that not everyone gets to go home for the holidays. Please remember that not everyone has someone to love them that day.

And please... if you can, use the time with your family this holiday... to volunteer at your local animal shelter. Please approach that over-worked shelter employee... as they work alone on Christmas day... and thank them for sacrificing their holiday for these animals. Please say, "We're here to help you."

And please... take the time to approach each shelter cage... to give love to a dog who didn't expect anyone to care about them that day, and say, "You are not alone. Merry Christmas." 

*If you can't volunteer this holiday season, you can still help! PLEASE DONATE! Any donation at all would make a huge difference for so many deserving animals!


  1. oh Ashley, you did it again, I am crying at my desk at work. Your words are very moving, and I agree with you 100% Everyone should be loved and thought about on Christmas!

  2. I shared your post the other day and send you a donate thru PayPal Chipin. I only wish I had more to help you with your work. God bless you and I pray that others will feel the tug in their heart and send you the money needed.

  3. Thank-You for all you do. My heart breaks for every alone animal...I love them all. My hope for you, is to get more help and to have a very Merry Christmas.

  4. Just brings tears to my eyes. I will be paying a visit to my local shelters while I am on holiday break.

  5. Hey Ashley...You did it again ! I'm crying at my desk. I have just donateda dog bed to the shelter in Mississippi yesterday...I will be visiting the shelter on Christmas to do just that !! Thanks again for all you do day in and day out !! We love you
    Marie Lepley

  6. Ashley

    As I am writing this through tears, your messages are always so powerful! You are the BEST at what you do!

    Lana Robison

  7. I have 7 dogs, 6 horses and 3 cats at my house that we are caring for and feeding daily. All of these animals are rescues. We have also found homes for 5 others and we 100% believe that animals need love and care, but unfortunately are also unable to do more. God bless all of those whose hearts break a little when they see a homeless animal. We need to all stand together and shut down the puppy mills that cause the outlandish amounts of strays that we have today on our highways and in our cities!!! Not fair to the animals. Love to all and Happy Holidays - to those that care and try to do what they can do.

  8. I also have no family to spend Christmas with but but thats okay cause I have my three rescue cats who I have made some special toys for and we will behaving a turkey and gravy tv dinner. I wish I could donate some money but am out of that too. But have asked all of my friends that have a little extra to please rember the animals that are alone and the one out in the cold this year for me. Unable to get to my county shelter because of not enough gas but I know that next year will be better and am going to start stocking up as soon as I am able for then. my God Bless you for all you do for these wonderful dogs (and cats,too)! I pray for all of the animals to have a home of their own sooner rather than later!

  9. Merry Christmas. There is a place for you! God Bless you and all you do for the animals. Ashley of Arc!

  10. I wuld like to volunteer in shelters at xmass..can u please recommend shelters in los angeles area for me?..thnx maya.

  11. Ashley, you are the angel that all these animals so desperately need! Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas Ashley! Smile. All of your Fur kids are Bless to have you. Smile. You are their Angel. Smile. Mike our German Shorthairt Pointer 10 Years old was My Aunt Fur Kid until My Aunt died in September. No one in My Family wantd Mike. My Husband and I gave Mike his Forever Home along with our 4 Chihuahuas Lucky, Penny, Happy and Spunky Joy. Smile. We are Bless to have our 5 Fur Kids. Smile. I wish I could SAVE all the Animals like we SAVED Mike Life. Smile.

  13. We used to be able to volunteer on holidays at our local shelter in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, but now they don't allow volunteers to come in on holidays. It kills all of us dedicated volunteers that no dog will get walked or loved for the holiday. It is hard enough to make sure each dog in the shelter gets out at least once a week for a walk but now with the holiday closures (24th & 25th), it takes away 2 whole days of time to walk dogs :( It makes it so we hate when holidays come around, since we know they will be closed.

  14. Merry Christmas Ashley! I am disabled, with 9 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 bird... All rescued pets. My first rescued pet is 16 yrs old. If i had the land or a bigger home. I would dedicate my life to my fury friends as well. Thank you for all your hard work. I cant donate today. But jan. 3rd. i will donate as much as i can to help you with our cute little fury families. You have moved my heart, And i will also inquire about volunteering at our local animal shelter.. I love you for all you do, And I know God does to. I will share all the post i can on Facebook to help our fury little friends. Btw my name is Dixie Chauncey from Small town Lakeland, Ga. God Bless!

  15. Merry Christmas, Ashley I have 3dogs 2cats, and rescued many here in Michigan, just took 3bags of dog food, and cat food to animal shelters, I did my duty, to these beautiful animals, gods animals PAW

  16. Merry Christmas Ashley -- I know it's hard and it so breaks my heart to know there are MILLIONS of pets that do not have a home to call their own. I wish I could take them all...just know you are so appreciated by your four legged buddies and those that read your blog. I may never have never met but you are so truly an inspiration to many.

  17. Oh,Ashley. Thanks so much for speaking the truth, and taking the time that you do with the animals. There is really no better way to spend the holidays than loving on animals. I'm about to give our female pitbull her bath (out of love, even though she doesn't think so.) Thanks for all you do for the animals. There are many of us who appreciate you and are inspired by you. Sandra Christian

  18. Thank you for continuing to push forward!
    Thanks for being TRULY COMMITTED to these animals! a lot more than 99% of people can say

  19. Shared and Thank You for all that you do, everyday for the homeless animals. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and the New Year brings you everything you need and deserve.

  20. Merry Christmas, I send my heart out to you and all those little animals, I appreciate what you do for them, and thank you for giving them a Christmas. Everyone deserves a holiday and I am glad that there are people out there like us who sacrifice our holidays, and postpone our needs to take care of others. Thank you for writing this because I honestly thought I'd be the only one spending most of Christmas to help animals. =) Good luck and I hope it truley is a merry Christmas!

  21. Ohhhh, and now im crying...another great post!

  22. Christmas, Easter and January 1st are three of the heaviest volunteer days, according to the volunteer coordinators with whom I have discussed this exact topic (three of them, in three different states).
    In shelters and at animal control in major cities, donors drop off gifts and baked goods, big donations roll in, and ESPECIALLY on Christmas, if there's a request for volunteers, there's never a shortage of help.

    I've worked in shelters and animal non-profits every Xmas, Easter and Thanksgiving for the past five years, and this sad picture you're painting isn't anything like the reality I know.
    In shelters, summer is sad. Spring is full of frustration, and the fall is full of urgency about getting dogs safe for winter... But Christmas, Christmas is not a sad time in the shelter. People are generous and surrenders ACTUALLY SLOW DOWN around the holidays.
    Of course right after the holidays, they shoot back up, but, in the mean time...

    My advice, dogs: If you've got to be a homeless dog, aim for December, rather than August. No one feels bad for you in August.

  23. That's a very touching christmas wishes. I can feel the heartfelt message enveloped to this post. I do wish them to have a great holiday, not just this moment for the rest of their life.

    Happy Christmas!

  24. Lovely post. this is quite heartwarming and sending warm feeling to us. My best Christmas wishes to you and your family. Have a happy and prosperous holiday this year!


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