Santa Paws’ grotto opens its doors to dogs

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WHILE children across the world are waiting for a visit from Father Christmas this weekend, pampered pets in South Yorkshire have been given the chance to meet the great man a few days early.

Yesterday, Owlerton Greyhound Stadium in Sheffield opened the doors to what is thought to be the country’s first-ever Santa’s Grotto designed especially for dogs.

Throughout the day, dogs could go along to the stadium with their owners to meet “Santa Paws” and receive Christmas presents, in an event organised in order to raise money for the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust.

Volunteers from the Trust, based at Gosling Moor Farm in Wortley, work closely with the Owlerton greyhound track and rehome ex-racing dogs after the end of their careers. Linda Cattlin from the Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust, said: “Dogs deserve to be spoiled just as much as the rest of the family at Christmas.

“We’d also like to raise awareness of the Retired Greyhound Trust as, once people have met the greyhounds up for re-homing, they can’t stay away – they’re such great pets.

“Although we do have to stress the old adage – a dog’s not just for Christmas.” She added: “We have had a really successful day here at the stadium, with dogs of all shapes and sizes taking their turn on Santa’s knee.

“Dogs have had the chance to be spoiled this festive season, which is what we wanted to do and hopefully more people will know be aware of the charity and the work we do.

“You never know, we might even see the grotto return in the future.”

For more information on adopting an ex-racing greyhound, contact Sheffield Retired Greyhound Trust on 0114 2888300.

The Trust can only house 20 greyhounds at its Wortley base at any one time.

Several animals are currently looking for new owners, with a view to being rehoused in the new year.