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Wagging through winter: IKEA opens doors to homeless dogs

Caroline Floyd

Friday, November 23, 2018, 1:07 PM - Having trouble picturing how that couch might look with your dog on it? There's an IKEA in Catania, Italy that has you covered.

The store has opened its doors to local strays, providing a safe place, out of the elements, for needy pups, and giving a little more life to their living room displays. Catania, located on the east coast of Sicily, has a mild spring and autumn, but hot summer days and chilly winter nights, along with a rainy season that drops about 470 mm of its annual 550 mm of rainfall between September and March -- all conditions a stray pooch might want to avoid.

"A good initiative to shelter the strays while it's raining outside," posted Vittoria Taccia Gabrielli, with a video sent to her by her daughter, "..... all this happens in the shopping center of IKEA (Catania)."

And it seems the initiative is a hit with dogs and shoppers alike, with people taking to social media in droves to post pictures of the fuzziest residents of the store.

The animals gets plenty of attention from shoppers and employees alike. “Ikea helps stray dogs by opening their doors during the winter but also in the summer,” local resident Di Legami Graziella told This Dog's Life. “They find both shelter and food and water and are pampered and controlled by volunteers.”

Some of the dogs have even found new homes, thanks to the program, with shoppers opting to adopt them.

While it's not a company-wide policy (yet), IKEA stores have been known to lend a helping paw in the past. Several years ago, a store in Arizona added cut-out images of adoptable pets from Home for Hope to some of their displays to give shoppers an idea of what a four-legged friend might look like in their new space.

“As long as there are people who open the door to the weaker, there is still love in the world," said Graziella.

Sources: This Dog's Life


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