Christmas can be a joyous time for many. With festive lights, good cheer, and the company of your friends and family, the holidays are filled with love and happiness. But for the six to eight million animals that enter U.S. shelters every year, Christmas can be depressing. Many wonderful volunteers will take the dogs out for walks and will maybe have a few minutes of play time, but at the end of the day, the dogs and cats are alone once again.

But one animal shelter is working towards changing that. Every year, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa asks their volunteers and supporters to put toys, food, and supplies underneath the “Tree of Life” so that they can collect donations for homeless animals. Not only do animal lovers stock the tree full of goodies, but the dogs and cats get to pick out their very own toy! As seen in the video above, the pups rush over to the “Tree of Life” and eagerly pick out a toy they can call their own. The smiles and tail wags as they learn Santa Paws didn’t forget about them are absolutely contagious. Santa Paws didn’t forget about the many homeless cats either  – the felines all get some toys to keep them entertained and happy.

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If you’re considering welcoming a four-legged companion into your home, please always adopt and never shop. And if you’d like to get involved with your local animal shelter, check out our guide to volunteering.