An IKEA store in Catania, Italy, is giving shelter to stray dogs during the cold winter season so that they stay warm and safe. Customers are praising this act of generosity in the season of giving and it is going viral. Christmas cheer has increased with this beautiful gesture of IKEA and the staff, along with a lot of customers, are pampering and feeding the dogs. Some of the dogs are even being adopted by members of the staff.
Social media users from all across the globe are admiring this open-door policy for stray animals. A Facebook video shared by Martine Taccia is going viral on the internet, approaching a million views now. It shows dogs very comfortably resting in between the store’s furniture display.
“A good initiative to shelter the strays while it’s raining outside”, she wrote in Italian on her Facebook post. “Do we want to applaud this civilization?”
“My reaction was pure amazement. It’s not a common thing”, she added, speaking to animal website, The Dodo.
This is not the first time that IKEA is showing support to dogs. In 2014, they had partnered with Home For Hope’s campaign, which encouraged pet adoption by putting up cardboard cutouts of shelter dogs in their stores.
IKEA outlets in the United States and Singapore actively took part in the campaign, while most of the IKEA stores in the UK have a strict no dogs policy unless it is an assistance dog.
Ms Beppe Liotta, a customer in the store, told The Dodo, “I felt great happiness at seeing dogs crouched in the exhibition space at the entrance of the IKEA.”
“What an absolutely fantastic thing to do! Showing such compassion to these poor creatures is a fine example to us all”, another customer commented.
“Straying is a widespread problem in Sicily and IKEA has always been sensitive to animal issues and welfare,” a spokesperson for IKEA Italy said. “Specifically, this problem has been affecting our store in Catania for quite some time now, as there are many stray dogs who are normally hanging around the car park outside the store. These dogs sometimes find repair in the entrance and exit areas of the store, although this is not part of a particular corporate initiative.”
It is so heart-warming to see businesses take steps to give love to stray dogs. These dogs sure are enjoying a very thoughtful early Christmas present!