Get the tissues ready, because pet rescue charity the RSPCA has released its Christmas advert – and it’s a real tearjerker.
Rather than focus on a story of an abandoned animal, this year’s heartbreaking campaign instead features an unwanted stuffed toy puppy.
In the surprisingly emotional advert, the toy – called Woody – is quickly discarded by its owners after being neglected in a heartbreaking metaphor for the way the number of dogs being abandoned rises sharply after Christmas.
Thankfully the advert has a happy ending – but it hammers home the RSPCA’s annual message that a dog is for life and not just for Christmas.
The advert features a cuddly toy who is quickly neglected by his owners after being given to a child as a Christmas present
The surprisingly emotional advert tugs at the heartstrings despite being about a cuddly toy as the puppy toy is abandoned on a bin bag
The advert starts with a young boy being given a cuddly Labrador puppy toy by his parents for Christmas.
The child loves his toy and takes it with him everywhere, taking good care of it at first.
But he soon loses interest, and the toy gets dirtier and dirtier after being left outside, neglected in the garden.
Finally the boy’s mother dumps the filthy toy on top of a bin bag.
Thankfully the advert has a happy ending and the toy is ‘rescued’ by an RSPCA officer
The poor pup has to have ‘surgery’ to mend some tears in his fur
Luckily for the poor bedraggled toy though, an RSPCA officer finds the puppy and carefully picks him up and takes him to a local branch.
There he undergoes surgery for his torn ear, and is carefully washed and dried until he looks good as new.
At the very end, the toy is replaced by a gorgeous real Labrador in a new home in a soft dog bed after being rehomed.
Manager of the RSPCA Birmingham Animal Centre, where some of the advert was filmed, Deborah Caffull, said: ‘While this video shows the tale of a toy dog – the sentiment behind the story is very real.
‘We rescue, rehabilitate and rehome dogs just like Woody every day, all year round.
The boy loves his stuffed puppy when he is first given the toy at Christmas
The puppy is quickly abandoned and neglected in the garden after the boy loses interest in his present
Thankfully the advert shows how the toy is rescued by the RSPCA who look after him until he looks good as new
The dog is given a comfortable home at an RSPCA centre before being rehomed
‘It was lovely to show all the different aspects of the work we do – from the inspector rescuing the dog, to him being treated by vets, looked after by our canine carers and volunteers before being rehomed.
‘This time of year is very busy for us as an animal rescue charity and everyone pulls together to help the animals that come into our care – and this video really shows that.’
The advert, released on Friday, features an acoustic cover of the Simply Red song Stars, written by Mick Hucknall.
The song was performed by singer Lucy Ellie, who works for the RSPCA.
Proceeds from the single are being donated to the RSPCA to help in their work rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming thousands of animals every year.
The charity is expecting to take in around 19,000 animals this winter.