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Stray dogs in Catania, Italy now have a leisurely, safe, and comfortable place to hang out: their local Ikea. Recently, photos of the dogs lounging and sleeping on the store’s furniture displays have appeared on social media, capturing the hearts of both local customers and animal lovers worldwide.
One customer, Martine Taccia, noticed some of the dogs relaxing around one of Ikea’s living room displays as she shopped on a cold Fall afternoon.
Taccia’s reaction, like many others, was one of approval. In an interview with The Dodo, she said of the dogs: “My reaction was pure amazement. It’s not a common thing.” She took a video of the heartwarming scene and posted it to her Instagram account.
Taccia learned that Ikea had welcomed the stray dogs inside to shield them from the cold. At the store, they receive daily food and water, along with loads of affection from employees and customers alike. The best news? Some adoring customers have even provided forever homes to dogs they met in the store.
Ikea’s Catania store does not advertise that they shelter stray dogs, but word of their generosity has spread far and wide. Shortly after customers began noticing the dogs, photos and video footage of the pups began popping up on social media. The canine sanctuary has since gone viral – Taccia’s video alone has received more than 1.1 million views.
The general consensus surrounding Ikea’s stray-friendly environment can best be described as “two thumbs up.” On one of the many photos of the dogs circulating throughout the internet, one person even commented: “I am now forever loyal to Ikea.”
In the past, Ikea has advocated for animal rights and rescue. In 2014, as part of a partnership with Home for Hope, the store placed life-sized cardboard cutouts of dogs that were available for adoption throughout their stores.