A CARING couple have racked up almost two decades of giving up their Christmas day to make sure unwanted and abandoned pets feel loved.

Paul and Siobhan Woodland have been giving up their Christmas day since 2000 to treat the homeless pets at the Blue Cross animal rehoming centre in Thirsk.

On Christmas Eve the couple, from Thirsk, prepare a chicken feast to serve up for the pets’ Christmas dinner.

They arrive at the centre early on Christmas morning help distribute presents from under the tree to all the pets in their kennels.

Then they play each pet’s favourite game and take the dogs on winter walks. Ms Woodland said: “As it’s just the two of us at home we are happy to give up our time to come to the centre and give the pets special moments as they don’t have a family of their own or place to call home.

"When we initially volunteered, Wendy Ellison was the Manager at that time and it was Wendy’s commitment to the animals that had us coming back every Christmas since.”

Pets who received pampering and treats included three-year-old ex race greyhounds Benny and Billy.

Neither dog has had a real home of their own before. Ms Woodland added: “Not everyone has the opportunity like us to help out on Christmas day and we enjoy lending a hand and giving back before spending the evening having our Christmas at home. It feels like you’re doing something to earn your Christmas.”