We talked to Sarah Varanini, the Sacramento SPCA's PR and social media specialist, about how she captured all the adorable tail-wagging that had us pricing California plane tickets.

By Austin Cannon
May 25, 2021
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We now know there is indeed heaven on Earth—and no, it's not Iowa.

It's actually a small room—a kennel space—at the Sacramento SPCA. That's where Sarah Varanini, the shelter's PR and social media specialist, captured maybe the greatest video of all time earlier this week: 50 seconds of seven reddish-brown, ginormous puppies exploring, sniffing, and wagging their tails so much it looks like they might take off like tiny, furry helicopters.

The puppies at one point also gang up to adorably ambush Varanini, who tells Daily Paws she'd covered herself in blankets to see how the puppies would react. The result is a video that at the very least can turn a bad day around. At its best, it can probably persuade a grumpy parent to finally adopt that puppy.

"I have one of the best jobs," Varanini says, really sticking it to all of us still in WFH purgatory. 

While she has made us immensely jealous, her video is truly excellent. She'd heard about the rather large boys and girls—they already weigh 30 pounds at 4 months old—and was wondering how she could showcase their fun personalities. She saw the opportunity when the puppies were let outside as the kennels were cleaned.

So Varanini grabbed her phone and hid under the blankets in the corner. The door lifts up, and the puppies are at first unsure what to do. But once they get inside, wheeeeeeeeee it's happy fun time! One of them goes to her immediately, making it really hard for her to record what's going on, but she perseveres admirably. It gets much, much harder when about four of them rambunctiously decide they want to snuggle and giver her kisses.

"OK, OK, ahh!" she exclaims in the video as the puppies "attack."

caged area full of puppies
Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Varanini

She says she was actually wondering how she was going to get out of the small room as they started to swarm around her. The staffer watching from the hallway wouldn't have been much help as he was laughing hysterically, Varanini says. But she thankfully lived to tell the tale. 

"If you had to pick a way to go, being smothered by giant puppies is pretty good," she says. 

The purpose of the video, which went live on social media around 7 a.m. in California, was to notify the public that the seven puppies were available for adoption. People could start signing up for adoption appointments at 9 a.m. All the slots were filled by 9:01, Varanini says. 

The puppies were surrendered last week. The details on why they were brought in are scarce, but Varanini did note that shelters like hers were unable to keep up with as much spaying and neutering as they would during non-pandemic times, and that might result in more accidental pregnancies. 

As for the breed of the puppies, you might need a dog DNA test for that one. They look like they could be some mix of redbone coonhounds, Doberman pinschers, Vizslas, or Rhodesian ridgebacks. All we know for sure is that they're so cute it almost hurts.

"It is a great reminder that shelters do get adorable puppies like this all the time," Varanini says.