Animals at the Surrey SPCA shelter received some pre-Christmas gifts Friday from Loki’s Christmas Wish. Pictured are Kristen Neratini (left) from Loki’s with four-month-old pitbull-cross Butters

A furry fun holiday for shelter pooches

Animals at the Surrey SPCA benefit from Loki's Christmas Wish Fund donation.

Furry bodies at the Surrey SPCA were wiggling with delight when Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund delivered hundreds of dollars in pet food and accessories last Friday afternoon.

The organization collects donations year-round and delivers them to animal shelters and rescue societies across the Lower Mainland over the Christmas holidays.

Founder Kristen Neratini started the project with her husband in honour of their American pit bull terrier Loki, who came from a shelter in Chilliwack and was adopted around Christmas. Loki passed away in 2008.

“Christmastime came and it was a really hard time for us to be without him,” said Neratini.

She thought, “how can we honour his memory and what can we do to give back?”

Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund took off and the first year of donations in 2008 were delivered to the Chilliwack shelter.

“We filled two vehicles full of stuff to drop off and shelter staff were just overwhelmed. They couldn’t believe it,” Neratini said. “It was just stuff that they absolutely needed to help… keep the dogs occupied, to help them do their job better and provide for the dogs in their care.”

Countless businesses around the region have supported Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund by setting up donation bins in their stores.

“The toys and the blankets and the beds, the jackets, the collars the leashes, those things are items that the shelters can re-use,” Neratini said. “We’re helping a lot of dogs.”

This year marks Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund’s fifth year of giving to shelter and rescue animals. Four organizations were supported by this year’s donations, including the Chilliwack Animal Control, the Surrey Animal Resource Centre, Hug-A-Bull Advocacy and Rescue Society and Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. Last year 20 organizations benefitted but a shortage of volunteers hampered distribution for this year’s campaign.

The lack of helping hands caused Neratini to announce that this would be the last year the project could continue after her husband fell ill and could no longer help as he once did. But Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund will continue to give, thanks to the help of two dedicated individuals that stepped up to help for next year.

“Just with the volume of donations that we get, storage is an issue, timing, and just, trying to plan everything can be really difficult,” she said. “We are going to… continue on as long as we can,” she said.

Loki’s Christmas Wish Fund is always looking for volunteers that can pick up or drop off donation boxes to participating businesses, sort donations, or help promote the program by dropping off promotional material.

“(Loki) was a very special dog who I miss very much,” she said. “So it’s very, very nice to be able to give back and do it in his name,” said Neratini.

Just Posted

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read