WAG animals make Christmas wish list

Shelter hosts holiday events to collect items for dogs and cats in need

The animals at WAG have been good boys and girls this year and they’re hoping that Santa will take notice.

Whistler’s animal shelter is hosting a new fundraiser in which the dogs and cats in their care (with some help from employees) have written a Christmas wish list. Now, they hope that community members will help purchase items on
that list.  

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“We were trying to think of something fun and different to do,” said Emily Suckling, events and fundraising assistant with WAG. “They can skim through the list and see what WAG needs and why we need it.”

To that end, there are both items for the animals — like bones, harnesses and cat toys — on the list, as well as some less conventional items for the shelter. “You would never think we need a USB stick or a 10-by-10 tent, but it all really helps,” Suckling added. “(Those things) are pretty important. The swinging door baby gates, we really like to have the baby gates for safety reasons.”

While participants can drop off their gifts (wrapped or unwrapped) at the shelter during any hours they’re open to the public, they’re also hosting special events on Dec. 16 and 17 in which gift givers can present their treats to the animals and get a photo taken with them. “We’ll take a photo of them presenting it to the animal and we’ll post it online so they can download it,” she said.

Then the gifts will go under a Christmas tree and the staff on duty on Dec. 25 will open them with the animals. The wish list ranges from cans of tuna to soothing music CDs, light up collars, pee pads and dog bones. For the shelter, they’re hoping to receive things like Chevron or Husky gas gift cards (to transport animals to the vet), a portable shed and vacuum for hard floors, among other things.

“We’ll be posting some of the items on the list (on Facebook) with a photo and the rationale of why we need it,” Suckling said. “Instead of just asking for something, it’s good for people to know why we need it and who it’s helping in the shelter.”

Another way to help WAG during the holidays: bring your pet to the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa on Dec. 10 to get their photo taken with Santa from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

“We have a bin with dress-up clothes, if you want to put antlers on your dog,” Suckling added. “The photos are by Coast Mountain Photography and they’ll be printing them on site. You can actually leave with a photo in your hand.”

While most people bring their pooches to the annual event, at least a few cats usually turn up as well. “We had two people bring cats last year,” Suckling said. “It’s not a dogs-only event. If you have a cat who’s chill enough to endure all the craziness, by all means bring them.”

Their only request — ensure all animals are leashed “for everyone’s safety and the animals’ safety,” Suckling said. “It’s so much fun. You see some animals adopted from WAG and they come in with their families, it’s so nice to see. It’s a really fun atmosphere.”

For more information on both events visit whistlerwag.com.

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