Ahead of a Monday night rally for imprisoned Lake Country malamute Shadow, the Central Okanagan regional district bent over backward to prove they’re not treating area pets unfairly while in their custody.
“The dogs in our care are receiving humane, courteous and careful care,” said the district’s Bruce Smith, Friday, while standing outside the north end pound.
The dogs, in turn, he said, “behave like dogs.”
The level of civility at the pound has not been a question in the past as it’s subject to regular inspections at the SPCA, which it passes with ease.
But the way they’ve dealt with Shadow, raised questions.
The malamute which appeared to have a gentle demeanor during a brief media tour through the facility, has lived at what’s supposed to be a short-term pound for the last 15 months.
At 13 months old it was picked up for being a dangerous dog—something its family, the Madsens, are arguing in court is far from the case.
While they waited for the case to unfold, however, the Madsens were barred from seeing their pet for more than 30 minutes a day.
It’s meant, Shadow grew up in an indoor run, with nothing more than two 15-minute breaks a day.
As its story was told last week, the community, and beyond, started voicing their concerns alongside the Madsens.
“We’ve been swamped by a number of calls from all around the province,” said Smith.
They’ve also been targeted in an online campaign, titled on Facebook as “Shadow vs the RDCO.”
That page had over 3,000 fans from across the globe by Monday afternoon, and a corresponding petition against the treatment of dogs had more than 4,500 signatures.
Finally, plans to rally at the Regional District Board’s Monday night meeting also formed.
The Madesns and other Shadow defenders planned to gather in a “peaceful, respectful manner to show concern about Dog Control conduct and conditions in which dogs are being held for long term in the Dog Pound.”
All in all, the mounting campaign had an impact.
By Monday, the regional district wasn’t trying to just show its fairness. They offered up some options for the Madsen family.
In a statement, representatives said: “The Regional District offered a revised consent order to the dog owners. Among the conditions are secure fencing, behaviour training and control when outside the fenced area. The Regional District is awaiting a response.”
It also toed the line on their previous stance.
“The regional district regrets this situation and is concerned about the welfare of the dog, but will consider only one option other than continuing to house the dog at the RDCO pound and that is for the owners to take their dog back under the conditions of the revised consent order.”
By deadline it was unclear what would happen to Shadow.