The grisly fate of 100 Whistler sled dogs sparked an outcry across B.C., and now Kelowna animal lovers are organizing an event to lay their anger to rest.
“It was such an emotional thing and it’s affected all of us, so we wanted to take emphasis off the man who did it and put it back on the dogs,” said Brenda McBurnie, owner of Doggytopia and co-organizer of a walk dedicated to the canines.
“We don’t want the dogs to be forgotten. It’s not a protest, we’re not looking for donations, it’s a no-pressure walk. Just show up and honour the dogs.”
The walk will start at the downtown sails 11 a.m. Sunday, and participants will carry on through the boardwalk and back.
“Even if someone wants to walk for five minutes, just to honour the dogs, that’s OK,” said McBurnie.
While there are only a few dozen confirmed participants on the Facebook page that’s set up to inform people of the event, McBurnie said she’s received a ton of feedback and she believes hundreds could head out that day. If that’s the case, it could prove to be the positive side of what’s been deemed a tragic event.
“The amount of emotion out there shows there’s a lot of love for dogs,” she said.
“It’s beautiful that people are outraged. And maybe they will respect their canines even more.”
The dogs were killed by a sled dog operator with the use of a gun and knife over two days last April. The issue came to light when WorkSafeBC processed a report for post traumatic stress syndrome, from the man who slaughtered the dogs.
He claimed to be forced into the position after post-Olympic tourism numbers did not meet expectations.
The dogs were killed under the control of Howling Dog Tours, which looked after the dogs for tour operator Outdoor Adventures Whistler.
To learn more about the walk, go to the Facebook group Public Dog Walk to Honour Slaughtered Sled Dogs, or call 250-712-0899