Supporters of a Lake Country couple trying to have their malamute dog released from the dog pound flooded the meeting room of the Regional District of Central Okanagan board this evening.
More than 100 people, some with their dogs, gathered outside the RDCO office on KLO Road in Kelowna to show their support for Jennifer and Peter Madsen.
The Madsens are owners of the impounded dog, named Shadow, which was picked up for being a dangerous dog and is now the subject of a court case.
While the Madsens have many issues with the evidence against their dog, their immediate objective is to have Shadow released back into their care.
The Madsens led the protesters inside the RDCO headquarters, surrounding the board room table as the directors dealt with an issue on the agenda.
After that issue was addressed with a vote, RDCO chairman Robert Hobson took a moment to acknowledged the presence the protesters.
While he was not prepared to deal with a matter before the courts relating to Shadow’s situation, Hobson assured the Madsens and their supporters that the board “has noted your presence here tonight and your concerns.”
He also noted the regional district released a fact statement on the case of Shadow which hadn’t yet been widely publicized by the media.
Hobson said he and regional district staff were willing to meet with the Madsens at a future date and discuss the release of Shadow to their temporary care.
He also acknowledged the quiet and respectful way the group filed into the RDCO board meeting room without disrupting the debate taking place at the time with an agenda matter.
Jennifer Madsen said after leaving the meeting that while she was disappointed the board wouldn’t hear their concerns, she was happy about the possibility of a meeting with RDCO staff.
“It’s a small step forward,” Madsen said, reiterating that their first goal is to get Shadow out of the dog pound and back into their temporary care pending the outcome of the pending court battle.
Supporters at the rally encouraged each other to stand behind the Madsens, to start a petition, use the media to get their message out and to phone RDCO officials to voice their displeasure at how Shadow’s case is being handled.