Hope Memorial Park was filled with poodles, huskies, spaniels and shepherds, as over 50 people and their pampered pets got their chance to express their outrage at the cull of 100 Whistler sled dogs after the 2010 Olympics.
The peaceful protest walk, Sunday, Feb. 13, was organized by Cathy Hirst and Jeneane Ruscheinsky and saw the placard-packing group circumnavigate the town of Hope. The group started out from Hope Memorial Park and walked two by two, “like the sled dogs do,” up to the Old Hope-Princeton Way and back around town to the Wallace street park.
Participants in the walk were encouraged to sign a petition in support MP Mark Holland’s private members Bill C-229, which calls for tougher penalties for those found guilty of animal cruelty. The bill also calls for the closure of a number of loopholes in the criminal code that make it difficult to enforce and prosecute animal cruelty cases.
“We have all been horrified over what we have learned over the last two weeks, since this story broke, and it is great to see all of you here,” said Hirst. “By attending this event we are creating a public image of people who stand up for animals.”
“We all have the ability to make positive change in our country for the right of dogs and all the animals that share our lives,” added Hirst.
Donations to the SPCA were also collected from walk participants and visitors to the park.