More than 55 people and 60 dogs joined in the “Walk for Welfare” on Centennial Trail last Sunday in memory of the Whistler 100, the sled dogs that were slaughtered last year following the Winter Olympics.
Amanda Hamilton, owner of Tails Pet Supplies and Services and organizer of the walk, said the day was “a huge success.”
The petition to increase provincial funding for BC SPCA cruelty investigations, particularly through the establishment of a special Crown counsel, received 47 signatures (non-residents could not sign), and 35 people joined the letter-writing campaign.
Sarah Fulcher, owner of Barks ‘n’ Rec, reported to Hamilton that the same day they had a turnout of roughly 60 people and 90 dogs in Trail, adding more than 45 signatures on the petition and more than 30 letters signed. In total, both walks raised more than $150 for the BC SPCA Cruelty Division.
The letter to Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, notes that although $2.2 million is spent by the BC SPCA each year to investigate approximately 7,000 complaints, they receive no provincial government funding for this work.
Letters were also signed for federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, Senator Nancy Greene, and MP Alex Atamenenko.
The letters say that although Canada has “one of the oldest animal cruelty laws in the developed world,” it has remained “virtually unchanged” since 1892.
Although Bill S-203 in 2008 increased penalties, the letters say Bill C-229 is necessary to close loopholes “that make it difficult for enforcement agencies and the courts to convict animal abusers.”
The letters also note that “people who abuse animals are more likely to commit future acts of violence against people,” and encourages “modern and effective animal cruelty legislation.”
“Most walkers today were from Rossland,” Hamilton said, “but we had a few Warfield & Trail residents, and people from Castlegar, Robson, Salmo, Crescent Valley, Nelson, and two from Victoria.”
“We also had a sign out asking people to honk for the huskies and we had a great response, people were honking all day,” Hamilton chuckled.
The petition and letters will still be available to sign at Tails, in Rossland, and at Barks & Recreation in Trail until the end of February.