'Dog walk for change' planned for Feb. 12 

RCMP investigate death threats

Tim Koshul is looking to turn compassion for sled dogs into action for change.

The food and beverage manager at the Hilton is organizing a Dog Walk for Change on Feb.12 starting at noon at the Whistler gondola end of Village Stroll.

The walk has been organized in response to reports that the operational manager of a Whistler dog sled company inhumanely killed up to 100 dogs because of economic pressures

"I was like everybody else," said Koshul, who helps host the K9 Wine and Dine fundraising dinner each year.

"On day one I was angry. I was sad. I was torn, like most people... but 24 hours later I was, OK, how does this turn into something positive."

Koshul hopes to use the walk as a fundraiser for Whistler animal shelter, WAG, as well.

"We need to do something to take the compassion and move it into action, that is what my purpose is," he said.

He chose the Olympic anniversary celebration weekend on purpose. Not only will more people be around to take part, he also sees the Games as a huge force of change for the resort so it makes sense to link it to this push for change in animal rights.

"The Olympics to me and I think to this community was all about change and some of it was good, some indifferent and some was bad... so what better (time) to ride the wave of change than during the celebration of the event that probably brought the biggest change to the community for all time, the Olympics," said Koshul.

He plans on making the event annual.

Posters will go up next week, he said, and he has been in contact with others around the world that are organizing walks in memory of the slain sled dogs including a woman who's planning one in Rome this weekend.

Other gatherings include one in West Vancouver Sunday and in Whistler tomorrow.

Vancitybuzz.com reports that a march will be held Feb.5 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. from the Blackcomb Chairlift to the WAG shelter.

Meanwhile the RCMP are continuing to investigate the threats made against staff and others associated with the sled dog company.

"We are responding to a multitude of complaints that we have received directly that require us to open up an investigative file," said Sgt. Peter Thiessen "
E" Div Strategic Communications 
Senior Media Relations Officer today.

"As a result of that it has become clear the extent of what these death threats relate to and the numbers of them, who they are directed toward and in what form.

"Many of them are face to face and over the telephone but some are more indirect comments, directed more generally over social media which is inflaming other people.

"It is completely irresponsible.

"Because of the severity of this we have a team of three to four investigators that are dealing with serious direct death threats to individuals.

"We are not fooling around here and we are concerned that someone is going to take it to the next level and something is going to happen, that is what we are concerned with."

The SPCA was to be in provincial court today seeking access to the WorkSafe B.C. documents, which describe the euthanization of the dogs.

 

 

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