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'A Day to Heel' on Sunday will honour lives of dogs who died of heat stroke

A memorial to the six dogs has been installed at the off-leash dog park in Brookswood.  - Dan Ferguson/Langley Times
A memorial to the six dogs has been installed at the off-leash dog park in Brookswood.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

An event, aptly named “A Day to Heel,” is being organized in Langley City on Sunday, June 22 to remember the six dogs who tragically died of heat stroke after being left in the back of a dog walker’s hot truck last month.

Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Service in partnership with Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial and Cremation Centre is inviting animal lovers and those who helped in the search for the dogs to join in a day of support, cruelty awareness and healing for the families of the six dogs that died on May 13.

The B.C. SPCA has since found enough evidence to recommend animal cruelty charges against the accused dog walker Emma Paulsen. Cruelty investigations manager Marcie Moriarty confirmed that the report was going to be sent to Crown counsel last week. The necropsies done on all six dogs showed that the dogs died of heat stroke, she said.

The Day to Heel will be held on Sunday, June 22 at 2 p.m. in Spirit Square at Douglas Park in Langley City.

“A Day to Heel is being held first and foremost to honour the dogs and the owners to whom they were a much-loved member of the family,” said Lawrence Little, organizer and owner of Alternative Funeral.

“In addition, this commemorative event is being held to express thanks to the Pet Finders organization and all those who expended enormous efforts in an attempt to locate the missing dogs. We wanted to thank the residents of Langley that gave so much of their time searching for the pets.”

Little explained that as an animal lover he felt deeply impacted by this tragedy and wanted to do something. He has invited the dog owners and the owners of Pet Finders.

On that fateful day the dogs died, Paulsen claimed the dogs were stolen from the back of her pick up when she was at the Brookswood off leash dog park. Nearly a week later, after numerous searches and pleas by the owners and Paulsen herself, Pet Finders’ owners got her to confess that the dogs died and she dumped them in a ditch in Abbotsford that day.

“It’s a day of support for the families who have lost their beloved companions, and an opportunity to heighten awareness of animal cruelty laws,” said Kevin Woronchak, owner of Until We Meet Again.

The Spirit Square is located at 204 Street and Douglas Crescent in Douglas Park.

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