Tanja Jaeger

Rescuer organizes walk for sled dogs

If local resident Tanja Jaeger gets her way, lots of people will be joining her in Chilliwack to remember the culled sled dogs from Whistler.

The passionate dog rescuer is organizing the Fraser Valley Walk for the Whistler 100 on the Vedder Trail on April 2, with a Facebook page that’s been attracting a little attention.

“I’m looking for people to help raise animal abuse awareness, as a city, as a province, as a nation — and as a world!” Jaeger wrote.

Attendees will be signing petitions calling for stronger animal rights legislation.

“The real goal is taking people from outrage and sadness over the slaughter, to compassion and action,” she said.

Jaeger and her family are very fond of their two husky-cross dogs, Blizzard, a husky-malamute, and Edge, a husky-wolf.

“The passion that dogs have for their family is incredible. Once they bond with you, that’s it. They give you everything.”

So far more than 50 people have said they will join her on the dog walk in April.

Jaeger told The Progress she believes “in the power” of rescuing dogs, and said the husky dogs were even more adoptable than others, since they had ample experience with children.

“This was not just about sled dogs, but any dogs,” she said.

Dog-rescuing is a big part of her life, so she would have been willing to help get together homes and temporary spots for them.

Since then the idea for a dog walk came up, and she decided to go in that direction instead, in part since Chilliwack has many dog lovers. It was spur of the moment thing.

“We want to be a part of the effort to do something about this situation,” she said. “We’re doing our best to ensure other animals don’t suffer the same tragic fate these dogs did.”

There’s nothing wrong with an adventure-oriented company offering sled dogs tours, but they have to be able to provide for them, before, during and after business is conducted, Jaeger said.

So it’s partly about getting stiffer rules in place for these types of businesses. For now she’ll be monitoring her page, circulating flyers and getting the word out, until the day of the event arrives.

Anyone planning to attend the dog walk on April 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. can bring their dogs and family members and join them at the off-leash area, adjacent the gravel parking lot near the intersection of Vedder Road and Chilliwack Lake Road. There’s a long loop trail they’ll be taking.

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