The owner of a dog found beaten in a Vancouver dumpster has been released from police custody after being held on unrelated charges of criminal harassment.
While in custody, Brian Whitlock was also questioned about the death last week of two-year-old German shepherd, Captain.
Whitlock was released from custody on his own recognizance Thursday, leaving the B.C. Provincial Court in the Downtown Eastside by a side door.
On Wednesday night, hundreds of people accompanied by their four-legged best friends gathered at Vancouver's Kits Beach to mark the death of Captain, the German shepherd found dying in a dumpster last week.
Vigil organizer Brittany Rash said the surprising turnout showed how Captain's death has touched the hearts of many.
"We were hoping for maybe 20 or 30 people and it got a lot bigger than that because everybody loves animals so much," said Rash.
Investigators with the SPCA say the dog was emaciated and badly injured, and despite attempts to save him, Captain died from injuries last week.
No charges have been laid in the case, but CBC News has obtained a copy of information sworn out to obtain a search warrant regarding the dog's death.
In it, a witness told the B.C. SPCA he'll be haunted by the sound of banging coming from Whitlock's apartment on July 18, the day neighbours found the gravely wounded dog in a dumpster behind the apartment building.
Speaking out at the vigil
Many of those who attended the vigil took turns speaking to the crowd with a megaphone, with many calling for an end to animal cruelty.
"We need to put an end to animal abuse!" said one speaker.
"We cannot be quiet anymore, when you see somebody doing something wrong against an animal you have to speak out!" said another.
Organizer Brittany Rash said she understands why so many were touched by the death of Captain.
"For me, my pets are my babies. I can't imagine caring for a human as much as I care for them," said Rash.
"They're so innocent, you bring them into your home, I don't know, I guess I just think of my own animals."
Lauren Thorpe also expressed how much she loves animals.
"For a lot of people, they don't actually distinguish between the life of a human, or a child or a dog."
After a song and a prayer and a pledge, the mourners lit candles and held a moment of silence, hoping their outpouring of grief and anger over Captain's death might help prevent future cases of animal abuse.