The trial of a Vancouver man accused of dumping a severely beaten German shepherd in a garbage bin has been postponed until Jan. 8.

Brian Whitlock, 26, of Vancouver, faces charges of animal cruelty in connection with the treatment of the dog, named Captain, who died of his injuries soon after he was found in July.

Captain was discovered in a dumpster near Maple and Cornwall, wrapped in a bloody blanket, emaciated, stabbed, cut and brutally beaten.

If convicted, Whitlock could face five years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000.

Whitlock was scheduled to appear in court on Friday and several protesters turned out at Vancouver Provincial Court to see the legal proceedings get underway.

But instead animal advocates like Cleo Allen will have to wait a few more weeks to actually see Whitlock, who has yet to appear in person.

Online petition

Allen and the group Justice for Captain have been following his case through the courts. She says she wants to hear exactly what happened to the two-year-old dog.

“I think we're pretty steeled for it, yeah, you know anything like this, it's gut wrenching,” Allen said.

The dog’s story has spread at least as far as Prince George, where dog lover Charlene Myers lives.

“When I saw what happened to Captain, it was just so heartbreaking for me, my family had German Shepherds when I was growing up,” Myers said.

Myers has launched an online petition to strengthen Canada's animal cruelty laws.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • 6962742

    Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.

  • Captain the dog was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/03/brian-whitlock-charged-captain-dog-death-animal-cruelty-vancouver_n_2233443.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia">found in a Vancouver dumpster</a> in July 2012. He had serious cuts, massive head and body bruising and spinal damage. The dog died of its injuries the next day.