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100 Huskies Slaughtered In Canada After Games


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http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/...0201-1abzm.html

Police are investigating the slaughter of 100 husky dogs used to pull tourist sleds in the Canadian ski resort of Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The grisly killings were reportedly carried out by one worker over two days in April last year with a shotgun and a knife, with reports of injured dogs crawling out of a mass grave.

Local media said the dogs were killed because business slumped in the two months following the Games and they were no longer needed by tourism companies Outdoor Adventures and Howling Dogs, which sell dog-sled rides to tourists.

"We've opened a police file and assigned an investigator," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair said.

The case came to light on Monday after the unnamed worker claimed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of killing the dogs, and was reportedly awarded compensation from British Columbia worker's board.

Marcie Moriarty of the Society for Prevention of Animal Cruelty, the lead agency in the investigation, told the Vancouver Sun, "The way he describes [in the board's report] multiple shots and faces blown off and coming back on a second day is gruesome.

"The way this employee describes it, it's a massacre absolutely, a criminal code offence. These dogs were killed in front of the other dogs that were all tethered up."

The man's personal injury lawyer Cory Steinberg told news radio station CKNW, "It wasn't always a clean, one-shot kill. Inevitably he ended up seeing and having to put the end to some horrific scenes."

A spokeswoman for the law firm refused to comment on the criminal investigation and Outdoor Adventures did not return repeated calls from AFP.

The company's website, with photos of huskies and sleds, however, continued to advertise a dog sled ride for $C169 per person, "as a once in a lifetime experience [with] your team of energetic and loveable Alaskan Racing Huskies".

The maximum penalty in Canada for injuring or endangering an animal is five years in jail, while animal cruelty is punishable by a fine and 18 months in jail.

AFP

Edited by samoyedman
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I can't even with this news, I just cried when I read it, the poor dogs. ;)

More details from a different news article :

Police and the B.C. SPCA are investigating "horrific" reports that the general manager for a Whistler tour company slaughtered at least 100 healthy sled dogs last year, dumping their bodies into a mass grave.

The employee at a dog-sledding company now owned by Outdoor Adventures Whistler filed a WorkSafe BC claim for post-traumatic stress in May 2010 after shooting dozens of dogs to death.

"It's horrific," Marcie Moriarty, general manager for SPCA cruelty investigations, told ctvbc.ca.

"I've seen some pretty terrible things, but reading this [claim], I had to put it down at times."

The slaughter was conducted on April 21 and 23. In his claim, the worker wrote that he had killed 70 dogs, but the company corrected that number to 100.

The dogs were killed because of a "slow winter season" after the Winter Olympics, according to WorkSafe BC documents.

Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said police are investigating the allegations, and criminal charges are possible, including cruelty to animals and injuring or endangering animals.

Outdoor Adventures says the cull was conducted by the manager of its subsidiary company Howling Dog Tours.

"It was our expectation that it was done in a proper, legal and humane manner. We only learned otherwise on Friday, January 28 when we read the WCB ruling for the first time," Outdoor Adventures said in a release.

The company says that it is also investigating the mass killing, and the employee no longer manages the dog business.

"This employee continues to get our support as he heals from his injuries and illness," the company said.

Outdoor Adventures has had a financial stake in Howling Dog for four years and took over complete control of the company in May 2010.

Gruesome details contained in claim

In WorkSafe BC documents, the worker describes chasing after a dog that survived a shot to the face: "Although she had the left side of her cheek blown off and her eye hanging out, he was unable to catch her."

Another apparently dead dog was dumped into the grave. "‘Nora,' who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery."

According to the claim, the dogs panicked as they watched their compatriots being killed, and attacked the worker as he finished his job.

At one point during the slaughter, he ran out of ammunition and had to kill an aggressive dog with a knife.

"By that point he wanted nothing more than to stop the ‘nightmare' but he continued because he had been given a job to finish," according to the documents.

"He stated that he felt ‘numb.'"

The worker told WorkSafe BC he had worked for the company for years, lived on a farm with the dogs, "and had developed a strong emotional bond of mutual love and trust with them."

He said that he consulted a veterinarian after being told to get rid of 100 animals, but they refused to euthanize healthy dogs. He had previously killed, at most, four or five dogs at once.

Vet-supervised lethal injections would have been the humane way to cull the dogs, Moriarty said. "It is technically legal to shoot an animal, as long as it dies instantly. That most certainly did not happen in this instance."

Moriarty said the SPCA will have to dig up the mass grave to complete its investigation, which will include the possibility of criminal charges.

Ban on sled-dog tours?

The Vancouver Humane Society is now calling for a ban on sled-dog tours.

"The details of how these dogs were killed are absolutely shocking," VHS spokesman Peter Fricker said in a release.

"This is what happens when animals are exploited for profit and become surplus to requirements when business is bad."

Moriarty said the SPCA isn't impressed with most sled-dog businesses, either.

"I've had a huge problem with the sled-dogging industry for years," she said, adding that some dogs are tied up all day on short tethers, with little chance for exercise, rather than being taken out on tours.

"In B.C. we come across far more dogs in horrible conditions in the name of quote-unquote dog-sledding operations."

But she stopped short of calling for an all-out ban on dog-sledding tours.

"It's hard given stories like today for me to say this, but there are good sled-dogging operations out there. I have seen them," Moriarty said.

She added that the best businesses tend to have between 20 and 30 animals raised by a single family.

Changes at Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor Adventures says that since it took control of Howling Dogs, it has made "significant" changes to the business to ensure the humane treatment of its animals.

Those changes include giving away 75 dogs, neutering males and creating an open-pen kennel rather than tethering the dogs. Guns are no longer allowed on site and the company's new policy is that euthanasia must be performed at a veterinary office.

Source : http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/C...ishColumbiaHome

I've never been on a dog-sledding tour before, has anyone been and are the conditions really as described?

How horrific, may those dogs run free over Rainbow Bridge. :laugh:

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This was me in July 10. Can't believe these tour operators would do something like that! Makes me sick to my stomach that I paid for it! My tour was in Alaska does anyone know if this company was the same one as the one in Canada (presumably Whistler)?

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Edited by Rottigirl
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I feel very sad over this :eek:

I went on a sled tour 3 years ago ( summer run ) The dogs were healthy and well looked after . There were some 300 dogs in a very small area but it did not smell and very little dog shit around. They had people continually going around cleaning up.

They are chained up but are let off quite a few times a day to do a run. Which they love .

The dogs get so excited before the race you just couldn' t hear anything the excitment was amazing

Some pictures

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ETA this was not at the same place but a place in Alaska

Edited by MTD
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