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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 03:47 AM   #1
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Dog Sledding Slump Blamed For Animals' Slaughter

Dog Sledding Slump Blamed For Animals' Slaughter


Sled dogs rest after returning from a tour run by Outdoor Adventures in British Columbia, Canada, on Jan. 31. Police are investigating the tour group's slaughter of 100 dogs.
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Associated Press

February 1, 2011

One hundred dogs were shot dead over two days after an expected post-Olympics boon in the dog sledding business didn't pan out for an adventure company in British Columbia, Canada. Most of the dogs died instantly, but others suffered — like one that ran away with its "face blown off and an eye hanging out."

The gruesome event was described in documents awarding compensation to a worker who claimed post-traumatic stress disorder for having to shoot the dogs. Bookings dropped sharply for Outdoor Adventures Whistler following the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"He had to chase her down and finish her off," Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said of the worker who had kill the wounded dog.

Moriarty said the slaughter left her sickened and said it is the worst investigation she's ever done. Both the British Columbia SPCA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the slaughter.

Moriarty said other dogs likely saw the incident in which the one dog did not die after being shot in the head.

"There aren't words to really describe some of the ways these dogs died," she said. "We don't put cows down like that. Slaughterhouses have very strict rules for how supposed culling takes place. This violated every one of them."

The employee was awarded compensation in a ruling by WorkSafe BC, the provincial body that manages workers' compensation claims. Outdoor Adventures did not contest the man's compensation claims.

The WorkSafe documents are confidential, but Moriarty read them as part of the society's investigation.

The documents were obtained by radio station CKNW. The station reported the man was attacked at least twice by dogs as the shootings occurred. He was forced to slit the throat of one that jumped on top of him.

The employee's was not released, but his lawyer, Cory Steinberg, told CKNW that it was "the worst experience [the man] could ever have imagined."

The documents reveal bookings for dog sled tours collapsed after the Olympics, and when the company could not find homes for its animals, it ordered the cull. The dogs, which were part of a pack of 300, were shot over two days last April.
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Enlarge Associated Press

Sled dogs pull tourists during a tour run by Outdoor Adventures on Jan. 31.
1_Canada_Dog_Slaughter.sff.jpg
Associated Press

Sled dogs pull tourists during a tour run by Outdoor Adventures on Jan. 31.

"He was essentially told to figure out a way to make [the business] more cost-effective. They just had to have less dogs. So he did everything he could finding homes for them, having them adopted, every which way that he could," Steinberg said Monday.

Graham Aldcroft, a spokesman for the company, said Outdoor Adventures had a financial stake in a company called Howling Dogs in Whistler for four years, but operational control of Howling Dogs was with the worker referred to in the WorkSafe documents.

"While we were aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at Howling Dog Tours, we were completely unaware of the details of the incident until reading the ... document Sunday," Aldcroft said in the statement.

Outdoor Adventures took over control of Howling Dogs in May, Aldcroft said. He said it is now company policy that animals needing to be euthanized are treated at a veterinarian's office.

Rich Bittner, the operator of Howling Dogs in Canmore, Alberta, said he sold his 50 percent interest in the Whistler operation in 2004 to a man named Bob Fawcett. He said the Whistler tour operator was supposed to change the name because Howling Dogs was no longer involved.

An online site offering support to people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder includes several postings made under the name of Bob Fawcett. It could not be immediately determined if these postings were made by the man who bought the dog sled tour company in 2004.

Dog sled tour operators in the tight-knit mushing community in British Columbia expressed outrage over the killings. Several operators said they routinely adopt dogs from other companies, but were not asked to take any from Whistler in early 2010.

Tim Tedford, who runs dog sled tours in the Big White area, near Kelowna, said, "That behavior doesn't sound like a real musher."

"Most mushers love their dogs. That sounds more like an accountant to me. Most mushers would starve themselves before they'd ever neglect their dogs," he said.

Following revelations of the slaughter, the Vancouver Humane Society on Monday called for a ban on the sled dog tour business.
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Last edited by mykarma : Feb 2nd, 2011 at 04:08 AM.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Dog Sledding Slump Blamed For Animals' Slaughter

terrible!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 05:33 PM   #3
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Re: Dog Sledding Slump Blamed For Animals' Slaughter

Saw in the papers with much more details. Beyond words.
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