Update 8:20 a.m. Feb. 3: After we published this story, we received a comment saying the information in the story in The Vancouver Sun, which we cited in our post, was not accurate. BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell issued a statement refuting the charges, saying the man who killed the dogs contacted the SPCA only after the dogs had been killed.
“I would like to make it clear to our supporters and to the public that the suggestion in the Vancouver Sun story published today (Feb. 2) that the BC SPCA had prior knowledge about the slaughter of the 100 sled dogs in Whistler is 100 per cent false….It is deeply distressing to our organization that anyone would imply we had knowledge of, or could have prevented, the devastating killings carried out by Outdoor Adventures Whistler on April 21 and 23, 2010,” it begins.
You can read the rest, and the timeline given by BC SPCA for actions related to the sled dogs, in the Comments section below the story. (Look for the comment from Robert.) Please read the story below with this information in mind.
The man who killed 100 sled dogs in Whistler went to the SPCA for help on two separate occasions finding homes for the dogs, according to a new report in The Vancouver Sun.
He was given no help either time.
Officials at the British Columbia SPCA say they didnt realize the dogs from the Outdoor Adventures dog sledding outfit would be slaughtered, The Sun reports. But they admit they told the man the dogs were not adoptable because they wouldn’t make good pets.
[The employee] didnt advise me he was going to kill any dogs. He was looking to find homes. I spoke to an animal behaviorist who is also a vet and she spoke with an expert in the [United] States who said [the sled dogs] werent adoptable, senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever told The Sun.
Five months after the cull, which sent the man into major post-traumatic stress disorder, he is alleged to have once again contacted the SPCA, looking for homes for some of the pack’s remaining dogs. The Sun obtained a copy of the email he sent. It states:
I understood…that there were to be some dogs going to you for adoption? Is that indeed happening? Or should I just show up with a truck full so they can get off the chain and get some attention, exercise, stop fighting, etc….I am happy to bring some down to stop cruelty they are going through here.
This is me as a bystander (I am off due to injury to both arms). I am the only one who has made any effort to move dogs. We still have almost 60 dogs too many, and a new litter of pups to be given away. Can you please give me a call so I know something can be done. Its breaking my heart.
Drever wrote back once again that after consulting with behaviorists, she has deemed the animals unadoptable. She said she would conduct an inspection of the Outdoor Adventures facility. She never did.
What people have to realize because of the way theyre raised theyre not highly adoptable animals. Maybe a few could have been adopted but these dogs are on tethers 90 per cent of their lives,” said Marcie Moriarty, the SPCA’s head of animal cruelty, in The Sun story. “Is it fair [Outdoor Adventures] profits get thousands of dollars from tourists and not have a retirement plan? Is it fair they would dump them on the SPCA and then wed have the pain of that euthanization?”
Moriarty said that the agency would have acted if they’d known slaughter was imminent, but that the dogs would likely have been euthanized anyway. But she said it’s not the agency’s responsibility to take on their issues … to suddenly make a phone call and say, I have 100 dogs that need placing; thats not an answer to their business operations issues, Moriarty is quoted as telling The Sun.
If this is true, it looks like there’s blood on a lot of hands in this tragic case.
Even though he carried out his atrocious duties in the end, the man who killed the dogs
(his name is being withheld by The Sun because of his condition) may have been the only one to try to get help for these dogs — many of whom he’d helped raise from puppyhood. Before this was revealed, many Dogster readers left comments on our original post about the slaughter wishing the man into hell, and much worse. But now that these facts have come out, perhaps some will see shades of grey in the blackness…
Meanwhile The Globe and Mail reports that the Humane Society International Canada is calling for stronger laws involving dog sledding. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone engaged in the illegal killing of sled dogs in Canada or the U.S. Maybe this is just the beginning of some much-needed oversight for this industry.