This horrific story has gripped the hearts of so many since it has come to light, the brutal slaughter of 100 sled dogs, healthy animals, just to “cull the herd”, for “economical” reasons.  In others words, money and greed again.  Now that this has come out the investigations have begun hot and heavy.

A task force has been appointed by Premier Gordon Campbell. Said task-force will include the B.C. SPCA and will be headed by Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Dr. Terry Lake to investigate and within 45 days forward their findings to the Minister of Agriculture.

“The tragic and disturbing details that have emerged around how these dogs were inhumanely treated are not acceptable to British Columbians or to their government,” Campbell said in a release. “No creature should ever have to suffer in the manner that has been reported, and we want to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in our province.”

There are also a number of details coming out about Robert (Bob) Fawcett, the man who filed for the claim from WorkSafeBC citing post traumatic stress from performing the executions of the dogs. He seemed to have posted at several PTSD forums regarding the horrific massacre.

At an online forum for soldiers who suffer post-traumatic stress, Fawcett claimed on Jan. 6, 2011: “I have owned a large dogsled company for the last 15 years. As the economy turned we were forced to sell to a corporation 2 years ago. They did nothing but complain about costs and were not willing to sell some of the herd because they wanted all the animals on deck ‘in case’ it was busy. We had 330 dogs.”

Fawcett claims that in April 2010, “I was told the company was going to fold unless we took drastic action . . . immediate disposal of half the herd . . . I reluctantly agreed to the job . . . I was told I had 2 days to get the job done due to a large tour group we had coming.”

Fawcett claims he and a manager set off in a truck to complete the cull at the bottom of a road “so no one could come up and [I] gave him a radio in case I shot myself.”

“I then set about the direct execution of 60 of my friends on day 1. Some I missed, had to chase around with blood everywhere, some I had to slit their throats because it was the only way to keep them calm in my arms,” Fawcett claimed. “I had one still alive in a pit I dug for a mass burial … Day 2 was no different.” (The Province)

Fawcett claims he was told, “There is no more money and the owners would only continue on if we did the reduction and went with a new business model, less dogs, less costs.”

Outdoor Adventures Whistler which has had a financial stake in Howling Dog Tours Whistler for 4 years now, is owned by Joey Houssian and the company denies any knowledge or involvement in the slaughter. OAW did not take “full operational” control of Howling Dog Tours Whistler until May and when they did they made many changes including “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.”

“Contrary to media reports, OAW did not instruct the employee to euthanize the dogs in the manner described in the report,” the company said.

On a side note, Bob Fawcett was vice president of the US-based group Mush with Pride, which advocates “responsible sled dog care and sets voluntary guidelines for the industry”. He has since been removed from that posting.

It has also been reported that Howling Dog Tours Whistler asked for help from the B.C. SPCA in April or May of 2010 and was denied help, a claim that B.C. SPCA vehemently denies.

“The B.C. SPCA did not have a meeting with Bob Fawcett in April prior to this cull,” she said. “We absolutely had no knowledge of this cull.”

Moriarty said she was “stunned” by the suggestion that the SPCA might have been aware of the details of the gruesome mass killing before reading the WorkSafe BC documents.

“It’s extremely upsetting for everybody who works at the SPCA, the volunteers, to make the suggestion that we would know these dogs were massacred,” she said.

But she acknowledged that during the May 28 meeting, Drever was informed that there had been a “significant” cull. (CVT British Columbia)

At this point no charges of animal cruelty have been filed and there is not even confirmation that Bob Fawcett is under investigation although he was the manager of Howling Dog Tours Whistler at the time. This is also not the first time that Howling Dog Tours Whistler has been under investigation. There were “complaints in 2005 and 2006, investigators issued 65 orders to the company” after which changes were made.

The mass grave has been located, it is under a foot of snow but investigators believe there is enough information and evidence that they won’t have to open the grave. One can only hope they don’t have to, these innocent have been through enough, hopefully they can rest in peace now.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Not surprisingly, people are upset, sickened and angry over this and there have been threats against both Fawcett and OAW.  There have been calls for “retribution and vigilante justice” which in my heart I can understand though not condone and right now the RMCP is seriously investigating some of these threats.

A quick search online shows a number of groups have formed to vent outrage against the dog tour’s parent company Outdoor Adventures, and the man behind the WorkSafeBC claim.

Threats have been pulled from websites when administrators are informed of them, LeClair said.

One group organizer, Tristan Tanguay, contacted The Province by email, saying “there is still a lot of anger over this incident” and thousands have joined the Facebook page “Support justice for the 100 slaughtered sled dogs of Whistler”.

The group includes everyone from “dog sled operators in the area, to people who have worked for the company in question and clients who have posted pictures of tours they took with said company,” Tanguay said. (The Province)

For now OAW has suspended reservations for Howling Dog Tours Whistler while it does its own investigation.

One of the things that stuck in my head doing all the reading and researching is that someone said that it is not illegal to kill up to 100 sled dogs as long as it is done humanely. Yes, maybe not illegal but what about ethical and moral? My heart just breaks over this, all those innocent lives ruthlessly snuffed out to the alter of greed and money. Initially when this first came out I felt like I should feel a small measure of sympathy for the “man” who killed all these animals but I just cannot. Someone could hold a gun to my head and demand I kill my dogs and I could not do it. Fawcett does seem to be suffering for what he’s done so I would not advocate laying a finger on him, he may be punishing himself so hopefully he’ll live for a good long time and the screams of pain and terror of those dogs haunt his waking and sleeping hours and same as for whoever may be behind this and seems to be covering their asses. And when their time comes, may they burn in hell!

Be Sociable, Share!
Email This Post Email This Post

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!