01 February 2011

100 sled dogs slain in Canada because of tourist slump

A Canadian outdoor adventure company called Outdoor Adventures is being investigated on charges of animal cruelty for the mass killing of 100 sled dogs, The Vancouver Sun reported today. The company had employees kill the dogs “execution style” because of a slump in tourist traffic after the Olympic Games in Vancouver ended.

The killing occurred last April, but came to light recently because an employee who participated in the massacre filed a claim saying he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the killings. The worker said that the manner in which the dogs were killed was so horrific he has suffered panic attacks and nightmares since the incident.

The dogs were killed either by being shot or having their throats cut, according to the worker. Some of the animals were tethered together, and the killings occurred in full view of the other dogs. After the dogs were killed they were buried in a mass grave.

The employee who filed the claim was the general manager at the time of the killings. Though he participated in the massacre, he stated in his claim that he had an emotional attachment to the dogs and he and his family lived in close proximity to the dogs living area.

Five days after the massacre of the dogs, the employee sought treatment and was diagnosed by a clinical counselor with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Marcie Moriarty, head of the British Columbia SPCA cruelty investigations division, said she had no sympathy for the man as he could have said no to participating in the killing of the dogs. Moriarty told the Vancouver Sun:

“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 on the compound [where the dogs are kept for Outdoor Adventures]

"I've no doubt he has suffered post-traumatic stress but there's a thing called choice. I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no. This is a Criminal Code offence ... I don't feel sorry for this guy for one minute."

Moriarty said this was the worst investigation she’s ever done. "There aren't words to really describe some of the ways these dogs died," she said.

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City where she loves to check out all the vegan eateries. When she's not writing for TDIV, Robin enjoys taking dance lessons, reading, practicing yoga, hanging out with her cat Maggie, baking vegan treats, and volunteering at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/mastermaq