03 May 2011

British Columbia SPCA to exhume mass graves of slain sled dogs

Hopefully justice is in the works for the 100 sled dogs that were brutally slaughtered last April at the Outdoor Adventure tour company in British Columbia.

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) announced this week that they plan to exhume the mass grave where the dogs are thought to be buried as part of the investigation into the killing.

The exhumation will begin on Thursday and be conducted by a team of forensic experts who have previously worked on high profile serial murder cases as well as the exhumation of graves of mass genocide victims in Rwanda, Afghanistan and Iraq. Some experts have volunteered their time, the BC SPCA reported.

Investigators will be looking for evidence to support criminal charges of willfully causing suffering to animals.

"Bodies will be examined for potential knife wounds, bleeding out, bone damage.... We'll be able to tell whether there's multiple bullet wounds," said Marcie Moriarty, the B.C.SPCA'S head of cruelty investigations.

The dogs slaying came to light last January after Robert Fawcett, a sled tour operator and part owner of the company, filed a worker’s compensation claim saying he was suffering from post-traumatic stress from shooting and slitting the throats of the dogs as part of a mass culling last April. After slaying the dogs they were dumped in a mass grave, even while some of the dogs were still alive according to Fawcett.

“The scope of this investigation is unprecedented in North America,” Moriarty said. “We owe it to those 100 dogs buried in that grave to ensure that this kind of tragic incident never happens again in B.C.”

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City and writes about all things animal, vegetable, and sometimes mineral at her blog wildnewyorkblog.com. Visit her there to read about animal friendly lifestyles in the Big Apple and beyond. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

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