Tourist Sled Dogs Slaughtered in Canada

Posted Feb 1st 2011 09:57 AMUpdated Feb 1st 2011 09:58 AM


As many as 100 huskies used to pull sleds for tourists during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, BC were killed because they were not cost-effective.

The incident came to light recently when WorkSafeBC filed a report of an employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler who requested and received compensation for post-traumatic distress disorder, reports the Globe and Mail.

In the graphic WorkBC report, the employee says he was told to cull the herd of about 300 by about 100 dogs. A veterinarian who was contacted refused to euthanize healthy animals, so the employee attempted the culling by shooting the animals.

"Any dog sledder who culls dogs at the end of a season should be culled himself, as far as we're concerned," says Paul McCormick, head dog sledding guide for Wilderness Adventures, a Toronto-based company that runs dog-sledding trips through Canada's Algonquin Park, in news reports.

"You don't go out and cull dogs," he says. "We're part of the largest dog sled operation in the world with 40 dogs and we never cull dogs. We retire them, they're adopted ... there are a lot of alternatives."

The employee told WorkSafeBC he performed what he described as "execution-style" killings, where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them.

Horrific details in the report include the worker describing having to shoot dogs multiple times because he did not kill them with the first shot, as well as using a knife to slit the throats of some dogs when his shots were not accurate or he ran out of ammunition.

Company spokesman Graham Aldcroft told reporters the company had expected a proper, legal and humane manner would be used to euthanize the dogs.

Tourism Whistler suspended reservations for dog sledding at Outdoor Adventures Whistler. Full refunds will be given to anyone who booked a dog sledding tour with the company.

The BC SPCA, which has authority in British Columbia to make recommendations on prosecution, has begun an investigation. SPCA spokeswoman Marcie Moriarty says she believes the killings are Criminal Code offences, which cover a range of assault and abuse charges.

Photo, Antonin Remond, flickr
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Such beautiful animals. An employee with PTSD because of the killings. So wrong on so many levels. Guess they never heard of adoption and retired dog farms up there in BC. Such a sad story.

October 08 2011 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am appalled. It is disgusting that a company would demand that dogs be killed without investigating alternatives like adoption and other sled dog operations. The man who shot the dogs does not deserve compensation for post traumatic stress disorder.

He should be culled from the herd. That would be more cost effective.

February 04 2011 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did the Humane Society prevent Vick from his crimes? They couldn't have stopped this. I don't think there's an Olympic sport with sled dogs, and, unless the Canadian government refuses to prosecute this, how are they responsible?

February 03 2011 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike smith

I will not make any defense for Michael Vick, he committed a crime and was punished. Someone above said there is no difference between Vick's actions and what is reported to have happened in Canada. While Vick's actions were dispicable, many of the killings he committed were in essence mercy executions, as these dogs had already been brutally maimed or damaged by fighting to the death or near death, that there was no humane way to care for these animals other than to just kill them. Sad and cruel, but the crime had already been committed, now simply put these poor creatures out of their misery. What happened in Canada is different in that these animals could have been adopted or put to use in some other way. They are not trained to fight and kill, they are working dogs and very intelligent. If Michael Vick was imprisoned for his actions, these people in Canada should get nothing less, hopefully more, than what Vick received.

February 03 2011 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The dogs were not "euthanized," they were shot and one tried to escape with her face shot off and they caught her and shot her again. The AKC here in the states, supports puppy mills because it's more money for registering purebred dogs. If a state introduces legislation to prevent puppy mills or limit breeding females, the AKC has a lobby that goes to that state to lobby against any legislation that prevents puppy mills where cruelty and deaths are an ongoing process. A lot of these sled dogs probably came from puppy mills but having said that, these were lives that were tragically lost because, like in the case of Michael Vick and his heinous acts, dogs became disposable and instead of making an effort to either sell or place these animals up for adoption, they chose to kill them. I hope the parties responsible suffer monetarily and go to prison. A word of warning to everyone: do not buy puppies from a pet store; they come from puppy mills and have many health issues that will cost you $$$$. Go to an animal rescue and bring a nice pet home, they deserve loving homes. That the Canadians would allow this process of the dog sledding, is dispicable and we should all email the RCMP and the Victoria, B.C. humane society. I did, calling for stiff penalties for the perps.

February 02 2011 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

An eye for an eye. The individual that did this, should meet a similar end. That is all I have to say.

February 02 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe there's people in this world that would do something like this. The person who shot those dogs should be tied up, shot at starting at the feet first then move up. I'm sick of heartless people in this world. Especially to animals.

February 02 2011 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fain Smith

I think any one that would go out an shot any animal just because they were told to by there boss is a very weak, coward, low life weakling. I feel that that person should get the maximum sentence under the law for each of the animals that he killed. The company should have their company closed down, all assets frozen and given to he human society so that they can help save other animals. I am not some bleeding heart but it is just plan gruel to kill an animal for no reason. I am sure that given a little time they could have found good homes for as many of the animals as they needed to. I also do not agree with using animals for fighting , to me you have to be one sicko depraved person to enjoy watching animals kill each other. Michael Vick should never have been able to see the light of day for the grimes against animals that he committed. Like I said there are some sicko low life good for nothing
people out there who should never be around animals of any kind.. God will have his just reward for what they have done to his creatures.

February 02 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Barbara Schaefer

Human or Dogs, Genocide is Morally Wrong!

February 02 2011 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Barbara Schaefer's comment

For it to be genocide, one would have to try to kill all the sled dogs in the area, if not the world. Also, genocide only refers to humans, for animals it would be extinction. That being said, this was a horrific crime and all involved should be held accountable, especially the worker who wanted treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. He ultimately committed the executions, just following orderes hasn't been an acceptable defense since Nuremberg (there's your genocide reference).

February 03 2011 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What makes this any different than the Mike Vick fiasco. are any of these people going to jail

February 02 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply