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April 27, 2012

Humane Society International/Canada Welcomes Cruelty Charges by Crown Counsel for Mass Killing of BC Sled Dogs

Humane Society International/Canada

(Apr. 27, 2012)—Humane Society International/Canada applauds the Crown counsel of British Columbia for filing criminal animal cruelty charges against Robert Fawcett, the former general manager of Howling Dog Tours (and former employee of Outdoor Adventures) in Whistler, British Columbia. The charge of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals comes two years after the killing of dozens of sled dogs following the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

“By pursuing charges in the horrific killing of dozens of sled dogs following the Vancouver Olympics, the British Columbia government is sending a clear message that cruelty and abuse towards working dogs will not be tolerated,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “Tragically, cases of neglect and abuse toward sled dogs are rarely reported in Canada.” 

Outdoor Adventures in Whistler apparently purchased the huskies in anticipation of increased business during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The dogs were then slaughtered when tours dropped off the following season. The situation came to light when Robert Fawcett sought post traumatic stress counseling after the killing of the dogs.

Due to massive public outcry from around the world, the British Columbia government in February 2012 adopted a provincial Sled Dog Code of Practice, which sets out health, transportation, euthanasia, nutrition and working conditions of sled dogs.

In recent years, HSI Canada has assisted two sled dog seizures, involving the rescue of hundreds of severely neglected animals. In both cases, rescue workers witnessed inhumane conditions, including huskies chained to metal poles and rotting plywood structures over barren stretches of frozen mud, with no regular access to food, water or shelter.

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents globally—On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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