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Sled dog killing in British Columbia

By Dr. Andrew Jones

Earlier this year it came to light that over 100 sled dogs were killed as the owner ran into financial difficulty and could no longer afford them.

This caused a MAJOR public outcry…especially with having so many dogs killed at once.

And the ONLY reason the story came to light
is that an employee at the company filed a successful compensation claim for post-traumatic stress from the incident.

The company has denied reports the animals were shot because bookings dried up after the 2010 Olympic Games, leaving it with more dogs than it could afford to keep. The owner issued a statement saying he was told by the employee that the dogs were old and sick and needed to be put down.

….This same person didn’t even THINK about perhaps reporting WHAT was going to happen to the SPCA?

The result was a Government task force, and tougher anti-cruelty laws:

B.C. will bring in tough new animal cruelty laws — including $75,000 fines and two-year jail terms — following the alleged slaughter of 100 dogs by a Whistler company last spring, Premier Christy Clark announced Tuesday morning.

Here are some of the recommendations:

* Create a new regulatory authority that would define new mandatory standards of animal care.

* Recommend the federal government strengthen criminal laws governing animal cruelty.

* Require veterinarians to report animal abuse to the B.C. SPCA.

* Establish standards of care for the feeding, housing and euthanization of sled dogs.

* Enhance the capacity of the B.C. SPCA to conduct animal cruelty investigations with a $100,000 donation.

* Appoint a Crown counsellor with expertise in animal cruelty to pursue more cases.

* Require sled dog companies on Crown land to submit to annual inspections.

* Encourage the establishment of a sled dog industry association to develop certification and auditing programs.

* Improve public awareness and ways to report suspected cases of animal cruelty.

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P.S. First I must applaud the government for taking this matter seriously, and having tougher anti-cruelty laws.

I still have issue with the ‘pleasure’ sled dog industry. Sled dogs have a pretty poor life. I have seen nearly 50 sled dogs tied to short 3-5ft ropes/chains and stakes.

They wear a hole in the ground where they circle.

What else is there to do?

Sled dogs used by northern residents as a method of getting through the snow is so much different than sled dogs just used for ‘pleasure’

In my opinion its NOT ethical and shouldn’t be allowed at all.

Your thoughts?

Feel free leave a comment here.

Best Wishes

Dr Andrew J

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Topics: Dog Care, Dog Health, Pet Care, Pet health | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “Sled dog killing in British Columbia”


  1. Stephanie Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I, too, think there should be stiffer laws regarding sled dogs. Dogs, I don’t care what breed, be it a farm dog, a sled dog, any dog, should be treated as part of the family and live in the home with the family and treated with the love and respect that they give us.

  2. al Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:35 am

    these people should all go to jail, and be tied to a post with a 3-5 ft chain for at least 2years..then when we determine their usfullness is over be shot..end of comment..

  3. Gale Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I think only the native people should be allowed to manage sled dogs. They have been doing this humanely for years. Many people, even some locally here in eastern Ontario in Canada’s new dictatorship have smaller teams, and these dogs have a large area to roam and play in, and when she brings out the harnesses, they run over to put it on. Huskies were made to do this.

    And these dogs were shot in a most inhumane way not because the owner couldn’t afford it, it was because he didn’t WANT to spend the money to euthanize them properly, or the time and effort to put them up for adoption or list them in a rescue organization.

    The death penalty is due here, and I would be happy to administer it

  4. p.Mackay Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I recently read your post of the sled dogs in B.C. and agree 100% about the standard of care for the dogs….I live in Logan Lake B.C. and recently ran across a sled dog company close bye looking for the home of a horse wandering around on the road…..what I came across was about 75 dogs tied up on short leads and a breeding enclosure for dogs that were about to give birth…add more dogs!….and all were excitied to greet me…some picking up their bowls (empty) and there were all breeds of huskie’s in bred …. I should say part huskies from 3 months to who knows how old….and what a life it was for them….they were waiting for the season to change so they could be put to use as sled dogs I guess…but that was a long time away as it was summer now….no water that I could see as they had knocked it over on their short chains …very short attached to the wooden dog houses…no cushions or comforts at all…just waiting for the big day or big working season……my understanding is that was typical for sled dogs and that they were treated normal and not abused….I had to wonder if our perception of normal should not be adjusted a lot….I left there with a sad heart…as these dogs need to excerise and play……I reminded me of a third world country and their preception of animals….very sad…….thanks for letting me air my thoughts

    p.Mackay

  5. Vince Harriman Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Working dogs need a job. Those dogs probably didn’t know or care why they were pulling the sled, they liked the job.

    Most of the dogs that are companion animals were once bred for a specific job. While they have easy lives as a companion, I’m sure most would prefer working at the job they were bred for.

    While I deplore the killing of the 100 dogs, I prefer that the owner made that decision instead of leaving them to starve or abandoning them somewhere.

  6. Diane Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    That is very sad. But hardly new. They take greyhounds out and shoot them too after they are past their racing prime…thankfully there are rescue organizations. I don’t even like animals to be killed so I can have the ‘pleasure’ of eating them. Animals are just a commodity for a lot of people. The atrocity of puppy mills come to mind too. How did we learn to just be so desensitized to life? I could go on and on as this isn’t just about animal life but also human. I’m so very glad that they have at least put some regulations in place, because there will always be that person or organization that will only do the bare minimum to meet the requirement. While others will treat those in their care much how they would want to be treated.

  7. sarah Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Just wanted to let you know that I read about the cruelty that was done to the sled dogs. I have various organizations that notify me when animals are in danger and needless to say, I signed the petition to stop this kind of abuse. The man that is responsible should be punished for making someone else do it, and further more he should have reported to get help to take care of the dogs instead of taking it into his own hands. There are plenty of people that would have been more than happy to help. The one that had to do the dirty work, has to live with what he was told to do, and I don’t blame him. I blame the one that showed no compassion. My prayers are with the other man, and I pray that God will give him the peace that passes all understanding.

  8. Nancy Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I think it is sad that all these dogs have been put to sleep. Perhaps some of them could have been good companions to elderly? I don’t know if they were domesticated. I once had six Siberians and they had a beautiful kennel. They were my husbands pride and joy. When he died his son took them up in Quebec, Canada to a sled dog farm. I often wondered what happened to them as they were not trained to pull a sled?
    Also I would like to say I tried to bring our dogs in the house. They would stand by the back door and cry for the kennel. They just preferred that kind of environment so on the other hand I am not sure what the fate of these dogs would have been had they gone to the SPCA but the possibility of foster care, etc was eliminated by the owner killing them…no more options. It could not have been an easy decision for him. I do agree he should have sought help from the SPCA or the public before taking such final steps. You never know if you don’t ask, if you don’t try. I agree the government should get involved in this situation and lay the ground work for future similar situations.

  9. Marianne Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I believe Nancy does not understand that the dogs weren’t “put to sleep”…they were brutally and inhumanely killed by a shotgun. This company should be heavily fined and put out of business. The “pleasure” sled dog industry should be put out of business as well. These dogs need freedom to run and deserve to lead a good life.

  10. Ann Wattier Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I believe that the pleasure sled dog industry should be outlawed. I have seen first hand the conditions under which these dogs live and it isn’t pretty. I was so saddened by the death of the over 100 dogs killed in BC and I wrote letters to every official I could think of to act on these horrific deaths. Now that the Government has taken steps to bring about tougher animal cruelty laws perhaps their death wasn’t in vain.

  11. Cindy Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    As a dog lover, I am appalled at the treatment these dogs endure. Dogs give so much love back to their owner and all they want to do is please them. I have had a lot of different breeds of dogs and am always amazed at the love and affection they give and cannot understand how a human, who is supposedly on a higher level of mentality can abuse them and have no remorse about it. It just breaks my heart at the abuse!

  12. Dianne A Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Sled dogs need to be socialized as puppies, and exercised/worked/loved on every day. Chaining them to a gang line or to a tree or a 55 galon drum house in the “off” season is cruelty to animals. Our son drove a team to school when river was frozen. Dogs pulled a cart for exercise, and were trained/socialized/played with every day. An essential part of our family. This idea of a pleasure sled dog industry stinks.

  13. J.Moir Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Whomever thinks that the native’s treat sled dogs humanely is mistaken. They are the worst for the way their dogs are treated. Back in the late ’80’s my then boyfriend went to work for about 3 weeks in northern Saskatchewan out in the bush in the middle of winter and he told me there were some dogs out there that were chained to stakes with no food and NO ONE showed up the entire time he was working there…he was camped close by the entire time and no one came to feed those poor dogs..

  14. Lynda H. Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I’ve always said, if I ran the world, it would be an eye for an eye as far as animals are concerned. There are far too many idiots who own animals only to treat them inhumanely. Tie this owner to a 3′ piece of chain for months at a time and threaten him with a gun and see how he likes it!!! A jail term and fine is too good for them!!!

  15. Romie Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I have fought against the Iditarod for years!!! To me, this is outright animal cruelty. I am not necessarily against good people who take excellent care of their dogs sledding with them under good conditions. I am against the sadists who stake their dogs out on short chains, where wolves aqnd other creatures have been known to kill them.

  16. Ralph Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    No animal should be abused. I don’t live in an area where there is snow so I don’t know much about sled dogs. I do follow the Iditarod and I don’t think those people abuse their dogs. I think they care for those dogs as much as anyone who has hunting dogs or agility dogs or any other sport involving dogs. I am sure there are people who abuse dogs in all of the sports; however, I do not think that an entire sport should be outlawed because some people abuse their dogs. Are we going to outlaw cars because some people get drunk and kill others in their cars? I hate to see or hear of animals being abused as much as anyone but your logic is convoluted. Dogfighting is not a sport and is cruel and inhumane and should be outlawed. Sled dog racing is not cruel or inhumane. The cruelest ones are the pet owners who profess to love their dogs and kill them by not exercising them and overfeeding them until they can hardly walk.

  17. H S Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Don’t know if all the facts are out.
    But it does appear that the worker did look for help for the dogs. He, himself was concerned about the care the dogs were receiving.

    Obviously this one cull – made the news – world wide. Not much choice but for Gov’t to do something about it.

    Culling in the industry is the norm.
    Dogs are usually intact and breeding. Part of a kennel workers job is to euth unwanteds be they pups or seniors.

    The lives these dogs live -on chains – is that going to change?

    Ending it by a bullet or a needle isnt really the only issue. The right to better living standards along with how they die..IS.

    Local Gov’t can make it illegal to chain dogs. Any dog. Some municipalities have enacted their own bylaws. Unless one wants to slip this in under ‘livestock’ to water down humane laws for these dogs.

    Will anything really change? This incident had to be acted on. The world did know what happened here.

    Sled dog racing…the big Races.
    How that is much different than this…
    Isnt that part of the appeal of going out on a sled dog tour..? Part of what drives the tour industry…

    Racing dogs are not all huskies and malamutes. They are interbred for speed. Often with short haired breeds. Running in minus temps, with frost bite etc.

    There is way more to consider than how these dogs lives are ended. How they live ..day to day..is not something that should be lost here.

    Have a look at how many dogs have died historically in the big races…. do a bit of homework. Surf the net and look at the pictures out there..be it for ‘tour dogs’ or the big racing kennels…There is a much bigger picture out there than using this man as the ‘fall guy’ and appeasing the world that something has been done for ‘Sled Dogs’..for Canadian dogs.

  18. Ted Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I agree most heartedly. MY wife’s dog a Siberian Husky and my sons dog a Malumut (sp ?) are dogs we love a family members. THERE IS NO ROOM for people that use these type of dogs for pure profit and nothing else. Our dogs love to pull. When they play they actually bring rope tigs to us that they want us to hold and pull as they too pull. This appears to be natural for them to play in such a way as to exert themselves to keep their muscles strong. These dogs have so much strength they can easily knock a person over while palying. BUT THIS WAS OUR Choice. We knew what we were getting into and CAN NOT fathom utilizing these pets in such a way as to force them to earn a living for us to stay alive.

  19. Dana Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    As a Siberian owner in NY, I am disgusted by this report. Siberians, and indeed any similar or mixed breeds are magnificent animals whose special needs and abilities must be respected. And for God’s sake: IF YOU CAN’T FEED ‘EM, DON’T BREED ‘EM.

  20. Brandon J. Van Every Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    The issue is not whether the dogs are used for pleasure or transportation. The issue is whether a business makes unscrupulous use of animals as property. A “sled cargo” business could make just as horrible a use of sled dogs for any number of reasons. This is a theme seen over and over again, whether it’s sled dogs in Canada, greyhound race tracks in the southern USA, or puppy mills in Missouri. The level of enforcement is terrible, as well as the level of legislative support, which tends to reverse as soon as the profiteers have won enough electoral seats to get rid of animal protection laws.

    We have to consider why the enforcement is what it is, compared to lax enforcement of human crimes upon other humans. Society accepts a criminal lack of regulation even in nursing homes. What then can we do? It seems that we can participate in our democracies and advocate for animals. The money isn’t going to start magically flowing to put a bunch of animal cruelty officers on the ground, it takes people making noise. Don’t be surprised if other people say they want the money to go to making ghettos safer, not to animals.

  21. Marilu Way Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    What they ought to do is tie these moron human beings to a tether pole and let them just go around in circles for days and see how they like it. There should be more laws on the books to deal with this kind of inhumane treatment of all animals. They are beautiful creatures given to us by God, so take care of them accordingly.

  22. charlie Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    hi i have huskies myself and this company should have been prosecuted with massive fines,they could have put them up for adoption or even given them to a husky welfare,if i had my my i would shoot these idiots,there are plenty of people out there that would of homed these wounderful dogs,i really hope someone get revenge on this company.

  23. Edna Gagnon Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    These animals should not have been put down. Abuse has been around since time began. But God gave us animals to care and to love and educate. They are not stupid.They are very smart and the way that they have been abused is against Gods laws. People have forgotten the ten commandments. These laws are for all of us to use during our daily living and it includes our animals, big or small!

  24. carla green Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    there is a huge problem right here in alaska. the whole problem was created and is fueled by money. granted. some of the mushers are nuts who just want publicity, but most are trying to win large purses every year no matter what the conditions and no matter how many dogs will die on the trail. mushers should have to pay for frequent vet visits to their kennels not just exams of the handful of their dogs running. conditions are deplorable, and cities here promote this for the money with no regard for the care of the actual atheletes, the dogs. the mushers are rarely even seen running behind their teams anymore. they are sitting on their asses running their dogs to death for the money with no conscience. sick.

  25. barbera Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Do you really think these dogs would have been rehomable? They would be a living nightmare. To take a dog that is used to the fresh air and doing the work they love to do, and puting them in concrete cages for months while waiting for them to find “suitable” Homes. So what are suitable homes… ? dogs loving locked indoors in over heated homes 80% of the time? owners out at work 50% of the day? These dogs would rip your homes to shreds, jumping on tables to get out windows, breaking down doors to get out into the fresh air and RUN. So they would be taken in by ‘LOVING” people and kept caged, as thats where most peoples tolerance level would be comfortable. I dont think these dogs would have been happy with any “normal” loving home. These husky types are difficult to keep, they love running and exploring. Its a working breed that needs this sort of active stimulation. its cruel to keep them couped up inside homes most of their lives. However, I agree that they did deserve a humane death, but preferable than to be put in cages by well meaning humans!

  26. jordan brookes Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    this is totally inhumane and criminal. The guy who said his boss made him, had no defense – he is a slime like the boss. As a dog owner, and pet rescuer of 45 years this is just insane. These people need to be locked up. Agreed, they are God’s creatures and they are smarter than humans as they are not run by greed and status. All they want is the necessities of life, respect and love. I am in a wheelchair and have rescued 7 in the last year, my animals always come first, they know it and show it back to me 10 fold. Just love them 100% and you will be loved back 200%. Norquay Sask.

  27. Angelika Powell Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    This is shameful! The BEST dog I ever had was a malimute sled dog. EVERYONE loved him, It breaks my heart that these poor angels gave their ALL for a heartless @#$% who did not even give them a second thought. May he rot in jail!

  28. Dale Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I am happy to hear that the government is stepping up the laws for the animals. I remember a lady up in Fort St John, (20 some years ago) would take road kill moose,deer whatever and tie her dogs to the carcass until it had little to no meat left on the bones. The SPCA still isn’t as powerful as they should be and there are things that they shouldn’t allow to happen, but finally there are going to be tougher laws set by the government that our laws are hopefully going to enforce. The guy that actually killed the dogs should spend some time in jail, he had free will when he did it. The owners of the dogs should have the book thrown at them.

  29. June Davis Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    My heart aches for these innocent animals who are treated so horribly for the greed of men. My feeling are that they should be made to suffer the same fate as the animals under their care.
    I would love to see these people chained up with little food, no attention, run into the ground, and then killed.

  30. Sandra Hemstock Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Why could not the owner find others to take on the dogs, even if they had to be parceled to various homes? The animals deserved to live.

  31. Sandra Hemstock Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Why could not the owner find others to take on the dogs, even if they had to be parceled to various homes or agencies? The animals deserved better opportunities for living than to be put down.

  32. penny Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    This was shameful, what happened to these dogs, the owner deserves to rot in jail! On the topic of sled dogs for ‘pleasure’, I had 32 sled dogs and ran a commercial tour company in Ontario. My dogs were on 10 ft chains, and in kennels, they were rotated from stake outs to the kennels, so they had the opportunity to be chain free on a rotation basis. They were brushed daily, and kept out behind my restaurant, where anyone was welcome to visit the dogs with a staff members. Nobody called the SPCA, it was obvious that my dogs were loved and well cared for. The older dogs were retired to loving families that had been on a dog sled adventure with us, we had a list that potential adoptive parents could sign, some of our patrons had requests for certain dogs. We retired them early,around 7 or 8 yrs of age so that they could enjoy a family life in their senior years. It was a program that worked. My dogs were my employees, they were treated as such. Pays were in quality food and vet care, comfortable living quarters. A sled dog is designed by nature to live outdoors. They have two coats of fur, the undercoat being like down, very insulating and water proof. It is not cruel to keep them outside all winter long.
    My dogs were well cared for and respected, they were representatives of my business. How someone can mistreat or neglect an animal that is not only doing what you ask of it, but also making you money, is beyond my comprehension.
    I am a retired musher, but if I were able to do it properly, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. There is no joy like seeing a cared for northern breed dog doing what he is bred to do proudly, pulling a sled!
    The industry should be regulated, inspections mandatory,and the culling of pups prohibited. Perhaps the Iditarod could be run with purebred dogs of the olden days. Today’s racing dogs aka Alaskan Huskies are a mix of Greyhound, Irish wolf hound and Siberian husky, they are bred for speed. Many pups are killed as soon as they are found not to have the webbed foot trait of the husky, this is a crucial trait for a racing dog. The foot must be webbed and tight toed to punch through the snow without damaging it. Culling pups is normal in raising race dogs. Who governs this I ask? I hope that all care issues for sled dogs will be addressed and proper action be taken against owners who do not show their dogs respect.
    Dog sledding is a beautiful part of our heritage, it’s sad to see it tainted by greed.

  33. JUDY Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU WHERE THE “MENTALITY” OF THESE SO CALLED DOG OWNERS ARE WHO MAKE THEM “PERFORM” FOR THEIR OWN GREEDY,SELFISH EXISTENCE!! I SAY THROW THE BOOKS AT THEM AND ALL THOSE WHO DO HARM TO INNOCENT ANIMALS! I ALSO SAY GET RID OF THOSE “LIENENT” JUDGES AND OFFICIALS WHO RUN THE CORRUPT COURTS THAT LET THESE VULTURES OFF WITH ONLY A SLAP TO THE HAND!!

  34. Ron Estabrook Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Owners have outlived there usefullness….tie em up and shoot em.

  35. Dana Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I take exception to Barbara’s comments (#25). It is smug and self serving of her to declare that everyone ELSE who owns Siberians abuses them by keeping them in runs. Is she just another tour musher trying to justify mistreatment of her own animals?

    One way or another these dogs must run daily, but they are smart loyal and loving animals, quite capable of being happy as family dogs. I repeat: If you can’t feed ’em don’t breed ’em. Just as we should not have children if we do not intend to care for them, we do not deserve the company of dogs of any breed unless we are willing to make provisions for their needs.

  36. Mardi Hadfield Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I foster dogs for the Siberian Husky Rescue here in Tucson Arizona,USA. There are so many abused and suffering huskies in our local shelters. Yesterday, we picked up the dogs at the air port that were recently rescued from terrible conditions in Alaska.They will be fostered and given training and love ect. until they find their forever homes. There will be several more coming to Arizona from Alaska soon. These are wonderful dogs,but people don’t do any research on the breed before getting them.The Alaska dogs came from a similar situation as the dogs in the article. Mardi from Tucson

  37. Mardi Hadfield Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    After reading the #25 comment, I have to say that I have 4 of my own Huskies as well as 2 other dogs that are not huskies. I have a very large fenced in property that is husky proof. Can’t clime or dig out of it. All of my dogs were rescues. I still foster huskies. They are given plenty of exercise every day and when it is hot out side,they can come in to a temperature controlled environment whenever they want. They are taught house manners and are not caged. Some have even been trained as assistance dogs to help the disabled. It takes time and patience to work with these dogs but they are trainable.They are very smart. The method of training I use is clicker training. It is a very humane way of training. I have rehabilitated 3 fear biters and they have gone on to be adopted into their forever homes with no problems. These dogs are able to be pets. It just takes a dedicated person to help them overcome the problems they have aquired at the hands of abusive,uncaring people.

  38. Michelle Says:
    May 4th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    The best way for pleasure sled dogging to stop is if people refuse to use the service.
    Simple solution.
    All those participating in this practice are responsible for the abuse that takes place. This goes along with people that buy coats adourned with fur at wallmart and Kmart that have fur collars These collars are inhumanely slaughtered dogs and cats in China. The worst is their life prior to the inhumane kill is worse than the kill. Also people that buy inexpensive fashion clothing which are made by child slaves possibly as young as 4 and 5 years old chained to table legs. WE all have to take responsibility for these things to take place. These people that have businesses that rely on cruelty to animals would not survive if nobody supported them financially.
    Think about it!! Don’t just blame the owners of these companies. WE need to be more responsible and look behind the scenes and open ourr eyes to the cruelty behind our pleasure.

  39. San Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 12:38 am

    I would broadly agree with Dr Jones and agree 100% with people like Al, Gale, Lynda H and others with the same thinking, that these people deserve the same treatment which they have given to these poor beings. However, I would disagree with the parting comments of P Mackay comparing this to a third world country. I am an Indian and cruelty to animals here would be just, as it is perhaps in the advanced countries of the west. Somewhere it would be cruelty to dogs, somewhere horses, cows and the list goes on. I guess some people just don’t consider animals as living beings and so never get it. Money and business are the only things that they understand. They perhaps have never known what it is to love an animal and get that love back manifold in return. I have never lived in a snow-fall town and have never seen sleds and these dogs but definitely condemn strongly the mistreatment and killing. We in India would most probably have the largest population of vegetarians (not necessarily vegans), though yes this only means we are not killing as much for food. Cruelty is a larger ballgame which includes mistreatment but it is definitely not all pervasive over the entire third world. I would just like to quote from one of the pioneers of our freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi who said that ” A country’s progress can be judged from the way it treats it’s animals”.

  40. Elena Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 4:46 am

    As a husky lover myself I cant understand how somebody could raise a hand and hurt them. They worked for those people, giving them all they had and they did that to them. I am sure there was another way.
    Huskies are wonderful dogs. They are so loving so understanding and so smart. I had two hskies and had to give them away to my friends as my husband is dying from cancer now.But if not for that I would have never parted with them.
    The person who did the dirty work is just as guilty as the owner of the company. He knew what was going on and he could have done something but chose not to. They should pay. If they dont right now, they will in the future. It is just how the world works.

  41. Laurie Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I live in Alaska and have been lovingly owned by both Malamutes and Alaskan huskies. My huskies and Malamutes have all pulled a sled or ski-joured with me. My dogs are loved as I would love children if I had them. At times I have spent more money on the care of my dogs than myself. They are given the best food, the best vet care and more love and more attention than many children in my neighborhood. I have friends who have run both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. The people that I associate with, who have sled dogs, treat them very well.

    That being said, there are people with all kinds of dogs that mistreat or neglect them. Even in the agility world it seems that some people will neglect their previous “star” when he/she doesn’t perform as well as the owner expects and then they are ignored in favor of the new and upcoming puppy that is added to the group.

    Sled dogs are often kept on chains because they either don’t do well in fenced yards (can actually hang themselves on a fence or more aggressive alpha dogs will try to kill some of the others–this actually happened to a friend of mine with a free run kennel). It is far better to chain your dog than to let them run free to be hit by a car or shot by a neighbor.

    I am not excusing the behavior of the owner in this particular story. Responsible care of animals that we “own” is a serious issue for me. However, I do not believe that everyone should be lumped together. If one has more than 2-3 dogs of a northern breed, it is very important to know what one is getting into. Many sled dogs do not want to live in a human house (often it is too hot for them). Many sled dogs will not drink water that does not have food in it. This is why they are fed and watered more frequently and hydration is a top priority, particularly when it is cold. My dogs enjoy coming in the house but have no desire to spend hours inside. They love it best when it is -20 degrees F and they actually lie outside of their houses on the snow. I could go on and on. I have also seen kennels where I would never allow an animal to go.

    Some sled dogs can make very good pets, others never will. There is often a big difference between working breeds and other dogs. They are bred to do particular tasks. My dogs go absolutely nuts when the harnesses come out and they suffer mentally and physically if they are not run and often (even though they live in a free run environment).

    None of this excuses what happened in BC. None of it excuses culling (which, by the way, I suspect, but cannot prove, is probably done by pure breed dog breeders for purposes of breeding “the best” dogs). But given the choice between a long, slow and painful death by starvation and a bullet to the head or a needle, which would you choose? If I had been that employee, I would have refused. The owner should not ever be allowed to have animals again IMHO. I am glad to hear that Canada is pursuing legislation in this area. Dogs here have to be on the precipice of death before the authorities will intervene in any way.

    Better education about what breed of dog is appropriate for your living situation is important. It is also important for people to be educated about what owning sled dogs entails (in terms of time, space and expense). Of course, it seems education is not a high priority with many these days. And, unfortunately, when money and a business become involved (or owner ego), those who think of dogs as property, instead of as sentient beings, generally lose their humanity at some point. It is very sad.

  42. maria Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I can’t believe that, they were shot? What is wrong with this world. The laws are not strict enough, it’s getting really depressing. Those poor babies, they are beautiful. The selfishness in this world is out of hand, and I believe that is the reason for all of these natural disasters. There is so much negativity and no respect for creatures or nature. I hope those people pay.

  43. margarita brown Says:
    May 5th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    There is a petition which I signed several weeks ago to help bring the owner to justice. Please find through google. Some people do not have a conscience or they would not do this,
    It is exploitation to man’s best friend, which makes it even worse. He should have made other options, I know it would be harder but too many people take the easy way out, apparently a vet did not want to put them down as they were in good health and I applaud the vet for that.
    Then the bastardly coward shot them!

  44. Dana Says:
    May 6th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
    ‘Nuf said…

  45. vickisweat Says:
    May 6th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I think this was the most irresponsible and dispicable behavior of the person whom owned these dogs.I am a citizen of Canada, howevwer lived in the US for many years, and find that other solutions should have arisen, as with the greyhoud rescue program, andf the episode that occurred with Michael Vick, and what a success story that is, These dogs were brought to Kanab, Utah where there is a huge rescue area, and most of these dogs were rehabilitated to become adopted by families, some were very excellent rescue dogs, and some were so well rehabbed that they are being used to teach others.

  46. Stacey Bailey Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 7:32 am

    You can’t fix stupid. To be recompensed for PTSD for the killings – the person involved could just have refused to kill the dogs and walked away but then there would have been no money in that. Animal ignorance is rampant all over the world. These people are no different.

  47. Marilyn Says:
    May 20th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Aren’t we, as consumers, at least part of the equation here? We can say that it’s terrible for this company to have done this, but why did this company have hundreds of dogs in service during the winter games? Because there were people paying money to go for dog sled rides!
    Obviously animal laws are needed, but until we, as a society, start to open our eyes to what is going on behind the scenes of ANY operation that uses animals, whether it’s for seasonal recreation, circus acts, pet breeding or consumption, and speak WITH OUR WALLETS, then this is going to continue, because these people are doing it for profit.
    I was on Mount Seymour a couple of years ago, and there were teams of dogs (they weren’t even Eskimo type dogs) being harnessed to sleds, waiting for people to pay for rides. I couldn’t imagine how these dogs could be happy, giving ride after ride after ride to people, kept in a trailer, then tied to the ground on really short leads, and probably not given the nurturing that dogs require. I looked at my own malamute, who happened to be with us that day, playing in the snow, and thought about what a difference in life my dog had from those poor creatures. I would never be able in good conscience to pay for a ride behind those poor dogs.
    The only real way these people will stop is if there is no money in it.

  48. yvonne language Says:
    September 23rd, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    i agee absulutely with you, my heart brakes just to think about those poor animals, money is the root of all evil

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