FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2011
The Seattle Humane Society is saddened and appalled by the killing of 100 sled dogs by the company Outdoor Adventures, based at Whistler ski resort in British Columbia.
We support the animal cruelty investigation into the case and recommend that local policy makers create greater oversight of the dog sled industry and its treatment of the animals, to avoid another horrific and tragic outcome in the future.
News of the slaughter of more than 100 dogs came to light this week after an employee with Whistler-based Outdoor Adventures filed a post-traumatic stress claim related to the incident. The employee claimed he was ordered by his bosses to kill 100 of 300 sled dogs last April, due to a post-Olympics downturn in business.
The dogs were rounded up and shot in groups, and in some cases their throats were slit. One report cites the case of a dog buried alive.
It’s hard to know where to begin in criticizing this barbarism. The dogs were treated like worthless pieces of property, rather than living beings and man’s best friend.
The dogs in the pack deserved a chance to be adopted, fostered, or sent to a breed-specific rescue group or sanctuary. They did not deserve to be killed because they outlived their usefulness. Positive change is only possible with enforceable oversight, transparency and active community involvement. For example, in the dog-racing industry, many retired Greyhounds are now adopted as companion animals.
We urge the community to join us in writing to Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed and the City Council to request greater oversight of the dog sled industry in their region and to support the animal cruelty investigation.
Copy and paste the suggested letter below and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mayor Melamed and Councilors Forsyth, Lamont, Milner, Quinlan, Thomson and Zeidler:
I am writing to express my disgust and dismay over the inhumane slaughter of 100 sled dogs in your community by the recreational company Outdoor Adventures.
As the policy makers for Whistler, I ask that you support the cruelty investigation into this incident, and enact legislation to oversee the dog sled industry so that a tragedy of this kind never happens again.