Moral Low Ground

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Canadian Outdoor Adventure Company Shoots 100 Perfectly Healthy but Unwanted Sled Dogs

An outdoor adventure company in British Columbia shot and killed 100 unwanted sled dogs because they were no longer in demand following a drop in business after the 2010 Winter Olympics. The dogs were perfectly healthy and a veterinarian refused to put them down, so an employee from Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours shot them one at a time, execution style, while the other dogs watched in horrified panic.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the unnamed employee who killed the dogs came forward to report the April 2010 massacre after suffering from panic attacks and nightmares, hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder. He says he was ordered to kill the animals, part of his job description, because dog sled rides were no longer in high demand following the end of last year’s Winter Olympic Games.

The employee says the grisly task was extremely difficult; he had developed strong bonds of trust and affection with the animals and had even named many of them himself. During the actual killings, many of the dogs panicked and attacked him. He ended up covered in blood as he buried the 100 slaughtered animals in a mass grave. But he couldn’t bury the memory of what he’d done.

Marcie Moriarty, who heads the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) cruelty investigations division, says she feels little or no sympathy for the shooter, as emotionally unraveled as he may be. “I’ve no doubt he has suffered post traumatic stress but there’s a thing called choice,” she told the Sun. “I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no. This is a Criminal Code offense … I don’t feel sorry for this guy for one minute.”

Moriarty also said the horrific slaughter will shine a light on the darker side of the dog sledding industry. “There is a problem with the sled dog industry in general. People see these 20 sled dogs, an idyllic setting with snow in the background and think how great. But what they don’t see is the 200 dogs tethered and sleeping out back, chained to a barrel.”

Tourism Whistler has suspended dog sled excursion reservations by Howling Dog Tours, which is operated by Outdoor Adventures of Whistler. The company denies it ordered the shooting of the dogs.
Editor’s Note: Howling Dog Tours in Whistler, BC, which is owned by Outdoor Adventures,  is NOT to be confused with Howling Dog Tours, LTD of Canmore, Alberta. We previously posted a link to the wrong Howling Dog Tours. While the link was only operational for a few hours, we regret any inconvenience we may have caused to the Alberta company.

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6 Comments

  1. Absolutely HorrifiedFebruary 1, 2011 at 2:55 pmReply

    This is an absolute disgrace. The person and organisation behind this atrocious act should be dealt with the same way they dealt with this innocent dogs that WORKED FOR YOU!!!!! The anger in me right now is intense. I am a believer in god and all I ask is that God please take control of this and do what this company and person deserves. If this person and organisation believes it is okay to kill and tortue 100 beautiful innocent animals – imagine what else they would do!!!!! To anyone or anything. No further comment……

    • Moral Low GroundFebruary 1, 2011 at 3:02 pmReplyAuthor

      While we certainly do not advocate any violent reprisals against the guilty parties, Moral Low Ground hopes Canadian authorities prosecute the monsters responsible for this heinous slaughter to the fullest extent of the law. If, say, the unlawful and inhumane killing of one dog is good for six months behind bars, than the killers should be sentenced to 600 months behind bars since 100 innocent, healthy animals were executed in the prime of their lives. This horrific act of chauvinistic speciesism occurred partially because the perpetrators obviously felt that they could massacre the dogs with impunity. It is now up to the authorities to demonstrate to anyone who would even think about committing such a crime that they will pay severely for it.

  2. HelenFebruary 1, 2011 at 3:49 pmReply

    Your first paragraph refers to Howling Dog Tours and has a link to their website. Please check your facts. The website you have linked to is not the company that is currently in the news for dog abuse. Which means you are contributing to the mass of hate email that is being sent to the wrong company, just because they have the same name.

    The company under investigation is Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc, they don’t have a direct website. Suggest you remove the link to the wrong Howling Dog Tours website. If you are going to blog then at least check your facts first.

    • Moral Low GroundFebruary 1, 2011 at 3:55 pmReplyAuthor

      We apologize for the confusion; the name is nearly identical. Thank you for bringing this to our attention; we will immediately remove the link.

  3. SarahMay 4, 2011 at 7:06 amReply

    Howling Dogs – apt name for a bunch of scumbags. I am telling everyone I know of this and putting it on facebook. I always dreamt of going to Canada but I don’t want to go there any more. May this company suffer in its profits and its conscience (not that they have one). I wish only the worst for these people.

  4. JeniferNovember 2, 2011 at 5:29 pmReply

    I can’t begin to tell you how angry this makes me. Why sould the shooter recieve compensation for post traumatic stress disorder. He did not have to terrorize and shoot those poor dogs. He could have said no. I hope his actions haunt him for the rest of his hidious life!

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