VANCOUVER, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - Outdoor Adventures Whistler (OAW) only recently learned of tragic and regrettable events regarding a cull of animals at Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. (Howling Dogs) that are the subject of a WCB ruling issued last week. Contrary to media reports, OAW did not instruct the General Manager to carry out the cull in the manner described in the report.
OAW was aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at Howling Dogs in April 2010 but it was our expectation that it was done in a proper, legal and humane manner. We only learned otherwise on Friday, January 28 when we read the WCB ruling for the first time.
OAW is now investigating the matter.
While OAW has had a financial interest in Howling Dogs for 4 years the operational control of the company remained with the employee referred to in the WCB ruling who was the General Manager of Howling Dogs at the time of the incident. The employee in question in the ruling submitted both the employee report and the employer report to WCB.
Not long after the events of late April, the employee in question ceased managing the business. This employee continues to get our support as he heals from his injuries and illness. Because of the information in the WCB ruling pertaining to his emotional condition we don't feel it is appropriate to release further information about this individual.
In May 2010 Outdoor Adventures assumed operational control of Howling Dogs. With professional consultation and new leadership, Howling Dogs made significant changes to the business, the intention of which was to ensure humane treatment of our dogs and improved safety protocols of the operation. Measures included:
•Relocation and delivery of dogs throughout Canada. Approximately 75 of the most capable dogs were delivered across British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to other operations. These dogs were given away for free and delivered at Howling Dog's expense.
•The neutering of all male dogs in the kennel to mitigate unwanted pregnancies and ultimately manage our population. This program was designed and implemented with our staff and our veterinarian in Whistler.
•Creation of an open-pen style kennel where dogs are not tethered or chained. Consulted with animal behavioral specialists and professionals to determine the best format and layout for this type of kennel. Currently 85% of our kennel has been transitioned with a goal of 100% transitioned before Summer 2011.
•It is now company policy that any dogs requiring euthanasia do so at our veterinarian's office. To this effect there are no firearms on our site.
We have hired a new manager for Howling Dogs who with the support of key operational staff at Outdoor Adventures is working to craft the finest dogsled operation in the world with the highest standards in the industry.
On December 1, 2010 our veterinarian conducted his bi-annual inspection of all dogs and kennel conditions and the summary of his report reads, "Overall, I am very pleased at the substantive improvements seen at the facility and have no concerns about the dogs' quality of life or for the care they are provided. Overall, this is a healthy and well cared for group of dogs."
For further information:
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So, they do not DENY that they KNEW about the "cull" - let's call a spade a spade, the mass killing of healthy dogs -
So answers please, Ms. McHart:OAW was aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at Howling Dogs in April 2010 but it was our expectation that it was done in a proper, legal and humane manner.
1. From the press release, it seems obvious to me that OAW HAD in fact ordered/expected that 100 dogs were to be killed. Surely it is management responsibility to ensure this is done in a humane and proper way. Not that ANY mass killing of healthy dogs is acceptable, but at the very least, these dogs should not have suffered. These dogs were ultimately YOUR responsibility. It was OAW that decided that business interests were paramount and dogs not being "used" to generate revenue were "excess". Correct?
2. So no argument it was YOUR employee? While OAW has had a financial interest in Howling Dogs for 4 years the operational control of the company remained with the employee referred to in the WCB ruling who was the General Manager of Howling Dogs at the time of the incident. If this individual (who you yourselves refer to as an EMPLOYEE) is OAW's responsibility, then surely the Company should be aware of past practices and methods used by this employee? If not, your Company remains negligent.
3. Your "new" policies are somewhat after the fact. Your website clearly indicates that outdoor adventures which involve live animals are part of your normal offerings. As such, WHY were these type of policies NOT in effect before? These are humane, balanced ways of dealing with animals - can you explain what were the previous policies? And if there were no written policies, why weren't there?
We'll see if she answers.
Bottom line is that a very active 'clean up' campaign in which the individual who IS in truth responsible for slaughtering these dogs in a horrific and inhumane way is the judas goat. I do NOT exonerate this individual in any respect - he DID kill those dogs and in a horrific way - and THEN proceeded to profit from their pain and suffering by claiming "post-traumatic" stress. That after having actually collected on his salary for the slaughter. BUT, bottom line is the Company clearly DID decide they had too many dogs and wanted rid of them - because money, bottom line, profit was paramount.
Show me the instructions where you told this individual to find homes for these dogs. Show me the missive which details possible rehoming methodology. Produce the memo that talks about HUMANE euthanization given that ALL other possibilities were explored.
And tell me - just HOW long was the individual given to FIND homes for these dogs? How much time was he promised and which funds were provided to enable him to ensure their safe and humane adoptions? At a minimum, can you explain to me the amount of money promised by Head Office to ensure that qualified veterinarians could be found to humanely euthanize these dogs?
Provide some of that information and I may accede that you are not ENTIRELY at fault.