Thursday, February 17, 2011

UPDATE: As of yesterday, Venus has found a home!!!!

This beautiful girl has finally been given her chance - THANK you to the people who saw in her what many of us had seen for years - a loving, caring, loyal and passionate spirit.  Be happy, little girl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

BC SPCA dropped the ball - BIG time in sled dog slaughter

Over at the Dogster blog- read this article.

Apparently the man who slaughtered the dogs asked for help, not once but TWICE. The first time he was turned down because according to the "experts" at the SPCA, sled dogs were not "adoptable". The second time (5 months later) .. see below:

Five months after the cull, which sent the man into major post-traumatic stress disorder, he once again contacted the SPCA, looking for homes for some of the pack’s remaining dogs. The Sun obtained a copy of the email he sent. It states:

“I understood…that there were to be some dogs going to you for adoption? Is that indeed happening? Or should I just show up with a truck full so they can get off the chain and get some attention, exercise, stop fighting, etc….I am happy to bring some down to stop cruelty they are going through here.

“This is me as a bystander (I am off due to injury to both arms). I am the only one who has made any effort to move dogs. We still have almost 60 dogs too many, and a new litter of pups to be given away. Can you please give me a call so I know something can be done. It’s breaking my heart.”

Drever wrote back once again that after consulting with behaviorists, she has deemed the animals unadoptable. She said she would conduct an inspection of the Outdoor Adventures facility. She never did.
The reality is that when animals are perceived merely as "profit", bad things happen to them. When their usefulness in terms of serving the company ends, they are seeb as liabilities - and treated not like living, breathing creatures but rather, as disposable (usually in the cheapest  way). There have been issues before with how sled dogs used in businesses are treated; legislation needs to happen that ensures there is a retirement plan in place or at the very least, that the number of dogs are restricted to what is able to be handled both when business is brisk and when it slows down.

While the BC SPCA should not have been left with the responsibility of being dumped with 100+, largely unadoptable dogs because a profitable company decided they were now a liability - they SHOULD have investigated and ensured that when THEY turned them down, there were alternative plans in place. That is ostensibly the RESPONSIBILITY of any humane society!

There are many villians in this sad, tragic story - and each must be made to shoulder their share of the responsiblity.

the losers in all this were the dogs that met such a cruel end.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Horror in Whistler

As details emerge about the horrific slaughter of up to 100 healthy sled dogs in British Columbia, reaction has been swift and decided.  A press release (link brings you to a pdf of the review decision) details the slaughter, and it is enough to turn your stomach.  It also leaves some huge questions.

Outdoor Adventures Whistler ("OAW"") is owned by Joey Houssian, son of the founder of Intrawest Corp., Joe Houssian.   Tourism Whistler has wisely suspended reservations for dog sledding via OAW and in my opinion, should suspend ALL business dealings with that company.

The Globe details some graphic descriptions of the slaughter, which took place in full view of the other dogs, consisted of varous forms of "execution-style" killing and included the use of guns, knives and in some cases, resulted in severe pain and suffering by some of the dogs (by all of them emotionally and mentally) but also physically.

Some salient points:

  • a veternarian was initially contacted and refused (rightfully so) to kill healthy dogs; my question: why were OTHER vets not contacted?  There is no doubt that there are many vets out there that would have undertaken to euthanize becuase they had no moral qualms about killing healthy animals - it happens all the time
  • why was the timeline so limited?  He talks about the slaughter going on all day - why could he not have killed them (if that was his intention no matter what) - in small increments - in a humane manner and apart from where the other dogs had to witness the horrific deaths and have pain and suffering in mind and heart on top of everything else;
  • why was this done entirely by him? There were, by all accounts, at the least 300 dogs in total (before the slaughter) - that entails a LOT of care - which means he would have had to have a fair number of workers who helped him feed/water/care for the dogs - so where were these people? 
There are as many questions remaining as there have been answered. Bottom line is that both the company AND the employee should be prosecuted for cruelty. While the law is laughably remiss in respect of really "punishing" individuals/companies that have been proven to be guilty, at least the process should be followed.  I would find it difficult to understand that they could NOT find the individual who actually conducted this horror guilty - as according to the Review, his OWN WORDS condemn it. 

And, as his employer, OAW should and MUST be held accountable for viewing profit as the bottom line - even when talking about living, breathing creatures.