100 Sled Dogs Slain After Tourist Slump

In what is the most disturbing tale of the aftershocks of the economic downturn, in Canada an outdoor adventure company is being investigated for the “execution-style” mass killing of 100 of its sled dogs. The sled dogs were not as in demand after the Olympic Games in Vancouver were over, so, when the tourists went, the dogs had to go too, reports the Vancouver Sun.

The cullings were ordered after a slump in tourist traffic led to a fall-off in demand for the company’s dog sled tours. The SPCA is investigating the slayings, most of which were conducted by mass shootings in front of the other dogs.

The story came out following a successful worker’s comp claim filed by the worker who was ordered to kill the dogs and said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards.

“By the end he was covered in blood,” read the review board’s decision. “When he finished he cleared up the mess, filled in the mass grave and tried to bury the memories as deeply as he could.”

The company said it knew the dogs were to be destroyed but did not know about the manner in which it was conducted. They also said the company did not keep a gun on the premises.

In his claim, the man spoke of his emotional attachment to the dogs. He and his family sleep and live in the same area where the dogs are kept. Part of the man’s job duties included thinning the herd and had tried to find new owners but couldn’t give away that number of dogs. Previously the man had culled weak or sick dogs by taking them for a walk and giving them a nice meal to distract them while he euthanized them with his gun. However, this time he wasn’t able to do that because of how many dogs he had to get rid of, so he had to shoot them while they were all chained up together. By the 15th dog, the other dogs began to panic and some started to attack him.

The review board noted that the “‘mass cull’ was unique in its size, not only in respect of the workers’ experience but in all of Canada.”

“I’ve no doubt he has suffered post traumatic stress but there’s a thing called choice,” head of British Columbia’s SPCA cruelty investigations division Marcie Moriarty told the Vancouver Sun. “I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no. This is a Criminal Code offence … I don’t feel sorry for this guy for one minute.”

The outdoor adventure company said that going forward all euthanizations will be conducted in a vet’s office.

SPCA investigates slaughter of 100 Whistler sled dogs [Vancouver Sun] (Thanks to stylerm!)