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!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. TalKeaton: Every Puzzle Has an Answer! says:

    That is…awful. In so many ways. The employee should have refused.

    • nbs2 says:

      Before I got to the end of the story, I was thinking the same thing. Then I noticed Mr. Moriarty’s comments and realized I wasn’t the only one.

      On the other hand, I have to wonder what kind of circumstances the guy was in – he and his family were live-in caretakers. Was there an understanding that if he couldn’t get rid of the dogs by a deadline, would they be out on the streets? What employment is a live-in dog caretaker qualified for? I doubt his experience would qualify him as a vet or as a live in nurse for humans. Being close to the situation, what did he suspect would happen if he hadn’t been the one to kill them? Did he suspect that the company would have found someone to do it? If so, does it mitigate public condemnation if one considers that he took the shame upon himself?

      I have too many questions to close the books on this one.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Ever hear of the Milgram Experiments?

      It is incredibly common for people to follow the orders of an authority figure, even if they know those orders are morally wrong, because they feel that the authority figure is taking on the moral burden, that the authority figure knows better than they do.

      • KittensRCute! says:

        yes its common but that doesnt make it right or excuse it. would you rape your daughter if your boss told you to? i would hope not. if you did it would be a CHOICE you made. you CAN choice not to. you can choice to loose your job or to die instead, but as long as you have breath you can always CHOOSE. the employee CHOSE to do this. even if someone had a gun to his head, which they did not, he still CHOSE this. he has no one to blame but himself and should be in jail.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          While most people would definitely draw the line at incest, there were cases in recent years where people disguised as police or other civil authority figures would call retail establishments and using their perceived authority convince senior management to conduct strip searches and other invasive procedures on lower-level employees, who complied because the cops asked it, and their own employer seemed to be cooperating with the instructions as well.


          • rawley69 says:

            Law and Order SVU did this with Robin Williams guest starring as the perp.

            • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

              And the fake name he used? Detective Milgram. Classic in-joke right there.

          • KittensRCute! says:

            you said it yourself: DRAW THE LINE. its up to the person to decide what he or she chooses to do.

            i heard about that scam and i thought those girls were stupid to make those choices. the manager who took part should have gone to jail for longer because i said they made their own choice.

      • eturowski says:

        Right. See: the TSA.

      • EBone says:

        I thought “I was just following orders” stopped being a valid excuse after the Nuremberg Trials.

    • 5seconds says:

      The problem is that it looks like the shooter was also an owner and director of the dog company. The Windsor Star has identified the man as Bob Fawcett. http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Sled+massacre+horrifies/4197145/story.html

      • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

        You may want to re-read the article you just linked.

        “Robert T. Fawcett, listed in corporate papers as a director of Howling Dog Tours Whistler Ltd.”

        “Outdoor Adventures at Whistler said in a release that it has had a “financial interest” in Howling Dogs Tour Whistler Inc., which has “operational control of the dogsledding operations,” for four years.”

        “Outdoor Adventures is owned by Joey Houssian”

        “Records obtained by The Province indicate Houssian has been an owner of Howling Dogs Tour Whistler since Dec. 27, 2006. He is presently the sole owner of the company.”

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “The dogs had to go”.

      This is so disturbing and it truly shows the lowest level of humanity yet with this decision. Either these guys are extremely short-sighted or just plain a-holes (or both).

  2. isileth says:

    This is so sad.

  3. Rebecca K-S says:

    What the fuck? What the fuck? Seriously, that’s all I can fucking say, over and over again: WHAT THE FUCK?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Ditto. I have no idea what on earth would make someone think that this was an appropriate thing to do. I was reading the post and kept thinking “this has to be a joke, right?” Who kills a hundred dogs? Hundreds of dogs are taken to the shelter every month. How hard would it be just to give the dogs to a shelter? I mean, the company is based in Vancouver, not the middle of nowhere. There’s an entire city of people who might be willing to adopt dogs.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Many shelters require you to pay to turn over an animal. My local one wanted $60 to turn in a stray cat I trapped on my property.

        • imasqre says:

          My local place took 4 kittens from me and didn’t ask for a dime.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Well, mine wanted $60, was appalled I used a have a heart trap to catch a cat, and was lucky I love cats enough, because a cinder block was only $1.50 at Home Depot at the time. And because of the laws where I am, the SPCA could not take the cat because the town I live in is covered by the shelter who wanted the $60.

          • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

            People who go to a shelter for a new cat or dog want a kitten or a puppy–adult animals are rarely homed once taken to the shelter, even if they are already spayed or neutered, have all of their immunizations up-to-date, and are proven to be good with other animals / other species / children. A shelter easily takes kittens because it can easily find homes for those kittens.

        • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

          Judiging by your posts, I think you should move to another locality.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Sled dogs are bred for a specific purpose and are often trained from puppyhood to the task. They are workers, not pets, and so may not easily adjust to family life. It is possible that no shelter was willing or able to take animals that would be virtually impossible to put up for adoption.

        • dolemite says:

          Fine…turn them loose in the wild. They may die, but at least they’ll have a chance vs being shot to death while chained up. What is this, canadian Michael Vick?

          • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

            Ever live in an area with a feral dog problem? They have no fear of humans, are hungry, and are smart enough to eventually learn that humans are easy meat.

            There were plenty of options for the company to deal with having more dogs than they needed, and if they could have been bothered to take the time and effort, I’m sure most of the dogs could have been given or sold elsewhere–while they might not have the demand for sled dogs anymore, they could have found ways to get rid of them that did not involve mass murder. They chose to shift the burden of getting rid of the excess dogs onto an underling that they could later cut off should the media catch a whiff. The cheapest option. Yay capitalism.

            • YokoOhNo says:

              Where do you live? In moscow?

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                Actually, the stray dogs that live in Moscow’s subway have been documented as being fairly tame, though certainly not domesticated. People are so used to them and they to the people that it’s kind of like the dogs just live there. They’re not unfriendly, or vicious, they’re just there.

          • NatalieErin says:

            No, not cool. Aside from the issue of feral dogs, already mentioned, the dogs that don’t adapt to the wild suffer a lot before they eventually die.

            If these animals needed to be euthanized, so be it. It should have been done humanely (for both the animals and humans involved), preferably by a professional vet.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Actually, according to the BC SPCA:
            “She also noted that feral dogs don’t usually survive winters in B.C.’s north because the weather is so cold.”


        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          What about other companies? I didn’t see any mention of the company looking into selling the dogs to any other company that runs sled tours, or anything. There are nonprofit organizations that take in animals that are like these. Anything else would have been better than doing this.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          I should also note that Huskys are nasty dogs, and when I lived in a home that had one, we were denied at least twice by home insurance companies because Huskys are on their dangerous dog list. I also had an ex whose cat was killed by a husky she adopted/took in. It happened while she was away from town, and her Mom called me and we had to bring the dog back to the shelter to be put down.

      • YokoOhNo says:

        Who kills 100 dogs…the SPCA, unfortunately.

      • bbf says:

        Umm, the company serves the tourists up in Whistler, which is NOT Vancouver. Most probably the dogs aren’t even kept in Whistler, but some place further out.

        Eventhough the village and resort areas in Whistler is built up, you don’t have to go very far before you’re in the middle of nowhere behind several mountains up there. The main reason for the existence of Whistler/Blackcomb as a resort is the rugged mountain terrain there.

    • PupJet says:

      That makes two of us….seriously…WTF WTF WTF???

      I would have been MORE than happy to take a couple of them since I live only 200 miles SOUTH of there and live in the country! There is NO excuse for this. If they were having that much of a fucking problem then they should have contacted the SPCA in the FIRST place instead of executing them!

      • Conformist138 says:

        No joke. We live in Portland, OR, but my mom’s last two dogs both came from local shelters that had shipped dogs in from other parts of the country. One she got was found wandering in Georgia after Katrina and was shipped over with tons of other storm-survivers since the local area couldn’t handle it. When Kati passed away, mom got a new dog and it turned out this one was brought up from an overcrowded shelter in Southern California.

        There ARE options, just not all local. I bet if this man had sounded the alarm that this many dogs were going to face unnecessary execution, shelters all over the place would have volunteered to take as many as they could.

        And no matter what he says, even if for some unthinkable reason these killings were neccessary, he could have take the time to separate those doomed from the rest of the pack. Why on earth force the remaining animals to stay chained while members of their pack are killed in front of them? Just… WHY? Was it a timed challenge, how many dogs can you put down in 2 minutes?

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Those are really the only words that come to mind.

  4. El_Red says:

    I heard this excuse before “they told me to”. He could have refused. No job is worth keeping if you have to massacre dogs.
    If the company would have given them to SPCA, the ones that could not be adopted, would be euthanized. At least they would not have been terrorized. But I guess 5$ donation they ask to take over dogs were too high.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I read Hal Herzog’s new book in which he writes about the bizarre way people sometimes consider animals (food, friend, lab experiment). There’s a chapter in which he describes his (and colleagues’) experiences in the lab, working with mice and animals. Part of the duties in that lab was preserving animals, and this was done quickly, but it was killing them nonetheless. He writes about how after the crickets, the scorpion, and a few other critters, he got to a furry little field mouse and he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He went to his supervisor and told him he couldn’t do it, and left. He probably could have lost his job, since working with lab animals is an integral part of scientific research. But it brings to mind how a lot of people use “they told me I had to” as an excuse.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “He could have refused. No job is worth keeping if you have to massacre dogs. “

      I’d like to think I could refuse something like that but I know I couldn’t do anything that would get myself fired at this point. My wife is in the hospital and I know I can’t afford COBRA if I lost my job, let alone being fired and not getting unemployment.

      • sparrowmint says:

        I’d love to see the unemployment office that turns down a claim for someone who was fired because they refused to execute dogs (and break the law). Secondly, the guy was in British Columbia where he certainly wouldn’t have any of those health insurance or American-specific economic concerns. Unfortunately, having that level of civilization didn’t rub off on him or his employer.

      • Bunnies Attack! says:

        Well, this IS Canada… health insurance isn’t a problem. Now, in your situation, if you didn’t have to worry about health insurance, would you act differently?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Just the fact they wanted him to do a hundred dogs which has to be above the norm should have set off alarms in his brain. I guess this guy did alot of official/unofficial things for the company.

  5. benbell says:

    Makes me sick. Seriously sick.

  6. Tim says:

    Ah yes, good old Nuremberg Defense. Although, if we’re to believe the company, they didn’t even order him to shoot them, just to get rid of them.

  7. HogwartsProfessor says:


    Well that pretty much guarantees they won’t get any of MY tourist dollars!

  8. FireJayPa says:

    Generally I like to stir the pot, but even I can’t on this thread. This is disgusting at best. Makes me want to go home and give the dogs a hug and a biscuit….or stop at the pet store and buy a few bunny rabbits as treats.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You give your dogs live animals to eat? That’s wrong on a whole other level.

      • Necoras says:

        I don’t buy live animals for my pets to eat, but I’ve found dead mice around the house. I’ve also found my white husky with her forepaws coated red by the rabbit (I think?) she was eating. Predators eat other animals, and whether it’s a sheep killed at a slaughter house and made into dog food, or a rabbit in the back yard, something dies so that something else can live. I find it distasteful to buy live animals to feed to pets (which is the only reason I don’t have a snake) but not morally wrong.

        Now, shooting 100 dogs is unfathomable.

        • FireJayPa says:

          I’ve never bought a rabbit for any of my huskies; however, it should be noted that if there is one in the yard and the dog gets outside it’s all over for the rabbit.

          It’s like a graveyard at my parents house where rabbits are ripped apart every time a bunny comes in. And believe me, I’ve tried to stop it. Poured concrete under the shed to hinder the building of nests…tighten up the fence…nothing works.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Then what’s with the “or stop at the pet store and buy a few bunny rabbits as treats.”

            • FireJayPa says:

              That’s me trying to troll and stir up trouble.

            • Pax says:

              He could probably go to teh pet store, and specifically ask for a sick rabbit, or one who’s in danger of being culled anyway. Pet stores already use their own mice and rats – the sick and weak ones – as food for their snakes and such, after all. So it’s not too great a step up to think, “food for a larger animal”. And if they DO have a couple animals who’v gotten sick, and are going to be euthanised anyway … *shrug*.

              It’s not something I would do, but I can’t condemn anyone else for doing it. It’s just like humans going out hunting for deer: as long as the animal’s body is USED (generally, for food), I don’t mind so much if the hunter also ENJOYS the process.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I’ve never had a predator as a pet (dogs, cats, etc.) so giving a dog a live rabbit to hunt has an ick factor to it. I mean, if a cat is outside and happens to spot prey, that’s natural. If a cat is hanging out in the garage and you let him run after a domesticated animal you purchased and let loose, that’s pretty unnatural, IMO, and approaches something of a sport.

          I see how if you have a snake, you get around that because you can’t let snakes roam property to hunt, but that’s why I don’t care for people who own snakes giving them live food. While a snake eating live food is natural in the wilderness, it eating live food that you had to buy from a store just seems, like you said, distasteful. And I would feel bad for that prey animal.

          Of course, like other people, I am going to contradict myself because bugs are my exception here. I hate bugs, and I don’t care if they die.

  9. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    British Columbia.

    We keep all our crazy in one place for a reason. :(

  10. JoeTheDragon says:

    The CEO and other higher UP should have to do some REAL HARD time.

    I thinking federal pound me in the ass time.

  11. Gardius says:

    As a Canadian, I couldn’t believe this had happened in my country when I heard it on the news yesterday. I want to see all involved get the maximum penalty and be permanently barred from owning any animal ever again. Makes me sick.

  12. Harmodios says:

    “execution style”? Did he shout “My name is Tony Montana” before shooting them with an assault rifle?

  13. Darrone says:

    Upside, local delivery food prices have PLUMMETED.

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    As a side note to the comments of “this is terrible” which it is:

    As I was reading, Ben’s comment “in front of the other dogs” struck me as really odd, until I read the end. I realize dogs are intelligent sensitive animals, but it never actually occured to me they would recognize their “colleagues” being killed. I suppose it’s perfectly logical – animals need to know when their brethren are dead – but the concept had simply never entered my mind before.

    I would have adopted one.

    • dolemite says:

      Dogs have never really been studied by science until pretty recently. Recent studies show they are FAR more intelligent than believed before, and actually have some intelligence traits that are limited only to dogs. In some ways, they were found to be as intelligent as 2-3 year old humans.

      Would we run around killing 2 year olds simply because they can’t communicate with us?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      They are pack animals, and if one of their pack is being hurt, they will respond. They will also respond if they are afraid, like at the sound of a close gunshot, and unable to get away. My dog Huck literally runs for the door and tries to get out when the smoke alarm beeps once every minute when the battery is low. If he was tied up somewhere, I don’t know how he’d react.

    • cete-of-badgers says:

      You should check out a NOVA special called Dogs Decoded (it’s on Netflix and probably elsewhere online). Dogs have co-evolved with humans for so long that they read human faces (expressions, eye movements), so that their gaze always shifts there when looking for any sort of subtle cues about what a person wants and how they are feeling.

      • alana0j says:

        That makes me think back to my dog Spunky my ex and I had. I had him from birth, he was essentially my first child. At one point..I forget why my ex was mad at him but he had done something..but my ex yelled for him to come there. I was sitting across the room and Spunky walked up to me, put his little head in my lap and gave me a look that said “Mommy, please don’t make me go over there”. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen, and there were days that he would pick up on the fact that I was upset about something and he’d come sit with me. God I miss him….and this article just..just makes me sick

    • DeathByCuriosity says:

      Yeah, dogs are very sensitive. In the aftermath of the OKC bombing, when the rescue teams reached the point where they were only pulling out bodies instead of survivors, the search dogs were getting too depressed. So, they had people go hide in the rubble so that the dogs would get a morale boost from finding “survivors.”

  15. Straspey says:

    Run a Google search on the following phrase:

    “But I was only following orders.”

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      “When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” ~ George Bernard Shaw.


    • Pax says:

      “When a firefighter pulls a baby out of a burning house and says I’m just doing my job, the guy gets a medal.

      When a tin-pot burro-crat (sic) says I’m just doing my job he gets filled with metal. Little pieces, moving very fast.”

      — Schlock, of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2011-01-20

  16. dolemite says:

    “The outdoor adventure company said that going forward all euthanizations will be conducted in a vet’s office.” Umm no…your damn company needs to be run out of business, period, and some people need to serve some jail time. Are animal cruelty laws really that lax in Canada?

  17. quijote says:

    This is a terrible story. But thought I share peoples’ outrage, the outrage over stories like this always strikes me as strange, considering thousands of livestock animals face a similar fate every day.

    • dolemite says:

      Livestock are nowhere near as intelligent as dogs. Dogs have been companion animals to humans almost since the dawn of civilization and have formed an almost symbiotic relationship with us. Livestock and wild animals are not loyal to their owners, whereas a dog is loyal unto death. Recent studies show dogs are as intelligent as 2-3 year old humans.

      Comparing a cow or chicken to a dog is like comparing a mosquito to a hamster.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        Comparing dogs to pigs is a fair comparison. But I still love me some ribs.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The keyword being “livestock.” We don’t give as much thought to chickens, cattle, etc. because ultimately, we don’t love them like we love animals we keep as companions, and we don’t dislike them as much as animals we consider to be pests. Most of us don’t think about livestock much at all, other than “will it taste good with that pinot?”

      Read Hal Herzog’s book. He’s an anthrozoologist who has studied human and animal relationships for a while. He has many of the same observations you do, and he makes a great effort to explain our contradictory ideas about animals.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        Dogs are way more intelligent than livestock, and they weren’t bred for killing. It’s hardly contradictory to treat them differently.

        • suez says:

          Actually, there’s some evidence that at least in the New World and parts of Asia, dogs WERE bred for eating. Just sayin…

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Yep. In some parts of (rural) Asia, dogs are bred for food.

            • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

              I’ve been to a dog slaughterhouse in China, dogs are bred for food like any other meat. It’s not some small ‘rural’ operation. I’ve also visited a cat-soup cafe down the block from where I lived. The owner would go out every night to catch stray cats (he’d wake me with his meowing). Then there’s the rat-on-a-stick guys selling them like churros.

              Domestic cows, chickens, turkeys are bred for meat not intellect. These dogs are bred for stamina, speed, personality. My dog is a Siberian Husky and I can testify these sled dogs are not the appropriate pet for most people. They are very intelligent, friendly, prey-driven, high energy, masters of escape, curious and most of all they love to run a hundred miles per day. If you don’t walk them a lot, they get extremely bored. I’ve never seen anything shed as much fur, TWICE a year. Our dog was kidnapped but after a couple days the creep was begging us to come get her. She had shredded every piece of furniture and ate their chinchilla for lunch. She has destroyed about $10,000 worth of property at our house since we’ve owned her. The previous owners gave up. What I’m saying is, they are not very adoptable.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                Rural doesn’t mean small. Rural means “farm area” or “country.”

                • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

                  The place I went to get dog meat was a large slaughterhouse in the city of Guangzhou which has a population of over 10 million, not including about twice that in the surrounding metropolitan area. It’s like calling NYC rural. The way you used ‘rural’ made it sound like a out of the way place. I’m sure the farms are in the burbs, but dogs must be trucked in just like all the pigs and ducks are. Point is, fresh dog meat is very common even in the large cities, not just in some far away, backward rural farm area. Many of the best restaurants have it on their menus. No, I’ve never eaten it.

        • evnmorlo says:

          Apparently bacon…uh, pigs are about as smart as dogs.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      I love dogs. I think it would’ve been better to:

      1) let them become stray animals.
      2) use them for meat

      • NatalieErin says:

        If you love dogs, you might want to learn a little more about the lives of stray animals. It’s not “Homeward Bound” out there.

        • Hi_Hello says:

          If my only options are stray vs caged up and then killed. I would rather be a stray no matter what the condition.

    • Necoras says:

      Livestock are treated more humanely, at least as much as one can treat something in a slaughterhouse humanely. This wasn’t always the case, but it’s much more economical (not to mention safe) to have a calm 2000lb cow in a confined space than a panicking one. Modern slaughterhouses are designed to kill as many animals as quickly and painlessly as possible, both for economic and emotional reasons.

  18. wando says:

    I’ve been following the consumerist for some time, but have never created an account. This story prompted me to do so. This is seriously disgusting. I can not imagine treating any animal this way, especially a sled dog. I own a 1 year old Siberian Husky and she is honestly the best dog that I have had, I can not believe that a sled company would ask an employee to do this. If Vick got 24 months or whatever for what he did these people should get years!

  19. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Oh my god. Terrible, Saddening and atrocious. I guess kudos on the whistleblower but I would never have been able to even pull the trigger!

  20. Mpowered says:

    Dear President Obama,

    We must invade Canada.

  21. Mackinstyle1 says:

    Even in Canada there can be assholes. But at least I’m confident that they’ll be dealt with appropriately.

    • Danielle74 says:

      I wouldn’t be so confident. Here in Canada, our punishments for cruelty, even to humans can be pretty lax.

  22. KhaiJB says:

    he had a choice to do it or not. he chose to do it, his problem. I hope charges are brought, since this was an unnecessary slaughter. there were choices like humane shelters, dog rescue organizations, charity’s etc.

  23. DogToy says:

    …and a little bit more of my faith in mankind dies with them.

  24. Danielle74 says:

    As a Canadian I am embarrassed.

    Also, very, very sad.

  25. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Saddest thing I have read all week. You made me cry.

  26. Mold says:

    How bravely heroic some are to heroically offer the employee to be unemployed. Takes troo guts to sacrifice his job. Especially when there are so many opportunities in the area. The amount of courage must be immensely massive!
    Umm…he does culls. Not all sweetness and candy floss.
    I feel for the dude, they are probably a person who does this because of their strong love of dogs. The SPCA must beleeve all those who work with animals are doing so for the Kennel Club show.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      troo? beleeve?

    • Conformist138 says:

      There is “thinning a herd” and then there is “torturing and terrorizing”. This man took a pack of animals (that are entirely meant to be in a pack and bond as such) and forced them to be attached together and watch each other die. There is a huge difference between “how sad, some dogs had to be put down” and “OH MY GOD THE UNRELENTING HORROR OF MAKING A PUPPY GET COATED WITH THE BLOOD OF HIS COMPANIONS AND THEN HAVE THEM TOSSED IN A DITCH!”

  27. neilb says:

    On the one hand, I am sad.
    The other side of my brain says that they are just dogs and they are used for economic purposes much like livestock.
    They might have been stressed to see their pack-mates die, but I cannot imagine that the life of a working sled dog was all roses beyond this point.
    I remember reading that Arctic expeditions involve extreme efficiency–so much so that they used to involve eating the sled dogs (presumably in front of the other dogs) when they were no longer needed.
    That, and sled dogs are a big investment–I would guess the owners did not take this decision lightly.
    I am not saying that this is a great way to thin the herd, but it is not like these dogs were house pets or that they have emotions like our pets would. Yuck.

    That does it. I am not going to ever get a dog. There are too many emotions involved.
    Thanks, Consumerist!

    • NatalieErin says:

      “it is not like these dogs… have emotions like our pets would”

      By what logic to do you think these dogs have fewer emotions than house dogs? Just because they weren’t raised as pets doesn’t make them some sort of less intelligent species.

      It seems pretty obvious from the article that the dogs reacted badly to seeing their pack-mates killed.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Dogs have emotions whether they’re wild or domesticated. Just because these dogs weren’t house pets doesn’t mean they don’t have emotions. Being called Fluffy doesn’t mean a dog suddenly develops a kind of emotion that other dogs don’t have.

      • neilb says:

        I think that there might be a different set of mental structures at work for pack-based work animals than for companion animals.
        It seems more probable to me that this is the case than for them to work identically.
        I pay someone to do this to livestock so I can eat the carcass. I want cruelty and stress as reasonably removed from animals as possible (I buy from a local family-owned meat packing company/butcher), but it is a brutal world for animals. Think of the thousands of animals that are cruelly starved to death due to Amazon deforestation every day…and we go right on living without it making a blip on anyone’s radar.
        I think the reaction we all have to this tells us a lot about our human bond to companion animals but that we lack this bond with livestock or animals native to foreign regions…or perhaps any animals that we simply can avoid thinking about.

    • Snullbug says:

      “it is not like these dogs were house pets or that they have emotions like our pets would. “
      Truly one of the stupidest comments I have seen on Consumerist.

  28. Ben says:

    Totally horrific. I feel sick after reading that.

    Meanwhile, most of you reading this PAY to have people do this every single day to cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Your cognitive dissonance prevents you from realizing how hypocritical you all are, though.

    • Danielle74 says:

      Do you really think this is the same thing?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Let me guess…you’re a vegetarian or a vegan.

      Animals who are killed for food have a purpose: for food. These dogs were killed for no express reason other than the guy who owned them didn’t want to continue paying for upkeep. That was cruel and unnecessary. The reason why this upsets me in the way that cows being killed for my steak doesn’t upset me is that there is a purpose behind supplying meat. Cows are killed as humanely as possible, and their meat sustains people (and to an extent, other animals). These dogs suffered greatly, and there was no reason for their deaths.

    • LastError says:

      That’s the thing. People don’t think about the cost if lives that went into their meal.

      They just want their dollar menu hamburger. Nobody cares that the sum total of a cow’s life is to end up on a bun sold piece by piece for a dollar, or that five chickens went into that 10-pack of chicken wings.

      And of course these dogs weren’t ever meant to be consumed. They were just killed because it was cheaper than feeding them.

      Humans would probably do this to excess children too, if they could get away with it. Had too many kids? Can’t afford diapers? Kid eats too much? Future college costs scary? No problem!

    • Pax says:

      I don’t object to the euthanisation of dogs (though I prefer if alternate options are exhausted, before turning to that very, very final solution).

      What I object to, is the cruel and inhumane MANNER in which they were killed, and the REASON the order was passed down.

    • heismanpat says:

      Yum. I just ate some ground beef in your honor.

  29. Press1forDialTone says:

    That company is clearly evil in all ways and must be destroyed execution style
    just like they treated their faithful servants, the sled dogs. An eye for an eye
    and let the relatives of the company management clean up the mess or better
    yet, let the remaining sled dogs eat the executed executives / managers before
    they are rescued.

    Who is with me??

  30. tamaracks says:

    Aside from the manner in which the dogs were killed, which is gruesome, I think it’s terrible that they were killed at all. It’s horrible that these companies can buy a bunch of dogs to make themselves money, then just discard them like trash when they aren’t needed. Even if they were euthanized in a vet’s office, that’s just wrong.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I totally agree, if I participated in an attraction like this then found out what was happening to the dogs being used it would make me absolutely sick to my stomach (not that it doesn’t already) but the fact that I contributed to the exploiting of animals for profit would.

  31. wellfleet says:

    As a Canadian expat, this makes me sick. Dear Consumerist, no more dead puppy stories in the morning. Jesus. Should have never clicked through.

  32. jimigsu says:

    Funny how we react as humans. I am sickened by this and it makes me want to give my dog a treat and go for a walk with it this afternoon. Most of us are angry. But if it is your dog should you be able to do what you want with it? In New York City up to 40% of all babies created will be aborted, a lot larger number. But because it belonged to the mother they can do what they want. Hypocrite. Both of these sicken me.

    • YokoOhNo says:

      “up to 40% of all babies will be aborted”…LOL

      I agree, there was this 10 month old baby crying on my flight and i asked his mom to abort him. unfortunately, she refused.

      can i still abort you?

      • jimigsu says:

        Yes 40% of babies aborted. Oh sorry you must not refer to babies as babies, but instead a “fetus” to justify your mass extermination of a large segment of minority races as the majority of abortions are committed by minorities.

      • jimigsu says:

        *Sorry last line cut off. Both are inhuman. I cannot feel that anything justifies ending the life of animals like this. I wept when i had to put down my 14 year old dog that couldn’t walk and refused to eat as he died of cancer. Blame falls on this guy, no excuse for the murder of these dogs.

    • foofish says:

      That’s ’cause they don’t take fetuses at the SPCA.

  33. Jimmy60 says:

    While this is a terrible and shocking story I’m afraid there are no easy solutions here. It’s all about dollars as being euthanized by a vet would have been very expensive. Dropping all these dogs at the SPCA would have caused it’s own problems. It’s unlikely the SPCA would have space. The SPCA would most likely have had to bear the expense of putting these dogs down. These are sled dogs. They don’t make good pets as a rule. I know people who own sled dog teams. There are lots around here and we have a big annual race. It’s well known that you keep your distance from these dogs. Some teams are friendly and others will chew your face off given a chance. You can’t tell which is which either. They all look smiley and happy.

    The fault lay entirely with the company, they should have contacted the SPCA for assistance. I think they really wanted it all hidden. It would be a blemish even if the animals had been humanely euthanized.

    • Pax says:

      While this is a terrible and shocking story I’m afraid there are no easy solutions here. It’s all about dollars as being euthanized by a vet would have been very expensive.

      Doesn’t fucking matter.

    • MailBoss says:

      My sister recently adopted a dog from Alaska who was a sled dog reject. After two years it was basically determined he wasn’t as “good” as the others and so they had no use for him. She brought him back from Fairbanks with her. He is a great dog… not your average Chihuahuah or poodle but a GREAT dog. And I believe that MOST dogs with the right guidance and leadership can be great dogs. “WORKING” dogs or not.

      There is NO excuse for this kind of slaughter. If the SPCA was unable to find homes for them, then so be it. But at least give them a chance!

  34. zzyzzx says:

    They should have dropped them off at some of the local Chinese resturaunts instead.

  35. Mold says:

    OMG! Women are people and citizens and have rights, while in a totally unrelated piece, dogs were shot!
    Troll Alert!
    I thank the posters for showing such kindness to the dogs. We should see if there are ways to avoid such situations. Both for the employee and the creature he loved.

  36. esc27 says:

    The specifics of how this was done (shooting the animals in front of others…) was horrible and should be punished. However, a lot of the outrage seems to be more about the number of dogs killed than the manner in which it was done. Unfortunately, that’s life. In any industry that uses animals there are times when the industry has too many and in unable to take care of them all.

    What do you think happens to lab rats when an experiment ends? Some can be used for other tasks, but many are destroyed. What do you think happened to all the lost pets after the major flood in New Orleans. Many were reunited with family, some found new homes, but ultimately, a lot had to be destroyed. Yes, this organization should have done more, kept less dogs, invested more in their care, etc. but even if they were perfect, the decrease in customers would have ultimately forced some action…

    From another angle. How many people would care if the headline was “100 roaches Slain” or for that matter “100 cows processed for burger bash”

  37. samonela says:

    Saddest Headline Ever.

  38. Papa Bear says:

    This is sickening, but I am a bit concerned for another reason. Not long ago I read an article on a different site about children in an African nation, forget the one, being forced to round up kids in a neighboring village and kill them and then watch while the mothers were raped and killed. Apparently the men were off killing elsewhere. Not one single post expressing disgust. I just wonder if the readers here are more sensitive, than those on the other site or if people, as whole, have more concern for dead dogs then dead Africans.

  39. tailspin says:

    My blood just ran cold. I can’t even imagine.

  40. romoish says:

    In the country you typically put a dog down by shooting it. It’s cheaper and quicker than other means. Ever seen Old Yeller? Of Mice and Men?

    In the neighboring town of Jourdanton, TX the city manager got in hot water for ordering the destruction of dogs by drowning them in the sewer. Now that’s uncalled for and inhumane.

  41. rydogg says:

    Man this sux, I really like dogs :( Wonder why they didn’t contact an animal shelter or animal relocation service.

    • El-Brucio says:

      Because in a large commercial enterprise like that sled dogs aren’t raised as pets. They usually live most of their lives outside so they aren’t even house-trained. And their socialization is basically limited to other dogs and being tied to a sled. Most shelters have tests they do on dogs to make sure they are adoptable and I suspect most adult sled dogs would fail it.

  42. suez says:

    What a horrible story! Nevermind the obvious outrageous nature of this story, I can’t help but wonder how else, exactly, the firm expected the dogs to be put down? Or do they not worry about the gorey details?

  43. u1itn0w2day says:

    Company: Outdoor Adventures

    Associated Companies: Howling Dog Tours

    Associated Director of company: Joey Houssian

    Location: Whistler BC

    Perpatrator: the General Manager of Outdoor Adventures Whistler

    Some notes: company says there “…are now no firearms on site…” and euthanizations in the future will be done at a vets-how nice

    The perpatrator says after about the 15th killed dog the remaining dogs became stressed and began to attack-well duh A hole

    And a downturn after the Olympics- wtf did these fracks expect

    I just hope this incident brings to light the treatment and consequences of breeding dogs for our entertainment. This disgusts more than the time I think it was National Geographic showed them dumping piles of dead greyhounds from Florida GreyHound tracks.

    W T F…

    • Jay911 says:

      Since you’re posting this clearly in an effort to spread word about the company as far as possible, I feel compelled to point out that there is another Howling Dog Tours in Canmore, Alberta. The owner of that business sold his Whistler operation to Outdoor Adventures prior to the Olympics and has had no contact with them since. He’s devastated by the news and didn’t learn about it until the media came calling yesterday – he was under the impression that OAW had changed the name of the Whistler operation as he had requested when he sold it. So now people are sending him all sorts of grief thinking he’s associated with this atrocity, when he’s not.
      Just wanted to make sure that the people here are aware of that particular part of the story.

  44. Cliff_Donner says:

    euthanize: (verb) to kill (a person or animal) painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.

    I’m not sure “euthanasia” is the correct term to describe what happened here.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      The company used the word euthanized. It also came to light that in the past when they had to ‘euthanize’ a dog in past they would take it into the woods, give the dog a meal and shoot it while eating it’s literal last meal.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Just as bad but it says here that throats were cut as well. WTF did these guys think that dogs couldn’t smell blood or have a sense of danger???


  45. YokoOhNo says:

    Execute vick then this guy…not in any particular order though!

  46. goober says:

    First thing I’ve read in a long, long while that actually make me cry.

  47. Outrun1986 says:

    So as soon as tourism picks up in an area where there are attractions like this they bring in more dogs only to dispose of them later when the profits aren’t as good?? Its disgusting that some people would use animals in this way, especially for profit. After reading this I never want to participate in any kind of tourist attraction that uses animals, this is disgusting to no end.

    I personally don’t think its right to even euthanize the animals just because a business doesn’t need them anymore. If a business brings in more animals because the tourism is good then the business has a responsibility to care for those animals or relocate them in some way when business is not as good as it was before. This is exploiting animals for profit plain and simple, which is just wrong in so many ways.

  48. duncanblackthorne says:

    I think I’m going to be sick.
    These “people” (using the term loosely here) are the ones that need to be taken out and shot. Dogs have been in a partnership with humans for untold countless thousands of years, and they trust us, and in return they serve us, they do NOT deserve to be gunned down like this. I hope everyone involved in this atrocity gets some serious jail time and are never allowed to work with or own animals of any kind, ever.

  49. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Apparently culling-the-herd is common in dog sledding as this 2007 article brings up:

    The Yukon Quest should admit that culling is part of the competitive racing world and take measures to discourage it, he said. “I mean one of the things that the Quest could do on the entry form is do a declaration – to participate in the Quest you declare that you do not practice culling of dogs,” he said.

    The race does not have a policy on culling. Quest race marshal Mike McCowan would not say whether culling is a common practice when asked about it Thursday. “It’s not our business,” McCowan said. “I mean it’s like going up to somebody and saying, ‘How do you make your bed in your own house?’ That’s not our business.”

  50. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    The Iditarod sled race starts on March 5th. Expect more scrutiny this year.


  51. The_IT_Crone says:

    He… successfully… got workers comp. I can’t deal with that. What a monster.

    • thedarkerside.to says:

      Why is he a monster? Is the guy working in the slaughterhouse a monster too? Or the farm hand that does a similar job?

      People have an odd idea about morale, doing the same thing is is both acceptable and atrocious at the same time.

      That the guy who did the job ended up with PTSD should show you that it wasn’t an easy task for him either, nor that he “enjoyed” it.

      Also, to think that this is a “one off” and “only happens in Whistler” is probably far from the truth as well.

  52. dush says:

    In all fairness culling probably happens to sheep and cows and lots of other domesticated animals.
    It could have been done in a less grisly fashion though.

  53. I just blue myself says:

    I am sick to my stomach over this…

  54. MerlynNY says:

    You know what, everyone involved should go to jail, including the guy who killed them. I’m GLAD the guy suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. I hope he carries that with him for the rest of his life for killing those animals. I also hope the company goes bankrupt and the parties involved in the killings are behind bars.

  55. synergy says:

    Agreed with Ms. Moriarty.

  56. lunasdude says:

    And here I thought the United States had cornered the market on insensitive fucking murrdering assholes.
    Guess I was wrong.
    I am not against hunting, ranching, he’ll even rodeos don’t bother me to much but this… This is just wrong on many, many levels.
    I will go home tonight and hug my dogs and cry just a little bit, they won’t understand why I cry and God help me I hope they never do.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I know it probably doesn’t matter to you since you’re all angry and stuff, but uh the United States has only been in existance for a few hundred years. EVERYONE ELSE in the world, on the other hand, has been killing and pillaging for thousands of years before that.

  57. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    After having said how un-adoptable these dogs are, I will point out that there are MANY Husky rescue organizations. There are people who know and love these dogs and are experienced in handling them. THAT should be where they take them, not a vet.

  58. synergy says:

    The comments parsing whether an animal should be killed or more easily killed etc based on their perceived intelligence (read: their usefulness to humans) is making me shake my head.

  59. tundey says:

    Regardless of your views about animals, shooting them is unacceptable.

    • thedarkerside.to says:

      How do you think slaughterhouses do it? Usually it’s a bolt to the head which doesn’t kill the animal but rather stuns it, then they get their throat cut and they bleed out and because of the line speed and because it takes some skill to correctly stun the animals it can and does happen that the animal gets its throat cut while still being conscious and aware.

      Shooting the animal into the head and destroying the brain is probably the more humane way of killing them (outside of injecting them a lethal dose of tranquilizer).

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Yes, shooting them in the head can be humane if the first destroys the brain. I highly doubt that is possible to do anywhere near a 100 times first shot. Being far enough away from the traumatized, attacking, wildly bucking animal without getting hit from bone fragments or inflicting many painful injuries instead would be near impossible. I doubt you could even hit the head even in the snout, mouth or eyes let alone the brain reliably from any safe distance.

  60. Patrick M says:

    Those poor pups

  61. lunasdude says:

    And here I thought the United States had cornered the market on insensitive fucking murrdering assholes.
    Guess I was wrong.
    I am not against hunting, ranching, he’ll even rodeos don’t bother me to much but this… This is just wrong on many, many levels.
    I will go home tonight and hug my dogs and cry just a little bit, they won’t understand why I cry and God help me I hope they never do.

  62. Kibit says:

    This just makes me sick.

  63. thedarkerside.to says:

    I’d like to point something out:

    We regularly “destroy” thousands of farm animals for just as bad a reason. Look up “Foot & Mouse disease” as one example.

    If you’re upset about 100 dogs you should be seriously upset about those animals too.

    • Genuineduck says:

      agreed. I’m not big on animal cruelty but I’m definitely anti-hypocrite, which is every single commenter pretending to be outraged. If you want to play it like you’re appalled then be consistent in your actions.

  64. madderhatter says:

    Fucking Canada. All the mushers that are going to be in the Iditarod in AK this year should mush down there and beat the holy crap out of them.

  65. sean77 says:

    Any human who can pull off such a feat is a danger to society. To develop a relationship with the dogs and ultimately kill them in the back of their heads? Why not just set them free and give them a fighting chance? Maybe at least they will become bear food, and serve a greater purpose than to become dead carcasses frozen under the ground. Shame on this guy.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      And this is an incident that was made public. Think about all the others that didn’t. Or other mass murderers floating out there like this is a normal or no big deal way to thin a herd.

      When this guy makes it to hell I’m sure he will have at least 100 friends when he makes it there.

  66. kajillion123 says:

    Maybe now that they’re killing cute widdle doggies people will finally care about how horrible The Olympics are.

  67. u1itn0w2day says:

    Here are more disgusting details which includes wounded dogs running around for 20 minutes. live dogs thrown in the pit/mass grave and throat slitting while holding/’hugging’ the dog. And this particular article seems to leave open the premise that he wasn’t told to slaughter them. But other articles say his responsibilities include herd control. I just can’t garner any sympathy for this guy because actions were repeated times 100.


    As bad as slaughterhouses might be this is no way to die for anyone or any animal.

  68. chaelyc says:

    Dear Canada,

    ur doin it wrong


    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      The rest of Canada is just as disgusted at this story. You can’t paint all of us with the same brush, y’know.

  69. tailspin says:

    When this company goes under because they lose all their business after this… what’s going to happen to the *remaining* 200 dogs? :(

  70. RubyRedJess says:

    Yet another reason I hate most people. Heartless, cruel, greedy, wastes of space!

  71. EverCynicalTHX says:

    What did they think would happen after the Olympics were gone? What kind of person disposes of animals like that? Chained up and shooting them while the others freak out. I’m not big on suing but from the description I can understand why the dude is PTSD.

  72. JeremieNX says:

    I cried when I read this story.

  73. Press1forDialTone says:

    Destory the company.
    Destory the killer.
    Don’t sit around and whine and wring hands and cry.
    This is over the top evil like many things are and we must
    deal with them in the proper way. If you mistreat and kill
    animals that you use in your business you better make
    downsizing the animals part of your little Gen X/Y business
    plan because if we catch ‘ya, you’re gonna down the same
    road as your “beloved” animals.
    Stop cruelty NOW!

  74. JonBoy470 says:

    Disgusting… Selectively inhibit this guy’s seratonin reuptake if necessary, but send him to pound-me-in-the-ass prison. And for good measure, the entire executive chain of this f*cked up outfit should do some time too, just for the sake of making an example of them.

    Perhaps the Canadian government should look into banning sled dog tours for good measure. Snowmobile tours would be more fun anyhow FTW!

  75. Admiral_John says:

    Why do I read stories like this?

    I’m gonna go hug my dogs.