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Dogs Killed When Dogsled Business Slows

Written by PETA | July 26, 2011

Update: The British Columbia SPCA has issued a gut-wrenching report about finding the decomposing bodies of the approximately 100 dogs who were dumped in shallow graves after being stabbed and shot at a failing dog-sledding operation. Read more here.

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A company that operates dogsled tours of Whistler, British Columbia, reportedly killed 100 dogs last year when business slowed after the Vancouver Olympics. The killings came to light after an employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler filed a claim for compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder that he says he suffered as a result of being told to shoot dozens of dogs or cut their throats and then dump them in a mass grave. The British Columbia SPCA is investigating and calling for a criminal investigation.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Mushers routinely abandon, shoot, bludgeon, or drown dogs when they become ill, don’t run fast enough, or are simply unwanted. In 2005, it was revealed that the largest dogsled tour operation in the U.S., Krabloonik Kennel in Aspen, Colorado, was shooting and killing as many as 35 dogs every year. A Krabloonik employee defended the killings, saying, “This is part of the circle of life for the dog-sled dog.”

The deaths of these dogs serve as a tragic reminder never to patronize dogsled tour operations. With the Iditarod coming up, be sure to tell everyone you know about the cruelty inherent in dogsledding.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Kady says:

    Darkone, I heard about this story months ago, and I can tell you that I cried desperately. I am vegan and the well being of animals is my top priority and what I am most passionate about. Which is why I got so offended being grouped into the same category as the horrible people that did this. I have a Siberian Husky, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. This incident hurt me on a personal level…

  • emilyrose669 says:

    I am an american and i for one dont think anyone in my country has any room to judge Canadians. every country has laws that allow cruelty to animals and america has many and i find it sick ….. canada is a very peaceful country and american has no reason to disrespect them. killing animals because they are no longer wanted is sick … they are not our lives to take so many people think they own the world and can do with it what they want…. sickening

  • Cecilia says:

    All these discusting events should be made to the media, and loud to Congress. Remind Congress we are the one’s who vote for them. They have to change this cruel act.

  • Darkone says:

    thinks perhaps Kady has missed the point if thats all he/she gets upset about in this article. You are correct – generalizations should not be made, but that I’m afraid, pales into insignificance given the actual subject of the article.If, after reading that you get more upset about patriotism , than the story itself, you are actually weakening your own case.

  • Michele says:

    I am Canadian, and for the most part am proud to be one. However, when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare, Canada is one of the WORST offenders. We have bear hunts for stupid British guard’s hats worn for decorative purposes only, we are legally allowed to bludgeon or shoot hundreds of thousands of seals every year, our animal cruelty laws are just barely starting to catch up with this millenium, we have the completely cruel and unnecessary Calgary Stampede, we have coyote hunting contests (in Ontario, where it is actually illegal to hunt for prizes, but where our Ministry of Natural Resources turns a blind eye), we have horrific zoos like the Bowmanville Zoo that rents out its elephant for circuses, and the Toronto and Calgary zoos where animals are dying all the time – and the Toronto zoo was recently voted in the Top 10 worst zoos in North America. And now it is out that our country has no problem with dog sled races that are cruel and just so unnecessary. Even China has just banned wild animal acts, as has most of South America.

  • audrey says:

    I’m pretty sure there would be a lot of people out there willing to adopt a running partner. :)

  • serena vann says:

    I also heard that that big race in Alaska killed their dogs or left them to fend for themselves. They ruin it for the legitimate mushers!

  • Kady says:

    I am a Canadian, and I take serious offense to making a generalization that Canada as a whole are heartless and cruel to animals. If you want a generalization, here’s one for you, Americans are completely ignorant. Canada is one of the friendliest countries in the world, and just because there are a few bad people here, (like there are everywhere in the world) don’t write off the whole country, or you really are ignorant.

  • amerie says:

    im so sick and tired of hearing about stupid people hurting helpless animals! No wonder mankind is practically shot to hell, because people like that have caused a world of torment for creatures that have been here way longer than we have. God punishes all even those who know about the torments and dont do anything about it. Debbi h ir right, and defiently right about not visiting canada due to the seal hunt. How could anyone even have the courage to kill an animal that is looking at you with the most sincer eyes knowing that your there to end their lives in an unethical way. the tortures and tormenters and murders of all animals will be judged and when their day comes I hope you dont beg for forgiveness!!!!!!

  • Jessica says:

    Yes this is terrible, but everyone stop attacking Canada. You can’t tell me other countries don’t have their share of sick and disturbing stories of killing animals. Don’t get mad at the whole damn country. I am Canadian and an animal rights activist, so not all Canadians are horrible.

  • Brenda Armour says:

    When I read the report on CBC I was sick and shocked. As a Canadian I was pleased that British Columbia spared no expense to investigate this mass killing. Now hoping for prosecution for the monster who did this. I hope these 100 have justice.

  • Stevey says:

    Me again. I just want to say that there is no doubt in my mind that dog sledding is enjoyable to both musher and canine, as long as it is done properly and there is mutual respect between both parties. There is a line between sport and abuse and I believe mushers are aware of it. Sad to here that some are ok with it…

  • Stevey says:

    my question is this: don’t they have shelters or homes to bring retired dogs to? There must be some organization that takes these pooches in after they have been discarded and have no further ‘value’ in the sled dog world. Just sayin…

  • jaymax says:

    I am Canadian…the Queen allows for destruction of bears for her guards hats, seals are not protected at all, animals are disposable in the minds of many without conscience or recourse to such actions = despicable! USA closed horse slaughter>Canada accepts these horses & they get shipped here…CANADA MUST DO RIGHT BY THE MAX – not a little, not it’s going to change…NOW!!!

  • Ashley says:

    Before a report of this man’s claim for compensation showed up in the news I had no idea that sled dogs were treated so terribly. This makes me especially sick because I used to have a husky. I had her for 16 years so I know first hand how intelligent and enchanting they are. So beautiful and silly and full of personality. They just love everyone they meet. An industry that uses and destroys them, especially with such cruelty, needs to be abolished. No good person could treat animals this way.