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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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  • Carla* says:

    DebbieH, I’m Canadian and I stand with you!!

  • gkgk says:

    Please feel free to take a look and support our dogs. :) http://support.spca.bc.ca/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1040&pxfid=5470

  • gkgk says:

    Debbie H. I am also shocked and horrified at this. reading the details of the crime is still traumatic to me to say the least. However, I am Canadian and live in BC. We were more than disgusted by this company. However, I’m rather puzzled by your hateful comments. Advocating a violent hate crime here is beyond comprehension…… To the rest of the readers. Back to the real victims here, the sled dogs. This practise has been repeated in the past in winter based communites. Colorado dealt with this demon in the past as well. In BC, the bodies will be exhumed as there is a criminal investgation taking place. We all demand justice be served here in BC. With Canada’s support, indeed, the world’s support, it will happen. I searched for this on PETA to see if there was awarenss and support on this. I hope the good people here and around the world can help.

  • DebbieH says:

    No offense Canada but the brutal pup seal kill turned me off to visiting Canada a long time ago…this is just fuel on the fire! Stop the mistreatment of innocent animals have some pride!

  • DebbieH says:

    Thank God a Canadian with a conscience! Killing dogs because business is slow? What the hell is wrong with these people? OMG I am disgusted. Canada needs to re-think their stand on animals first that horrific pup seal hunt every year for fur??? Perhaps they needed husky fur as well. Sick sick sick individuals! I would kill for my husky but I could probably pass on a Canadian.

  • Nayeli Davila says:

    This Is Very Sad Please Help Those Animals That Are Dieing For Help :( Please I Support Peta <3

  • K.G.Stikkelorum says:

    These cruel people who lack common sense should be found, remove any animal from their care, and punished to the fullest ! NOW! I feel for the innocent, fun loving dogs who all they wanted was to please.Boykot..

  • grace says:

    THESE INSANE PEOPLE NEED TO BE PROSECUTED.

  • Veganman says:

    Stop using, then killing, sled dogs!

  • margarita clayton says:

    These cruel people who lack common sense should be found, remove any animal from their care, and punished to the fullest ! NOW! I feel for the innocent, fun loving dogs who all they wanted was to please.

  • Lauren Jusek says:

    What a horrific practice. These acts of cruelty should be treated as feloneous crimes.

  • Patricia Bowers says:

    Please send this PETA article to ALL YOUR Newspapers in your area! EDUCATE everyone you know so we can make these unspeakable cruelties stop. And as for mushers and the Iditarod, NO DOG would CHOOSE to run over 1,000 miles in ANY conditions, let alone the horrors of N. Alaska! Do people realize how many die, are horribly injured and/or get terrible arthritis and joint problems? These dogs are simply tools to be cruelly ruined for someone’s ego of winning a race. This has to STOP!

  • Dogdrool says:

    First of this is truly sad and all I can say is boycott Whistler BC until they build a monument in honor of these dogs. REmember there are pets and then there is working dogs at the end of the day they deserve dignity and long life. Working dogs are born to work plain and simple they love it. I use mine for search and rescue. They see their harness they are in their best of moods. I do not do this for a living so I lose money and expect it. All my dogs live long lives on average 17 yrs of age. And yes they retire when thye no longer can do the job. No I do not go club thme beat them nor do I destroy them. They are part of my family and they have served the community. Much like the Whistler 100 they served guests of the olympics and their payment was a gruesome death at the hands of morons. Joey the owner and Bob the nutbar need to face justice. The BC government has very poor laws in protecting animals and most likely these guys will get a slap on the hand. We human beings need to put pressure on teh BC government to change the laws to put a bite into cruelty of this type. Offenders must pay for their crimes. Whistler bangs their chest they had Great winter games in 2010 but fail to realize due to their negligence of not checking on the nutbar owners as a fly by night operation the dogs suffered for profit. They claim these dogs could not be adopted out is total outright BS. If the dogs did not bite or harm the tourists they provided entertainment for then why would these dogs be dangerous to place in homes. Also other tour companies offered to take them but Joey the owner wanted money for them. When his greed was not accomplished he ordered their destruction. Please help us send Bob and Joey to jail. Contact Whistler Tourisim and boycott visiting the province of BC. Thanks Dogdrool the whistler 100 need a strong voice for justice

  • Jesse says:

    Why is everyone jumping on Canada? It says in the article that it happened here in the US too. In Colorado. Shame on Canadians, but more shame on us for 1) solely telling them off and 2) ignoring the sentence in that article that blatantly says the killings were occurring here as well. And come on, not everyone in Whistler or Colorado are dog killers. Just the companies that do it. Not all dog mushers are killers either. Don’t blame an entire group of people for something that only a handful does. That’s like saying pit bulls are a bad breed because SOME pit bulls have attacked people. If that were the case, no breed would be safe enough to own.

  • Krys says:

    This is just like saying ‘Animals are useless if they can’t work for my benefit.” It’s a sick and cruel practice these people are taking part in. I feel wholly thankful to the man who filed for compensation. If he didn’t, imagine what would happen. All we need to do is take action, and all this cruelty could someday go away… someday.

  • Dan Dickmeyer says:

    So what is PETA going to do about it. This industry needs to be HIGHLY regulated

  • KADM says:

    What they did is wrong and so many ways however this is far from the norm for mushers! I have ” sled dogs” and know lots of people who also do and they are treaded like family, they well looked after. Don’t think that people who do tours are all bad, it is an wonerful experance to go sleding, just check first into the people who own the dogs. When my dogs stop running they will get to enjoy retirement along side of the pups, beign loved and enjoyed.

  • Hanny says:

    I cannot believe how rude people are to Canada, do you not think the same things go on in America in regards to animals + all the obesity? You guys have your own problems dont worry about ours.

  • Myia says:

    Well thats just sad to know that this is what people actually do. Thats like sayin since this human isn’t strong, or is sick, or just is hated…then lets kill him/her. Makes no sense to me. I have a dog and i love him to peices. I dont see how anybody would mistreat a dog in the 1st place. I love ALL animals. And plan to have a bunch when i get older. But for now i have no words for what the people are doing in this workd today I check P!nk’s twitter daily and read across the tweet about this.So follow me at twitter.com/PINKrocksDUH

  • Roni Nakulski says:

    Does anyone have Sarah Palin’s email address? Since she is an avid dog sledder maybe she would adopt them? Maybe not she might want to take a shot them herself…Somebody help these dogs pleeeeease!!

  • Jessica Harrison says:

    What do these people think gives them the right to breed these animals for they’re “sport” and as if it’s not bad enough what they endure..they brutally kill them when they’re of no use to them. SICK! And they claim to love their dogs. Such BS!!!

  • Lunar Canine says:

    the SPCA is looking into it probly so they can see if they can incorporate some of the techniques when I worked at the SPCA we killed 30 to 50 dogs a week for lack of room in the “shelter”

  • shemmy4215 says:

    wow how can one shoot a dog all they want is to be loved what comes around gos around maybe they will go to jail they say bubba is a big dog lover hes got somthing for ya

  • Laurence Burris says:

    I wonder if a program can be set up to adopt unwanted sled dogs… like what they do for greyhounds who can’t race. Killing those dogs the way they do sickens me. We got to do something.

  • James Houtman says:

    I also own Huskies and am shocked that this is considered “common practice”. Especially considering it happened in my home town. I hope Michael Vick’s cell is still open……

  • Paris says:

    Why is everyone blaming Whistler and saying they will never visit there? How is it fair to lump in the people who run the shops, restaurants, and ski resorts there with this company? This is the fault of ONE COMPANY not an entire community. People need to stop placing the blame on people who don’t deserve it. Whistler is an awesome place and there are protests going on daily to get justice for these dogs. Punishing the people of Whistler for something that one cruel company did is just incredibly ignorant.

  • BAHARAK GHAHRAMAN says:

    STOP THAT!

  • Canadian says:

    Of course what happened is horrible, but I can’t help but find it hilarious how Americans have the sense of entitlement to scorn Canadians over this. We should hang our heads in shame? Really? You’re not going to visit our country anymore? It’s absolutely unreal and staggering how stupid and ignorant some people are. Stop being delusional, and take accountability for your own country once in a while.

  • alan says:

    I recently read the full story, as explained by the employee, and let me tell you my stomache ached as I read the details. Absolutely sad & sickening. Why didn’t he say He** NO I won’t to it.? OAW should be fully prosecuted for this tragedy.

  • David Thompson says:

    I am so blown away with what happened in Whistler. The olympics held in Whistler should will be remembered as the Olympics where the killed all the dogs. The people of Whistler should hang their heads in shame. I am a avid skier who will never go there again

  • Maria Kegel says:

    My mom, who lives outside Vancouver, told me this appalling news when I called her today. She said people there were shocked and outraged over the massacre, adding that it was the biggest news at the moment. This man needs to be charged and punished to the full extent of the law in order to set an example for others to learn by. The fact that he sought compensation for his crime is pathetic indeed. A friend from the UK I shared this sad news with pointed out that the perpetrator would have committed these killings in front of the other dogs, heightening their fear and torture before their grisly end. In his claim for cash, this man said the animals were with their heads blown off, half crawling. How many dog owners would love to have just five minutes alone with this guy? The tourism departments in the area are scrambling to make amends by offering people their money back. Let’s hope people take them up on it and that residents follow through with the threat to picket the business’ storefront. Shame is not enough, but bankruptcy or closure due to a ban of dogsled businesses is. Stick it to them where it counts – in the wallet. They were in it only for money, so let them lose their shirts over it. The fact that this is not an isolated event is disturbing in itself. Thank you for calling attention to the sad plight of sled dogs and the terrible fate that awaits them after they have selflessly given their lives to serve people.

  • Willette Balsamo says:

    Thanks to PETA for posting this news. I emailed yesterday distraught after reading the article. I’m still sick about it. I look into my own dogs’ eyes and can’t imagine what kind of horrible sub-human could shoot them! And then he had the nerve to file for workman’s comp. I say prosecute that company and put that guy in jail. Hope Canada does the right thing!!

  • Teija says:

    It’s a tragedy for sure, but please don’t make generalizations about dog-sled mushers. Cruelty is a choice, it is not “inherent” to dogsledding.

  • Agnieszka Markiewicz says:

    Killing those great dogs is inhuman,after they took part in Olimpics people should care about them… ,if they do not want them or can not have them they should find a good,loving place for them where these dogs could feel good.

  • ntpontpo says:

    was deeply grieved at the news.

  • John says:

    The rest of those dogs need to be rescued from those people before the same happens to them. That company is evil.

  • Chris says:

    This is where PETA go wrong, they tend to blame everyone for the same thing, i run sleddogs and have traveled to other countries and lived on properties with up to 125 dogs and i can say i have never seen one miss treated. I am not saying that it does not happen because , there are arseholes in the world.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lien Wen was deeply grieved at the news.

  • Irene Leggett says:

    Why should that employee think they are entitled to compensation? In my eyes, he’s nothing more than a paid murderer. If the company wasn’t so interested in money, money, money surely the dogs could’ve been rehomed or at the very least, be given a humane death with an injection, but as greed is foremost, I suppose that would have cost too much. I also understand that some dogs were still ALIVE when put into the mass grave. Instead of compensation and profit, the company and employee both deserve to be punished and the business boycotted.

  • Roger Woudsma says:

    I posted this onto my site expecting to hear others disgust by this. Not a peep. I hear more disgust when it comes to thorough breds being sold for meat in the States. That to is unimagineable by itself, but an animal is an animal, no matter if it be an elephnat or a cat. This really irks me to no end how this goes on as if it is just another day with no incidnet. Ok law makers, let’s get to work on toughening the laws on cruelty to animals.

  • Hilda says:

    I find this very disturbing and unecessary those poor innocent animals were killed for dumb entertainment reasons…. It’s, I’m speechless, if they find them useless people out there wouldn’t mind taking care of animals why kill.. Makes me very upset and words cannot come out clearly.

  • Mike Onieu says:

    Christa Turnell, don’t get too smug, especially if you are an American. Your country is no better.

  • Kelly says:

    This is a time to get tough on animal cruelty laws, esp in animal industries like dog-sledding – yes, not all dog sledding operators dont do this, but lots of smaller companies are selling out to big greedy companies like Outdoor Adventures – and this happens. Speak up and make a change instead of pickering back and fourth. Sign a petition and check out facebook site support justice for the 100 slaughtered sled dogs of whistler for the link. Write a letter to local MLA and keep watch on animal abuse!

  • Heather says:

    I realize there are millions of dogs in shelters and without homes but I still don’t understand why their first and only option in mind was to kill the “useless” dogs. Why not put them up for adoption? I would have absolutely saved a few and adopted them in an instant and I’m sure there are plenty of other people who would do the same.

  • Jennifer says:

    I had NO idea this happened either. Wow. I’m truly disgusted. I know probably not all mushers would do this, but it proves that it DOES happen.

  • OR says:

    Why isn’t this on the news? Why isn’t the Today or the Early Morning Show talking about this? They were all over Whistler when the Olympics were there, extolling the virtues of Canadian winter sports! And in April, when the tourist season after the Olympics was over, and this company executes by slitting throats and shooting them pointblank – nobody is covering it?! International SPCA is “investigating”, but animal cruelty officers in that region have zero budget to do any work, and at most this monster will receive is a few years in jail and a fine! It’s another Michael Vick and Canada doesn’t care. Shame.

  • Melissa says:

    they belong in prison!!!

  • Heart broken says:

    In times such as these I am ashamed to be in the tourism industry

  • rhonda says:

    I have been involved in animal welfare in Vancouver for 15 years. Also a long time Peta member. I have seen and heard of many animal abuse stories. This latest one in Whistler has so shocked me to my core I dont e6ven know how to mentally deal with it. To know that this employee followed orders to shoot the dogs and never thought to go to the spca or police and now is collecting disability on my tax dollars is profoundly offensive. I want to create outrage. The laws will slap the employee and employer on the hand. Possibly a fine. Its sickening animals are nothing but property to dispose however the ‘owner’ chooses. Above all, why does the public allow this to happen……

  • Izabela Barszczewska says:

    I am sick just thinking how people are so crule !

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