Thursday, February 10, 2011

Animals are not disposable

Photo by Darryl Dyck for The Canadian Press

The “execution-style” mass cull of 100 sled dogs owned by Whistler-based Outdoor Adventures has sparked outrage far and wide.

The dogs were perfectly healthy and a veterinarian refused to put them down, so an employee from Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours shot them one at a time, execution style, while the other dogs watched in horrified panic.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the unnamed employee who killed the dogs came forward to report the April 2010 massacre after suffering from panic attacks and nightmares, hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder. He says he was ordered to kill the animals, part of his job description, because dog sled rides were no longer in high demand following the end of last year’s Winter Olympic Games. The employee says the grisly task was extremely difficult; he had developed strong bonds of trust and affection with the animals and had even named many of them himself. During the actual killings, many of the dogs panicked and attacked him. He ended up covered in blood as he buried the 100 slaughtered animals in a mass grave. But he couldn’t bury the memory of what he'd done.

Marcie Moriarty, who heads the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) cruelty investigations division, says she feels little or no sympathy for the shooter, as emotionally unraveled as he may be. “I’ve no doubt he has suffered post traumatic stress but there’s a thing called choice,” she told the Sun. “I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no. This is a Criminal Code offense … I don’t feel sorry for this guy for one minute.”

Moriarty also said the horrific slaughter will shine a light on the darker side of the dog sledding industry. “There is a problem with the sled dog industry in general. People see these 20 sled dogs, an idyllic setting with snow in the background and think how great. But what they don’t see is the 200 dogs tethered and sleeping out back, chained to a barrel.”
Click here to read the whole story.

And then, repeat after me:

Animals are not disposable.
Animals are not disposable.
Animals are not disposable!

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