Dirty Jobs

Warning:  Disturbing and graphic descriptions of animal cruelty at the link.

In the course of discussion, many of us like to declare what we wouldn’t do in order to keep our jobs.  Of course, in this global economy, one might have to amend the list.  But I’m pretty sure you’d have to be one sick sonofabitch if this doesn’t make your list:

The SPCA is launching an investigation following a report that a dogsled tour company in Whistler, B.C., ordered the killing of 100 dogs when bookings slumped after the Olympic Games in Vancouver.


[Vancouver radio station CKNW] reports the dogs were either shot or had their throats slashed before being buried in a mass grave.

I’m not going to quote all the gory details but suffice to say these dogs were not shot Old Yeller style but rather suffered greatly at the hands of an unnamed employee who reportedly killed the dogs in April 2010 and later filed for the Canadian equivalent of Workman’s Comp., claiming PTSD.  After reading about how these dogs were cruelly slaughtered, I think *I* may have a claim for PTSD.  As for the guy who committed these heinous acts – he can receive his mental health treatment in prison as far as I’m concerned.

33 thoughts on “Dirty Jobs

  1. I don’t even want to know the gory details – all I can say is he can have his PTSD treated as he treated the dogs – slash his effing throat out in the cold snow, and then bury him while he’s still wriggling. SOrry to be so damned mad, I am totally non-violent, EXCEPT when it comes to shit like this. I don’t think someone like this deserves a second chance. This guy committed this atrocity, and yet Bradley Manning is wasting away in prison for being a whistleblower???? That’s some disconnect to me. Dump his body in a snowbank. When I am calmer, I might have something nicer to say.

  2. Yes, the person giving the order has be held accountable too.

    This is another reason that many animal activist do not like to see any animals USED for profit. Too many people only consider what is best for the bottom line and not the animals involved.

  3. The double atrocity here is that the shooter didn’t get help for the dogs INSTEAD of shooting them. He shot them all, then used our provincial coffers to get treatment for his PTSD. A completely heartless son-of-a-b*tch. Throw the book at him a few times.

    1. There was some mention made in one of the articles I read on this that said something like “He tried everything to rehome them”. I don’t know what “everything” entailed exactly. I imagine it’s not easy to rehome 100 sled dogs. Which is one reason I would never get 100 sled dogs. Cos I’d feel committed to them. And wouldn’t want to blow half their heads off and then chase them around in the snow one day when I didn’t have use for them anymore.

  4. There is no consolation to be had here. The only small justice we may eventually see is that jailed animal abusers are hated by the other prisoners. And, unlike pedophiles, they are not separated from the general prison population.

  5. Still not feeling more charitable, but trying really hard…Whilst the “doer” didn’t actually own the 100 sled dogs, he should have had enough brains to say no and tell the authorities. Instead, he followed orders like a good little Nazi. It didn’t hold as a defense at Nuremburg, I don’t think it should hold as one here. Sorry everyone…I’m trying.

  6. I’d like to see sled dogs, who are bred for pulling, doing it for fun not extreme competition. I think the Iditarod is too liberal with the extremes, and as we see here, they have no morals about what to do with the dogs they breed for their profit-making sport. They are no better, then, than puppy mills IMO. I am not giving ammunition to anyone – if they want to take that up with me, then let’s have it. Dogs that are bred to work should be allowed to do their work. BUT, they should not be allowed to be exploited for human entertainment and profit based on what WE have bred them to do, and they certainly should not be slaughtered like so much garbage when the money isn’t coming in. If the sled dog breeders and the Iditarod human competitors cannot stand the truth of the game, then maybe they should take a good hard look in the damned mirror. They might be surprised that if cast no reflection. Personally, I don’t give a damn right now if I do offend them. Let them try to justify the unjustifiable. Bring it on. (can you tell I am still angry…)

  7. I’d like to see sled dogs, who are bred for pulling, doing it for fun not extreme competition. I think the Iditarod is too liberal with the extremes, and as we see here, they have no morals about what to do with the dogs they breed for their profit-making sport. They are no better, then, than puppy mills IMO. I am not giving ammunition to anyone – if they want to take that up with me, then let’s have it. Dogs that are bred to work should be allowed to do their work. BUT, they should not be allowed to be exploited for human entertainment and profit based on what WE have bred them to do, and they certainly should not be slaughtered like so much garbage when the money isn’t coming in. If the sled dog breeders and the Iditarod human competitors cannot stand the truth of the game, then maybe they should take a good hard look in the damned mirror. They might be surprised if they cast no reflection. Personally, I don’t give a damn right now if I do offend them. Let them try to justify the unjustifiable. Bring it on. (can you tell I am still angry…)

    1. These are dogs used for tourist sled rides, not race dogs.

      May as well blame the racetrack when your kid’s summer camp sends the lesson horses to the canner at the end of the season.

      1. EXCELLENT analogy. Although in the horse world, there is perhaps more distance between a lesson pony and Zenyetta. (Although one of my dogs that gave a ride to the pastor’s wife and her daughter did race in lead in the Open North American Championship way back in her prime…)
        Many racers are now working to build summer tourism schemes to help keep their kennels fed and trained through the summer months. It’s perhaps better than the historical native alaskan system of turning the dogs loose for the summer to fend for themselves at fish camp?
        Another big difference is that a child rides only one horse, but to give one child a dog sled ride usually takes at least four dogs. When they put a family of four in the sled, it takes 8-10 dogs. (So bigger kennels happen faster with dogs than with horses.) Remember, these 100 dogs killed constituted just 30% of the *stock* of this operation. Sigh.

  8. well this is just horrendous.
    The article said that he had ‘euthanized (inappropriate use of the word) dogs in this fashion before- giving them a tasty meat meal and then shooting them in the head. I can’t say i completely disagree with this method. i’m assuming that because he had done it like that before (on an individual basis) is why he thought he could do it on a mass scale?

    i’m just trying to wrap my head around it

    I mean, i guess i’m glad he has PTSD- if he didn’t what kind of monster would he REALLY be?

    One of my coworkers is a Musher (an aquaintance of hers ran in last year’s Iditarod). She no longer sled races, but her lead dog is a beloved family pet even in her old age.

  9. “Retired sled dogs are notoriously difficult to place”…what does that say? PErhaps that we shouldn’t be overbreeding them, just like we shouldn’t be overbreeding ANY breed(s). It still is no excuse for doing what this jerk did. Send him to me and I’ll cure his PTSD.

    1. i’m not saying that it’s an excuse for the slaughter- just saying it’s a difficult task to take on

  10. This article in the Vancouver Sun includes photos of
    living dogs from this outfit–they’re thin from constant exercise and high metabolism but very beautiful. Thousands of dogs are also killed by the greyhound industry and the killers are only rarely prosecuted. We just hear about the greyhounds more often than the sled dogs. RCMP and BC SPCA are investigating the sled dog deaths, but the company is claiming no knowledge of how they died–their excuse is they thought the dogs were euthanized in a legal manner.
    Link to article covering investigation and possible charges–http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/sled+dogs+slaughtered+when+tourism+slumped+Report/4198087/story.html

    According to the article at that link, the shooter as well as the company may be facing cruelty charges.

    1. If teh company really thought the dogs had been euthanized by a vet properly – then they should have expected to see a large vet bill to accompany it….since they didn’t see one and are still willing to say they thought it was done “properly” then they are just full of it!

  11. Well, this one certainly hits close to home…
    Our Animal Control was going to charge people to relinquish, and many of us thought that was a bad idea as mushers (and others with many animals) would be likely to either dump their culls anonymously (with no medical records or history…which makes the animals just that much more difficult to place quickly—if at all) or they’d attempt this sort of self-service deal.
    If the purpose of Animal Control is to control the animals, then free and open admission is the way to go. But, well, there are not Animal Control facilities everywhere. (We’ve had quite a few out-of-town *donations* made by those who live far away.)
    Had this fellow brought some of those dogs to us, many of them would have died. But probably not all of them. We try…but there are those that consider working overtime to *rescue* dog musher culls is rewarding bad behavior, and sometimes I agree with them, but, well, it’s NOT the dog’s fault!
    That he could do one day of horrendous acts is bad enough. But to then begin again for a second day? I’ve no doubt that he has PTSD, and he deserves it. That, and a prison sentence too, IMO.
    Many mushers consider their dogs as livestock—working animals that serve a purpose—when they can no longer serve, they are culled. The best (as in famous or winning) mushers can easily sell or give away their culls. (Some kill the sub-standard ones to maintain their kennel reputation for excellence…some breed so selectively and carefully that even their culls are outstanding athletes.)
    Tour Companies are a great place to move “excess inventory” because they need lots of dogs to be able to provide constant and regular service. Tour dogs don’t need to be fast, or even strong! Old, slow, kind, gentle and reliable dogs can live a long and happy life doing what they love.
    But a tour company is generally the end of the line for a working sled dog. Some get adopted by tourists, but very few go back within the mushing community.
    I’ve had several rescues from tourist operations. One was a puppy sold to a tourist down in Tok. Guy figured out after 190 miles in a motorhome with an 8 week old alaskan husky pup that he wasn’t going to make it back to Colorado with the dog. That pup was adopted as a yearling by a guy in Michigan—world traveler, that dog!
    I’ve adopted out a couple of dogs to a local tour company. They adopted one of them out yet again, but I think the other is still working for them. I offer a lifetime take-back on any dog placed, but they didn’t contact me to give either of the dogs back. The only reason I knew the one had been adopted out was because they left my ID on her collar and when she got loose from her new home, the folks who found her called me!
    Racing mushers really don’t make much money. The winner might, just barely, cover expenses. But there is only one winner, and there are usually way more competitors that see little or no purse money. But EVERY team entered in every race has at least a few dogs (and often dozens of dogs) that didn’t make the team. I know very few mushers who can race with 50% of their kennel in a single team. (So if the race team is 18 dogs, figure the kennel has 36, or more like 50 dogs they maintain year round.
    My gripe is that Race Giving Organizations require microchipping for every dog in the race, but then they throw away that data at the end of the race! Race dogs become anonymous once they cross the finish line. I’ve rescued a few dogs with Iditarod or Yukon Quest microchips. But we were still unable to track their life or their history, or even their age! Why can’t they care about the dogs beyond the nine (or 15) days of the race?!

  12. There are no words to describe this it is beyond the scope of my understanding of the human mind. Just plain sick!

  13. I read the detailed description earlier today, and regret it. I tend to think of myself as pretty thick-skinned about the gory details of cruelty. Maybe notsomuch, turns out.

    “Euthanise,” huh?

    I notice that the vet refused to enable. Good for the vet.

    I am inclined to agree that there are people who earn their PTSD, however genuine it may be.

  14. It is very “nice” that there are some who USE their dogs for summer tourism. Too bad they don’t make enough money to live large…find another occupation. I know alot of farmers who consider their working dogs as stock, and if they can’t work, they simply don’t exist, or at worst, cease to. I hate it all ways around – we are talking about sentient beings here! C’mon guys, if YOU can go out to your musher kennel and do the same thing to YOUR dogs, then fine, but if you can’t, then there is NO justification for this.

    Now I’ve slept on it, I know a way out of hell for Mr. PTSD: Start up a non=profit Sanctuary for sled dogs, at least with room and play and work enough for 100 of them. And make sure that when their times come, they are HUMANELY euthanized. AND, Mr. PTSD HAS to be the one who works those long hours, doing laundry, poop patrol, petting, feeding, loving those animals. That would be a way out of hell for him.

    1. There is no justification. This should have never happened….and makes me wonder how many times stuff like this happens that we DON’T hear about because the person doing the killing doesn’t suffer from PTSD – and it probably isn’t a tourist attraction like this.

      Although I agree that we should have a nice sanctuary for this dogs who have given so much of their lives so that other people can not only profit but live in many cases. I don’t know if I’d want Mr.Murder taking care of the dogs…but I definitely think that a sled dog sanctuary needs to be founded and everyone who uses sled dogs should have to pay into it to assist in their upkeep.

      Actually, Morgana, maybe you ARE on to something…I can imagine a sled dog sanctuary would get crazy insane and maybe he should have to be responsible for them all – by himself. With people checking in on him constantly…make sure his records match the amount of dogs in his care – make sure none are ‘missing’. That’d be a hell of a lot of work for one person…but after what he did maybe that would be fair to throw his boss in there with him.

  15. What a way to wake up! I figured jump on here and see what is going on today and BOOM – this is what I find! I have to say that I hope the guy that did this does time in prison (a long time) and that the prison is good with distributing meds on a regular basis – because this guy needs to do some serious time….100 dogs dead for no reason other than they were “slow” and didn’t want to provide the care they would require. I wonder if all the people that used this company for their family fun had any idea that this happened to the dogs that raced their sleds?

    I know that there are people that actually use sled dogs as transportation and treat their dogs well. Granted I have never visited a sled dog operation – but I have read about them and know that they tend to keep about 3 times the amount of dogs they need just so they always have plenty of healthy, ready to go dogs for whatever they need them for. While I knwo people that do this for personal transportation and equate it to me driving a car…I am sure the expenses are much higher than that of a car – but unlike a car we’re talking about something that is a living breathing being. While I get it that placing unneeded sled dogs can be darn near impossible…there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this kind of stuff.

    I read where this guy ‘tried’ to palce the dogs – but let’s see if this was somethign that needed to be done – – why, oh, why didn’t they go to the media and advertise far and wide that these dogs that have lived their lives pulling sleds and are now ready to spend the rest of their lives lying peaceful at your feet in front of a warm fire. I bet there would’ve been people far and wide willing to take a dog or two to keep as pets – IF they had actually done something to place them. My guess is if anything was done it was a few calls – a vet who refused to euthanize the dogs, and quite possibly the equivalent of animal control. This guy lived amongst these dogs – was their care taker – and ultimately was their killer, yep KILLER – you read it right. There is nothing else to say about him.

    I only hope & pray that the man who did this AND his boss who put the order forth goes down BIG time! They need to completely shut down his part of this operation – and the company that purchased this “thing” needs to take over and handle this properly – and does right by the dogs.

    While I don’t completely agree with doing away with dog sledding…there are people that need dog sleds to get from point A to point B – it is their transportation…but if they abuse the dogs – go after them to the fullest extent of the law. But to use them for amusement…now we’re getting into grainy material. Yes it is probably good that retired sled dogs have a place to go – but NOT if this is how they are going to end up! I’m of two minds on this subject. One – these dogs are mainly bred to do just what they are doing. Two – there need to be checks and balances in place when dealing with anything – and sled dogs are given to being used & abused in many situations – not all, but there are situations where things happen. While I don’t know if I can say that we should ‘never’ use sled dogs – I mean, they ARE bred for a ‘job’ and as such should be respected for who and what they are & do. There is a fine line between working dogs and abusing dogs.

    Are there not laws in place governing how these dogs are used? I mean truck drivers are only allowed to drive for 8 hours in a 24 hour period – for a reason. Do they not limit the amount of time, weight loads, stuff like that? Or is dog sledding a free for all that we just tolerate because it’s always been around?

    While I am one of the people that believes the more laws we put in place the more they limit OUR rights & freedoms…but when it comes to animals we need to have rational people thinking clearly about what an animal needs and making sure they get what they need. I’m not one to get weak in the knees about stuff like this – I rescue fight dogs for goodness sakes and could tell you stories that would turn your stomach…but to slaughter 100 dogs in 2 days?!?! This guy said that he has had to do things like this before with 1 or 2 dogs…but the WAY he did it – take them for a walk – give them a nice meal – they never knew it was coming VS slicing their throats and/or shooting them right there around the rest of the pack? I can’t even begin to imagine the stress and panic these dogs went through…it’s bad enough that it happened…but to traumatize the dogs prior to their death is horrible. Makes me think about shelters that use death chambers and the dogs that dig in their heels as they are being drug to the chamber…let alone clawing to try and get their way out once they are in there and the gas is turned on. Only instead of a big chunk of metal dispell gas we’re talking about a man using his hands to slowly kill these dogs one by one.

    I am sure there is a special place in hell for this man & his boss! AND I hope that Outdoor Adventures takes over the operation of Howling Dog Tours – firing the people involved with the killing. Maybe they should look at shutting the operation down entirely and find homes for the dogs that remain so that we don’t hear another story like this in the future. RIP little doggies….

  16. I also belive that dogs who were bred to work, should be able to work, but not be exploited for human entertainment OR profit. (Read my view above). I also know that people DO use their sled dogs to get around, and that’s fine as long as abuse is NOT in the picture. No problem, that’s what they are BRED to do. This company needs to be prosecuted and this guy needs…to do what I said above. There should be an on-staff vet for that Sanctuary, and Mr, PTSD should have to do all the work himself, and live with the dogs, and NEVER EVER own a gun or knife…

  17. Canada’s federal animal cruelty laws are essentially stuck in the 1800s. Mr. PTSD will sit back in his naugahyde La-Zee-Boy nursing his slapped wrist. Watch for the slithy toves from OAW as guest panelists on Dragon’s Den.

    I do hope that Mark Holland, the Member of Parliament that has been pursuing more toothsome legislation does not give up on his Sysiphean task.


  18. I read this while at work today in The Globe & Mail. These are truly despicable, cowardly acts. All should be held accountable from the dog sled tour company to the actual killer(s). This company is the equivalent to slave labour or human trafficking, as far as I’m concerned(all are being exploited for greed)! Also, if, this person thinks he can claim PTSD, then why couldn’t he do this prior to the killings. It would be just as horrific before. I also agree with my fellow fur friends that after knowledge of this tragedy, I am suffering from traumatic stress to the nth degree and should call on the gov’t. for assistance. But I want my payment in changes in the animal cruelty laws & penalties.

  19. I read the article about the cruelty laws linked by Christine Murray…I must say it doesn’t look hopeful. It is in these instances that the people must speak out loud and clear, withold support from policymakers, name them to the media, and do ALL that they can to “OUT” the wimps who won’t stand up for compassion.

  20. Amen. Couldn’t have said it better! I was beyond disgusted at the nerve of this “victim”. This story haunted my dreams, and I pray this man is put away and that the voices of animal lovers are heard loud and clear in regard to this horrific turn of events.

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