[release]The BC SPCA simply calls it a slaughter.
A major tour operator in Whistler has admitted to ordering the killing of 100 dogs, after a post-Olympic slump in bookings of dog-sled tours.
The fallout from that calculated business decision is just beginning, with one worker diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, and a criminal investigation getting underway.
"Outdoor Adventures Whistler" ordered the killing of 100 dogs in April of last year, after a post-Olympic downturn. Worksafe BC documents obtained by CKNW say an employee has been granted compensation after developing post traumatic stress disorder for having to kill the dogs himself over a two day period.
Lawyer Cory Steinberg says the employee "..... ended up having to do it...I guess the only way to describe it was "near misses". It wasn't always a clean, one-shot kill. Inevitably he ended up seeing and having to put the end to some horrific scenes."
Steinberg speaks on behalf of the worker who doesn't want to be named.
In most cases dogs were shot more than once, or had their throats slashed before they were pitched into what is described in the documents as a mass grave. Some were still alive.
The company didn't contest the Worksafe injury claim. In fact, they even made a correction, where the worker stated he had killed 70 dogs, the company corrected and wrote he had actually killed 100.
The head of cruelty investigations at the BC SPCA says they are launching an investigation, after reviewing the Worksafe BC file.
Marcy Moriarty says they will be interested to find the mass grave mentioned in the documents.
She says this has been truly difficult to learn of, "...that description where he notes that one of the dogs he thought had been killed was crawling around in this mass grave.....honestly I had to put down the story then."
She says it's a dirty secret of the industry that so many dogs are bred purely out of greed.
Moriarty says there appears to have been breaches of the animal cruelty act in the cull and criminal charges are a possibility.
"Outdoor Adventures at Whistler" has issued a statement in response to the story.
Spokesperson Graham Aldcroft says "the events are tragic and regrettable."
He says while we were aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at "Howling Dog Tours Whistler" we were completely unaware of the details of the incident until we read them in the WCB document yesterday.
Aldcroft goes on to say while "Outdoor Adventures" had a financial interest in "Howling Dogs Tours Whistler" for four years the operational control of the company was with the employee referred to in the WCB ruling.
In May however Outdoor Adventures took control of 'Howling Dogs Tours Whistler.'
Since then Aldcroft says significant changes have been made to ensure humane treatment of the dogs and improved safety protocols of the operation. [/release]