By Cheryl Hanna
The 56 sled dogs slaughtered in Whistler, B.C. after the Vancouver Olympics by Howling Dog Tours general manager Robert Fawcett will be laid to rest in a solemn ceremony in Penticton early next month. According to the Vancouver Sun, Marcie Moriarty, the prevention and enforcement officer for the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (B.C. SPCA) stated the pet cemetery was chosen for its beauty.
In the worst case of animal cruelty in B.C. SPCA history, Fawcett pleaded guilty in August to causing pain and suffering to animals. From April 21 to April 23, 2010 Fawcett slit the throats, shot, wounded, and buried 100 healthy sled dogs in a cull after the 2010 Vancouver Olympic athletes and their guests went home.
It wasn’t until Fawcett applied to Work Safe BC for compensation for “post-traumatic stress” almost eight-months later that the egregious animal cruelty inflicted upon the sled dogs became international news.
As the investigation continued, a decision was made to exhume the bodies of the dogs in order to obtain the forensic evidence that would be needed to prosecute Fawcett. For months a team of forensic specialists carefully excavated the mass grave and the bodies of 56 sled dogs were recovered.
Fawcett pleaded guilty in the North Vancouver Provincial Court in August to animal cruelty by causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the dogs and faces the maximum of five-years in prison and a $75,000 fine.
The public is invited to attend the remembrance ceremony on November 2. The Facebook page of the B.C. SPCA stated:
“Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, says the remains of the animals were handled with the utmost respect and care during the investigation. ‘This was a heartbreaking case, but we hope these beautiful animals can now finally rest in peace.’
Anyone wishing to pay their respects to the Whistler dogs is warmly welcome to join the BC SPCA on Nov 2 at 2:30 p.m. or to post a message below in memory of the slain dogs.”
A new Sled Dog Code of Practice has since been instituted which includes minimum standards of care for working dogs.
Rest in peace beautiful dogs.
Read more: Examiner.com