Who to believe, I don’t know. Let’s hope this gets settled soon.
BY SAM COOPER, THE PROVINCE
BC SPCA’s head animal-cruelty investigator Marcie Moriarty says she’s “livid” over reports the SPCA “rebuffed” attempts to “place” dogs from a Whistler tour operator who slaughtered 100 animals in the post-Olympics downturn.
On Wednesday The Vancouver Sun reported “the 38-year-old employee of Outdoor Adventures who killed 100 sled dogs in Whistler approached the BC SPCA on two separate occasions asking for its help in finding adoptive homes for some of the company’s dogs and both times he was rebuffed.
The report comes in the context of an international media firestorm surrounding the sled-dog cull, after documents from WorkSafe B.C. revealed a man claimed he suffered post traumatic stress because of the slaughter, and was granted compensation.
Gory details in the claim — including the man’s account of a killing field that saw a bloody frenzy of wounded, frightened dogs, eventually dispatched by bullets and knife slashes in a mass grave — have led to a joint criminal investigation by the B.C. SPCA and RCMP.
Moriarty says the first meeting with the Outdoor Adventures employee, who she identified today as Bob Fawcett, took place May 28 — long after the cull happened on April 21 and April 23, 2010.
“Bob … indicated during that meeting they had reduced numbers of the herd. We had no idea of this before,” Moriarty said. “And, interestingly enough, there is a flurry of email activity from Joey Houssian in July with the BC SPCA. Well, hmm. Wouldn’t that coincide with when he found out this whole WorkSafe BC claim was happening?”
Moriarty said she found it interesting that Houssian seemed to “proactively” be asking for adoption help for his company’s herd of sled-dogs after the cull in April.
She added the SPCA has always maintained it is difficult to find adoptive homes for sled dogs because of the way they are raised and kept on tethers.
She also said it is not uncommon for sled-dog tour operators in Canada to complete large culls.
She questioned the fairness of sled-dog companies profiting from the use of dogs and then expecting the SPCA to complete euthanizations.
Company owner Joey Houssian has not responded to a number of interview requests from The Province.
Meanwhile, graphic Internet posts by Bob Fawcett — the man who was compensated by WorkSafe BC for debilitating effects from the “execution-style” slaughter of the dogs — provide more insight into his understanding of the business reasons behind the cull.