It was an act too gruesome to think about, but hopefully there will soon be justice.
The bodies of dozens of sled dogs killed in a mass cull last April are to be exhumed over several days beginning Thursday, says the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
BC SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk on Sunday said the group had obtained a warrant to carry out the process, which is expected to take several days. Investigators had been waiting for the ground to thaw enough to allow exhumations to take place.
BC SPCA officials are scheduled to hold a press conference on Sunday that will outline the process and will conduct briefings during the week.
News of the killings broke in January, resulting in international headlines and sending shock waves through the sled dog community and the broader public.
The cull became public after media reports that the man who carried out the killing had filed a workers’ compensation claim for posttraumatic stress disorder.
Robert Fawcett, the man linked to the cull, told workers’ health and safety watchdog WorkSafeBC that he killed at least 70 dogs in April of 2010 after a slow season. The number of dead dogs was later revised to 100.
Mr. Fawcett told WorkSafeBC about “execution-style killings” in which he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them.
He then filed a claim for posttraumatic stress disorder.
The SPCA-led investigation is expected to cost as much as $200,000.
Amidst the uproar over the cull, former premier Gordon Campbell in February appointed a task force to review the killings. Following the task force’s report in March, new premier Christy Clark said B.C. would act on all of its recommendations, including certification of sled dog operators.