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100 slain sled dogs to be exhumed this week

With spring’s thaw, forensic experts will begin exhumation this week of a mass grave in British Coumbia as part of an investigation into the slaughter of 100 sled dogs last year.

Details of the killings last April surfaced in January after sled dog tour operator Robert Fawcett filed a disability claim saying he suffered post-traumatic stress from shooting and slitting the throats of about 100 dogs, under orders from his bosses.

The dogs were dumped — some still alive — in a mass grave north of Whistler.

The British Columbia SPCA announced Sunday it would begin a week-long investigation aimed at finding out whether the dogs were killed inhumanely, said Marcie Moriarty, the society’s animal cruelty investigation manager.

“The scope of this investigation is unprecedented in North America,” Moriarty told The Province. “We owe it to those 100 dogs buried in that grave to ensure that this kind of tragic incident never happens again in B.C.”

Exhuming the dogs wasn’t possible until now because of frozen ground.

Eight forensic experts will take part, including veterinarians, archaeologists and anthropologists from across North America,  many of whom have volunteered their time for the effort, Moriarty said.

After the mass killing was reported, a provincial task force was formed  to review the incident, leading to recommendations for tougher animal cruelty penalties and new regulations that required the sled dog tour industry to establish humane euthanization policies.

Moriarty said all the dogs would be given a respectful and humane burial after the investigation.


Comment from Kelly
Time May 2, 2011 at 11:05 am


Comment from smoketoomuch
Time May 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

How can it possibly be anything other than “inhumane” to shoot, or slit the throats of, 100 tethered dogs in plain sight of one another and then throw them into a pit?!? And if that is the case, what is the purpose of said SPCA investigation? White wash after the fact perhaps?
The real problem here is the “disposable dog” mindset. For one reason or another these dogs are no longer useful as sled dogs (age, season, etc.), “so let’s just kill em”. Sorry, but that is just not acceptable. And a “humane euthanization policy” isn’t much better in my view, the dogs still wind up dead, …”disposed of” in other words. How about a LAW that requires commercial enterprises that use domesticated pet animals to generate profits to care for that animal for it’s natural life. I’m sure many, if not most, of those poor dogs could have been “repurposed”, in one way or another. Killing for expediency, be it by needle, gun or knife, is simply inexcusable.
And to those who would say that such a requirement would put the sled dog industry out of business I say “So be it”. (And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.)
As for Mr. Fawcett, if he didn’t suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome after committing such a heinous act he’d be a genuine Sociopath. Karma’s a bitch Mr. Fawcette, maybe you shoulda thought about that before committing mass murder.

Comment from Miss Jan
Time May 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Agree with Smoke, above. Also: “what if” it isn’t just the Slaughtered 100 that are there? What if this is an ongoing mass burial site and they find an awful lot more than 100 – in short, if mass culling is a routine part of the sled dog business (that part is supposed to be addressed by the new anti-cruelty laws, yeah when oinkers sprout usable wings) then I would hazard a horrified guess that the investigators are going to find an awful lot more dogbodies than just the Slaughtered 100. Further – anyone?? – why is the dog killer still walking around loose? Seems to me that he is likely “a danger to himself and others” given the repeatedly proven start-with-animals/move-on-to-people theory, a theory so well proven it is just generally accepted. His kids at least should be taken away – what if he decided one day they had to be culled??? He’s on a paid vacation for the PTSD he brought on himself, what’s to say he doesn’t “snap” again and take out family members???

Comment from smoketoomuch
Time May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

@Miss Jan – When this story originally broke it was said that the local SPCA did not have a problem with culling among sled dog populations because it believes that they “cannot be rehabilitated” [There are a lot of sled dog rescue groups and individual owners who KNOW this is NOT the case], it only had issues with the way in which this slaughter was carried out. (Supposedly, a local Vet had refused to euthanize perfectly health animals.)
Mr. Fawcette supposedly killed the dogs on orders from his bosses, an order he could have refused to carry out.
Are there more bodies? Of course there are. This is not an “unusual” practice, but it is certainly a disgusting one. If dog sled rides for tourists cannot generate enough income for these operators to properly care for the animals in their charge for life then perhaps there is nothing left but for them to permanently cease operations. DO NOT PATRONIZE these types of “Amusements”, and hopefully they’ll go away.

Comment from Miss Jan
Time May 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

How utterly extraordinary that upon agreeing with you, Smoke, you exhort me in “shout letters” not to avail myself of this entertainment. I expressed my utter horror at the thought that this wasn’t likely a new method of Mr. Fawcett entertaining himSELF and the fact that his spawn if not completely his clone should remove from his self-traumatized presence in order not to become so. Under no circumstances whatsoever do I ever in any manner whatsoever support any form of activity which exploits animals in any way, shape or form. That is why I feel completely qualified to make these posts because MY hands at least are clean. How ’bout yours, hmmm??? Have you ever bet the ponies? If so you are contributing to the nurse-mare nightmare and a myriad of abusive practices connected with horse racing. Ever bred a litter of pups? You are contributing to animal population. Eat meat? Duh. So don’t go suddenly deciding someone who posts must surely be “patronizing these types of amusements” ! To assume is….you know what.

Comment from Smoketoomuch
Time May 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Miss Jan – My “DO NOT PATRONIZE”comment was certainly not directed at you personally, but was rather a general statement for all readers. My apologies if you misunderstood.
The purpose of the post was only to fill in some of the facts of the case not contained in the most recent article posted here at Ohmidog.
And FWIW, I have never bet the ponies, nor bred a litter of pups (I’ve never even been to a horse or dog race, and do not watch either the Kentucky Derby or AKC dog shows on TV, and I positively LOATHE the circus). I do however, “eat meat” (as does my [spayed] dog).
Yes, I know all about assumptions.