The man who, by his own count and admission, killed at least 70 sled dogs — some of which lingered in pain after he shot and slashed them — was sentenced to three years probation yesterday in British Columbia.
Robert Fawcett, 40, said the sled dog tour company he managed in Whistler ordered the cull, which came to light after Fawcett filed a workmen’s compensation claim stating that carrying out the orders had caused him post traumatic stress disorder.
As part of an investigation, 54 dogs were unearthed and examined, though estimates were that as many as 100 were involved.
Yesterday, Judge Steve Merrick ruled that Fawcett had the “best interests” of the dogs at heart when he culled the pack near Whistler after a slump in business following the 2010 Olympic Games, the Globe and Mail reports.
Fawcett was not charged with killing the animals — that’s, unfortunately, legal — but with “causing unnecessary pain and suffering” to nine of the animals, namely those that lingered after he wounded them, and, in some cases, were thrown into graves before they died.
Graphic testimony at Thursday’s hearings left some in tears, and Judge Merrick’s ruling was slammed by the British Columbia SPCA.
Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the BC-SPCA, said Fawcett “basically walked away,” and, through his injury claim, “he was paid taxpayer dollars in compensation for committing the crime.”
“We put forward strong evidence that animals suffered, and that this occurred over a few days,” Moriarty said. “When you look at other animal-cruelty cases in Canada … I think the sentence here is not reflective of what Canadians feel.”
The defense recommended no jail time for Fawcett, who they noted was carrying out orders when he began culling the herd at Howling Dog Tours, the owners of which had put an “absolute freeze” on spending.
In a statement, read in court, Fawcett described killing Susie, who was the mother of his family’s dog. He described what he called “execution-style” killings, in which he wrestled some of the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them. He described one dog who survived the first bullet, and how he had to climb into the grave in which he had tossed the dog to finish the killing.
“I will never stop feeling guilty for the suffering that the dogs endured that day. I feel like part of me died with those dogs,” Fawcett’s defense lawyer, Greg Diamond, quoted his client as saying.
The defense supplied a list of 30 character references to the judge that described Fawcett’s dedication to the dogs.
The prosecution didn’t push for the maximum sentence — five years in prison — and noted Fawcett had no criminal record. Crown lawyers emphasized that he was charged in connection with the suffering of only nine of the dogs, not with the mass euthanization.
“Many dogs suffered from the reckless acts of Mr. Fawcett. However, it’s important to bear in mind that he has not been convicted of and is not being sentenced for euthanizing sled dogs generally,” said Crown lawyer Nicole Gregoire. “This is not a sentencing of the sled dog industry, or a discussion of the morality of the euthanization of sled dogs. The fact is that whether the court and the public like it or not, it is lawful to euthanize animals.”
The killings occurred in April, 2010. The bodies of the dogs were exhumed, after the ground thawed, in May, 2011. They were reburied at a memorial ceremony earlier this month.
(Photo: By Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, british columbia, buried, canada, charges, claim, company, compensation, cull, dogs, euthanasia, exhumed, howling dog, investigation, pain, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, probation, robert fawcett, sentence, shot, slashed, sled dogs, spca, suffering, three years, touring, tours, whistler, workers, workmens
Firefighters rushed the dog — named Ethan — to an animal hospital, where he is recovering, according to the Associated Press.
Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal association in Charleville-Mezieres, 125 miles northeast of Paris, said the dog was dug up by a pedestrian who noticed the ground wiggling along a lakeside pedestrian path.
Veterinarian Philippe Michon said when firemen brought the terrier to his office “he was completely cold, he was barely breathing.”
Michon used hot water bottles to warm up Ethan’s body and hydrated him with intravenous fluids. Within 24 hours, he was back on his feet. The vet said convulsions from being poisoned may have been what led to his grave being noticed.
Ethan was identified through a microchip that also revealed he’d been buried alive on his third birthday.
His owner told police he had given the dog away earlier, but police are continuing their investigation.
(Photo: Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal protection association, holds Ethan at Ligue Interet a la Societe et de l’Animal; Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, animals, buried, Charleville-Mezieres, dog, dogs, dug, ethan, france, grave, ground, jack russell terrier, Ligue Interet a la Societe et de l'Animal, moved, pets, Philippe Michon, poisoned, recovering, rescued, Sabrina Zamora, saved, shovel, unearthed
The poisonings are similar to those attempted last year at Tarheel Tamaskan, a Tamaskan dog breeder outside of Elizabeth City, N.C.
In that case, the parents and two siblings of Tuffy survived.
Last week, five dogs were poisoned, again using bowls of fish doused in antifreeze that were buried in the animals’ owners’ yard, according to FoxSports.
Two of the dogs, including Tuffy’s father, were euthanized this week, according to Tarheel Tamaskan’s Facebook page.
Tuffy’s mother died in October after choking on a sock.
No charges have been filed, in either the year-old case or the recent one, but police say they have some leads.
Pasquitank County Sheriff Randy Cartright said officers found fingerprints on a buried dog bowl, and that they suspect the same person or group commited both crimes.
The owners of Tarheel Tamaskan, John and Christina Bannow, weren’t available for comment.
After ingesting the poison, the dogs were taken to Chesapeake Animal Hospital in Virginia, but were later transferred to Greenbrier Emergency Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where Tuffy’s father, Blaze, and his 6-month-old cousin, Nusia, were put to sleep.
The other three poisoned dogs returned home Monday evening and are expected to recover.
N.C. State, though it had used costumed humans for mascots, switched to a live dog in 2010 at the suggestion of athletic director Debbie Yow. A Tamaskan dog was chosen because it most resembles a wolf.
(Photo of Tuffy by Peyton Williams / North Carolina State Athletic Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, antifreeze, blaze, bowls, breeder, buried, college, dogs, father, fish, investigation, mascot, mascots, nc state, north carolina, north carolina state university, Pasquitank County, pets, poisoned, siblings, tamaskan, tarheel tamaskan, tuffy, wolfpack
The photo above shows Scott Dunn of Marietta, Georgia, burying his dog Duncan, a boxer who died after waking his master and allowing him to escape from his burning house.
It was taken by John Spink, a photographer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whose coverage of the story has prompted many offers of assistance for Dunn.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says offers have come from as far as Washington to help the man, who lost all his possessions, including the boxer that he called the “best dog in the world.”
Dunn’s dog woke him during the blaze, and they ran out of the house together. During the confusion, though, the dog ran back inside and when Dunn tried to rescue him he was beaten back by the smoke and flames.
The story seems to have touched the hearts of many.
“I breed boxer puppies, and I know that they are the perfect family dog, and more,” wrote a man from Iowa. “This story goes to show how much they care for the ones that take care of them. I would like to offer this fella a pup, free of charge, if and when he is ready for one.”
Two other readers wrote the AJC saying they would like to purchase a new dog for Dunn, and another offered his own 6-week-old puppy.
“I am not wealthy by any means, but it would be a good gesture to give to someone who needs a hand,” wrote a woman from Washington. “I have no family, just my four-legged family, and they are the very best and mean the whole world to me.”
The AJC says it will be putting all of the readers who have offered assistance in contact with Dunn.
(Photo: Scott Dunn, after burying his dog, Duncan, in his back yard; by John Spink, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ajc, animals, atlanta journal-constitution, awakened, awoke, boxer, buried, burying, dog, dogs, duncan, fire, georgia, help, house, john spink, marietta, offers, outpouring, pets, photographer, saved, scott dunn
More than 400 people gathered in Alabama last week to pay their last respects to Bo, a black and tan coonhound whose family traveled 300 miles to bury him at the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery.
Bo, the 2008 Purina Outstanding Show Dog of the Year, was eulogized for his ability to hunt raccoons, his unfailing nose and his ability to speedily navigate all terrains. But it was probably as a friend that he made his biggest impact.
Bo, whose full name was Shawnee Hills Beaujolais, lived in southern Illinois. But he was buried Thursday at the world’s only cemetery dedicated to hounds who hunt raccoons.
It was Ericka who insisted he be brought to Alabama for burial, according to the Times Daily in Florence, Alabama.
As her grandfather, Michael Seets, explained it, he brought Bo to his home in Illinois in 2007 to help train him for dog shows and hunting for his owner, who lived in Georgia.
While Bo was an attentive student, he also liked to spend time with Ericka, laying in bed, eating doughnuts and watching cartoons on television.
Because of Ericka, Seets made an exception to his rule of never letting dogs into the house. And when it came time to return the dog to his owner, Ericka, 3-years old at the time, said no.
“I said we’ve got to take BoBo home,” Michael Seets said. “She said, `no, BoBo’s mine.’ I thought, `Now ain’t this something.”‘
Seets said that when he explained to the owner about how the hunting dog had become a house pet, and the connection between Bo and Ericka, the owner gave them the dog.
Two years ago, the Seets learned about the Key Underwood Memorial Coon Dog Cemetery from a friend in Pennsylvania who had a dog buried there. They watched a video of the service, and Ericka decided then that Bo would be buried there when his time came.
“Bo was a good dog. This is the place you bury a good dog,” said Michael Seets, who lives in Stonefort, Ill.
“We’ve had other good dogs, and when they died, we buried them behind the barn or beside a tree. But Bo was special because Little Red (Ericka) loved him so much.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alabama, animals, black and tan, bo, burial, buried, coon dog cemetery, coonhound, death, dogs, ericka seets, eulogy, florence, friends, hunting, key underwood, memorial, michael seets, pets, raccoons, shawnee hills beaujolais
A sheriff’s deputy in Ohio County, Kentucky, was fired yesterday after allegedly beating an injured dog with a garden hoe — apparently in an attempt to put her out of her misery.
The dog, thought dead, was then buried, only to resurface a few days later — alive.
Ohio County Sheriff David Thompson informed Deputy Randy Taylor of his termination shortly before a news conference Tuesday morning, according to this report from WEHT
Thompson — despite reports that quote Taylor as saying he beat the dog because it “wasn’t worth the bullet” — said he didn’t think Taylor’s intention were cruel.
“Obviously Mr. Taylor is very disappointed,” said Thompson. “He’s very sorry about the situation. His intent, which I believe, probably was never to punish the animal or be cruel to the animal as such.”
Deputy Taylor had been suspended with pay over the June 28th incident, in which sources say a state transportation worker noticed an injured dog, apparently struck by a car, and called for a deputy.
When Taylor arrived, he allegedly began beating the dog with a garden hoe. The dog was then reportedly taken back to the garage and buried under a mound of dirt.
Several days later, the dog was discovered to still be alive. A transportation worker has also been fired in connection with the incident.
Sheriff Thompson said that Muhlenberg County Attorney Darris Russell is being brought in as a special prosecutor to review the case due to a conflict of interest in Ohio County.
While most news reports don’t mention whether the dog is still alive, a Facebook post indicates she is, and that she has been named Chance.
“I was fortunate to see ‘Chance’ today and I was truly shocked. Although they said she looked a hundred percent better, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I bent down to be close to her and she took a minute to find me. I believe her sight is gone in one eye and it looks like she might have trouble getting in focus. As soon as I got close, she gave me a kiss.
“Her little body is beaten, but her spirit not broken. She is very underweight and has multiple large dents on the top of her head where she was hit. They got her up for me to see and she cried very badly for a few seconds. She is really sore after all this (as to be expected).
“As I was there, the vet showed me something that I could not believe. She has a bullet lodged in her hip where she has been shot in the past. This is not made up and if I hadn’t seen it, well, let’s just say she gets more beautiful by the moment. As soon as she is out of danger of being exploited, I will post a picture for all to see. I for one, appreciate the overwhelming care that you all have shown for this helpless, wonderful dog.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abuse, alive, beat, beaten, buried, car, chance, cruelty, david thompson, deputy, dog, facebook, fired, garden hoe, hoe, injured, kentucky, misery, news conference, not worth a bullet, ohio county, randy taylor, resurface, sheriff, struck, survived, survives, suspended, video
– Ventura Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sharon Troll
Pvt. James Sumner, an 1860s Army hero who was awarded the Medal of Honor, is buried beneath what is now a popular dog park in Ventura, California — and there’s an effort underway to have him scooped up and moved to a ”more respectful” resting place.
Sumner, who was awarded the nation’s highest military honor by Ulysses S. Grant for gallant actions after a band of Apaches kidnapped a settler’s child, died in 1912. He’s one of about 3,000 people buried in what was formerly St. Mary’s Cemetery.
“Talk to any veteran, he will tell you it is a terrible thing. It’s disrespectful,” said retired Marine Sgt. Craig “Gunny” Donor, who served two tours in Vietnam and is determined to get the soldier’s remains moved. “I’m trying to get him moved to Bakersfield National Cemetery. He needs to be moved to a place of respect. Cemeteries are solemn places.”
Others say graveyards don’t necessarily need to be grave places — that adding a little life to the cemetery hurts no one, and some go so far as to say that maybe it’s appreciated by the departed.
Though thousands are buried there, only a few dozen markers remain at the 7-acre Cemetery Memorial Park.
Ventura city leaders have so far balked at moving Sumner, saying the park is well maintained and gravesites aren’t being damaged. “We are treating him pretty darn well, except for the poop,” Parks and Recreation Commissioner Sharon Troll told the Ventura County Star.
The commission voted July 21 to postpone for two months Donor’s request to unearth Sumner.
Other cities look a little less kindly on allowing dogs in cemeteries. Concord, New Hampshire, recently passed an ordinance that bans them.
Donor, who lives in Fontana and is a state captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle club that honors fallen veterans, expects the fight to wind up in court. “He has no family, no one else to stand up for him, except for his brothers and sister in arms,” Donor said.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, army, buried, california, cemeteries, cemetery, craig donor, dog park, dogs, grave, graves, graveyards, gunny, hero, james sumner, medal of honor, parks, pets, rebury, recreation, respect, resting place, sharon troll, ventura, veteran, veterans
In 1973, Stanley Marsh 3, with help form a San Francisco artists’ collective known as the Ant Farm, partially buried ten used Cadillacs in the ground — head first, with their hind ends jutting into the air — at his ranch just west of Amarillo.
Collectively, the Cadillacs, ranging in model years from 1948 to 1963, were meant to represent the “Golden Age” of American automobiles.
Tourists — at least those with an appreciation for offbeat — have been dropping by ever since, and in more recent years, they’ve been adding their own touches, with spray paint, which by now, is probably an inch or so thick.
For a while, the cars displayed their original paint jobs – but it didn’t take long before people started scratching in their initials, or painting their names on the cars, or, worse yet, breaking their windows and stealing their innards, like radios and speakers.
Marsh has no problem with the public input. “We think it looks better every year,” he has been quoted as saying.
In 1997, as Amarillo spread, the Cadillac Ranch was dug up and reburied about two miles to the west. Marsh insisted that, in addition to the cars, the old site’s trash — spray cans mostly — be gathered and spread at the new location.,
In 2005, the Cadillacs were painted pink in a tribute to breast cancer victims. Since then, every conceivable color has been added, and the number of spray paint cans littering the site has grown.
Cadillac Ranch is not to be confused with Carhenge, in Alliance Nebraska, where Jim Reinders sought to duplicate Stonehenge — only with 38 junk cars. It opened in 1987.
Our stop at Cadillac Ranch was a quick one. Dozens of visitors were coming in and out, across the dusty pasture in which it sits, many of them having added their mark with spray paint. Some bring their own, some just find leftovers in the spray cans that litter the site.
It was extremely hot, and Ace was only interested in two things — finding some shade and, of course, leaving his tag on the monument. Anything that rises out of the ground, as Ace sees it, is fair game.
Dogs, you see, were the original graffiti artists — making their marks, claiming their turf, spraying, so to speak, long before the first human picked up an aerosol can.
Ace’s tag will remain, invisibly, at Cadillac ranch, probably for longer than most of the graffiti that was being added earlier this week — noticed only by future dogs who take the time to sniff.
They, being fellow dogs, will recognize the work of a true artist. Brilliant, they will think to themselves … ahead of his time … groundbreaking.
Then they will pee on his pee.
(“Dog’s Country” is the continuing tale of one man and one dog spending six months criss-crossing America)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, amarillo, america, buried, cadillac ranch, cadillacs, cars, dog's country, dogscountry, graffiti, mark, ohmidog!, ranch, road trip, roadside attractions, spray paint, stanley marsh, stanley marsh 3, tag, tagging, texas, tourism, travel, traveling with dogs, turf
Cesar Millan says he plans to build a temple to his deceased pit bull, “Daddy,” and bury the dog’s ashes there, on the highest point of his California ranch.
In an interview with People Pets, the star of National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer,” also revealed that he and his famiy lit 500 candles in honor the the dog, who died after a long battle with cancer.
Millan has also announced the establishment of the Daddy’s Emergency Animal Rescue Fund, (DEAR) which will be operated by the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation. The DEAR Fund will provide assistance for dogs who are victims of abuse or violence, man-made disasters, and large-scale natural disasters.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ashes, buried, candles, cesar millan, daddy, death, died, dog, dog whisperer, fund, grieving, loss, mourning, national geographic channel, passed, pets, pit bull, temple, video
A former animal control officer in Hoosick, N.Y., admitted in court last week that he shot and killed stray or loose dogs and buried them in a manure pile on his farm.
Matthew Beck, 46, pleaded guilty to official misconduct, larceny, cruelty to animals and violating environmental regulations.
According to the Albany Times Union, he will spend 10 days confined to home with a monitoring device, two weekends in jail and be placed on three years’ probation.
The case began last spring when a local resident, April Stevens, learned that Beck had picked up her two missing dogs. The dogs never showed up in the local animal shelter, though.
Investigators went to Beck’s farm, dug through his manure pile and discovered several dog carcasses, including two skulls with bullet holes which were determined to have been owned by another resident. Stevens’ dogs were never found but Beck pleaded guilty to the larceny charge in connection to their disappearance, as well as other misdemeanors.
“This is not what we really wanted. We wanted to see him do some real jail time,” said Stevens, who was wearing pictures of her dogs pinned to her shirt. “At least there is some jail time to give him an opportunity to think about what he did.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal cruelty, animals, april stevens, buried, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, hoosick, killed, manure, matthew beck, new york, news, officer, pets, pile, sentence, shot