About 100 dogs were gunned down execution-style in British Columbia when a company that offers sled dog tours apparently decided that, due to a downturn in business, it could no longer afford to maintain them.
The shocking revelation of the mass killing (the industry prefers the term “culling”) surfaced through the British Columbia Worker’s Compensation Board, where a company employee filed a claim saying that killing the dogs, on April 21 and 23 of last year, caused him post-traumatic stress disorder.
The SPCA in British Columbia has launched an investigation into the incident.
“Culling” – or thinning the “herd” — is apparently not an uncommon practice among sled dog companies, according to the SPCA, either in the U.S. or Canada, where the sled dog tour industry is largely unregulated.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone engaged in the illegal killing of sled dogs in either country.
The 100 dogs – used in sled dog tours operated by Outdoor Adventures — were gunned downed while tethered. The employee, acting under the orders of his boss, began shooting dogs as other dogs watched. Some of the dogs panicked and attacked him as he carried out the task, he said.
“By the end he was covered in blood,” the workmen’s compensation review board noted in its Jan. 25 decision, which ruled the employee did develop PTSD in connection with the incident. “When he finished he cleared up the mess, filled in the mass grave and tried to bury the memories as deeply as he could.”
The full report from the board was obtained by The Vancouver Sun.
In addition to sparking an SPCA investigation into allegations of animal cruelty, the report has led to a suspension by Tourism Whistler of reservations for dog sledding excursions by Outdoor Adventures.
Outdoors Adventures, which also offers snowmobiling, snowshoeing and horseback excursions in the Whistler area, said in a statement that there are now no firearms on site and all future euthanizations will be done in a vet’s office.
Marcie Moriarty, head of the British Columbia SPCA cruelty investigations division, said the employee, who was the general manager of Outdoor Adventures, could and should have denied to carry out the orders from his boss.
The employee said he has suffered panic attacks and nightmares since the culling.
“I’ve no doubt he has suffered post traumatic stress but there’s a thing called choice,” said Moriarty. “I absolutely would not have done this and he could have said no … I don’t feel sorry for this guy for one minute.”
“The way this employee describes it — it’s a massacre absolutely … These dogs were killed in front of the other dogs that were all tethered up on the compound.”
The order to kill the sled dogs came after a veterinarian declined to euthanize healthy animals, and some attempts were made to adopt out the dogs, the employee told the review board.
SPCA officials say the incident sheds some needed light on the industry.
“There is a problem with the sled dog industry in general,” Moriarty said. “People see these 20 sled dogs, an idyllic setting with snow in the background and think how great. But what they don’t see is the 200 dogs tethered and sleeping out back, chained to a barrel.”
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 100 sled dogs, adventures, animal legal defense fund, british columbia, chained, cull, culled, culling, dogs, gun, investigation, kill, killed, killing, mush, mushing, outdoor, outdoor adventures, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, shot, sled dogs, spca, tethered, tourism, vancouver, whistler, workmens compensation
It started with some flowers and a dog toy left in his honor at the dog park, but by this evening a full-fledged memorial and tribute were underway for Bear-Bear, the Siberian Husky gunned down by a federal officer in Anne Arundel County this week.
Those saddened and upset with the dog’s death — he was fatally shot by a Department of Defense officer who felt Bear-Bear was playing too roughly with his leashed German shepherd — began gathering at Quail Run Park around 6:30 p.m. for a tribute that was expected to go until 8:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, at the recommendation of County Executive John R. Leopold, the Anne Arundel County Police Department will be investigating the incident — contrary to its earlier assertions — and receiving assistance in that investigation from the Humane Society of the United States.
HSUS representatives also plan to help the Severn community ensure that the Quail Run Community Dog Park is safe.
“I welcome the opportunity to partner with this national organization,” County Executive John Leopold said in a statement. “With our combined resources, I look forward to bringing closure to this egregious incident.”
Leopold said he was “outraged” and “deeply troubled” to learn about the killing. Police originally called the matter closed, but Police Chief James Teare called the case a “priority” Wednesday and pledged a full investigation, according to the Washington Post.
“The Anne Arundel County Police Department has taken this case seriously and is thoroughly investigating this incident that appears to involve the violent death of a beloved dog. We welcome the opportunity to work with Anne Arundel County on the investigation and to assist the community in making it a safer place for both animals and people,” said Justin L. Scally of the HSUS.
WBAL-TV reported that the unidentified, off-duty Department of Defense officer used his personal weapon to fire at Bear-Bear, and that he told officers he “feared for the safety of himself, his wife and their dog.”
Bear-Bear was taken to Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Annapolis, where he died. Since the incident Monday, police have not released the officer’s identity.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anne arundel, anne arundel county, bear-bear, county executive, department of defense, disputes, dog, dog park, dog parks, dogs, fighting, gun, hsus, humane society of the united states, investigation, john r. leopold, killed, memorial, news, park, personal, pets, playing, quail run, severn, shot, siberian husky, tribute, weapon
Much like McGruff the Crime Dog, Eddie Eagle — aka a National Rifle Association representative in an eagle costume — has been showing up in school assemblies for more than 20 years.
But it appears the NRA mascot and his lessons on gun safety are destined to become mandatory in Virginia – at least in those school districts that choose to offer the curriculum.
The state has approved gun safety classes in elementary schools, and will structure the curriculum with help from the National Rifle Association.
The law allows local school divisions to offer gun-safety education to pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade. While each school board can decide whether to offer it, those that do must use the state curriculum — which will include rules used by the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.
Not all parents are thrilled with that.
“I personally don’t think firearm safety has a place in the schools,” Lori Haas, spokeswoman for the Virginia Center for Public Safety whose daughter is a survivor of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
“That’s up to the parents to teach that at home.” she told Fox News
NRA’s Eddie Eagle website says that the program’s goal “isn’t to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children.”
The Eddie Eagle mascot advises children: “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.” Eddie Eagle does not promote firearm ownership or use and firearms are never used in the program, the website says.
The website tells schools they can “add excitement to your assemblies with a safety mascot appearance. The use of the Eddie Eagle costume provides an entertaining way to enhance the program.”
The Eddie Eagle safety mascot costume is available for purchase by law enforcement agencies only, for $2,650.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal, curriculum, eddie eagle, education, elementary schools, firearms, gun, gun safety, guns, law, mascot, national rifle association, news, nra, ohmidog!, safety, schools, virginia
A dashboard camera caught only a slice of the action, but police in Fort Worth say the video shows an officer was justified in shooting a family’s pit bull mix on Easter Sunday.
The family, meanwhile — one cousin was hit by shrapnel — is outraged.
Channel 5 in Dallas reports that the incident began as a traffic stop.The officer stopped a pickup truck with unrestrained children in the back.
The driver pulled into a relative’s driveway, where the dog greeted him, then began barking and advancing toward the officer.
Just off camera the officer fires two or three shots, injuring the dog. Police say the video shows the officer clearly feared his life was in danger. The family says the officer should never have even pulled out his gun, pointing out that several children were within feet of him when he fired.
The dog, named Papi, is recuperating at a vet clinic.
Police say that, while it appears the officer was defending himself from the dog, they are continuing their investigation.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, camera, dash cam, dashboard, dog, fort worth, gun, investigation, mix, news, officer, ohmidog!, papi, pet, pets, pit bull, police, self defense, shooting, shot
Gun and drug charges against the Baltimore twins accused of setting a dog on fire were dropped this week.
The two still face animal cruelty and mutilation charges in a separate case accusing them of setting fire to a pit bull puppy, named Phoenix after her rescue.
Police searching the twins’ home during the animal cruelty investigation said they found a gun and some marijuana, leading to drugs and weapons charges against twin brothers Tremayne and Travers Johnson and their father.
Because of difficulties proving who owned the gun, prosecutors decided to drop all those charges and focus on the animal cruelty case, WJZ reported.
Phoenix was found on fire by a city police officer, who extinguished the flames with her jacket. The dog survived several days, but had to be euthanized.
The animal cruelty trial for the twins is scheduled for June.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, baltimore, burned, burning, charges, dog, dropped, drugs, firearms, gun, marijuana, news, ohmidog!, phoenix, pit bull, set on fire, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, twins
Jury selection begins today in the firearms possession trial of twin brothers accused of setting fire to a pit bull in May.
Travers and Tremayne Johnson, both 18, and their father, Charles Johnson, were charged in June with possession of firearms and marijuana.
Police say they found drugs and weapons in a raid conducted at the Johnsons’ South Pulaski Street home in connection with the investigation into the burning of a pit bull rescuers dubbed “Phoenix.”
Prosecutors opted to try the brothers and their 76-year-old father on the firearms case before the twins trial on animal cruelty charges.
The brothers were indicted by a Baltimore grand jury in November on aggravated animal abuse charges. They pleaded not guilty in December.
Phoenix had been doused with gasoline and set on fire when a police officer spotted the dog and put the fire out with her jacket. Phoenix had burns over more than 95 percent of her. She lived several days, but had to be euthanized due to complications resulting from her injuries.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, burned, charges, charles johnson, courts, dogs, doused, drug, father, fire, firearms, gasoline, gun, jury selection, news, ohmidog!, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pitbull, set, travers johnson, tremayne johnson, trial, twins, weapons
The police chief of the small California town of Maricopa has apparently been ordered to turn in his gun after shooting and killing a family’s dog in September.
A temporary restraining order delivered to him Friday by the Kern County Superior Court commissioner also requires Chief Gene Fretheim to stay away from the four people whose dog he shot.
Lutie Thompson, a Bakersfield attorney who requested the restraining order, described the a 63-year-old officer with more than 27 years experience at the Los Angeles Police Department as “a loose cannon,” according to the newspaper report.
Th0mpson requested the order on behalf of Lisa Chavez, who claimed that her 8-year-old pit bull mix, Matty, had been snared by a dog catcher and then shot by Fretheim. She said the chief wants to get rid of all pit bulls in town, and told her he shot her dog because it was a pit bull.
The chief said the dog had bitten a city employee, and that as he and ”a volunteer dog catcher” tried to capture it, the dog lunged at him. He shot the dog, and then it was snared, he said.
The court order says Fretheim has to stay100 yards away from Chavez, 38, Milne, 35, and their two children aged, 7 and 13. A hearing is scheduled Oct. 15 on whether the order will be extended.
City officials say the restrianing order may have been delivered prematurely – and that the court merely approved scheduling a hearing on the request for a restraining order, as opposed to the order itself.
Until it’s all figured out, the chief will perform only administrative duties.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 6th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: california, chief, dog, dog catcher, gene fretheim, gun, killed, kills, lisa chavzex, maricopa, matty, pit bull, police, restraining order, shoots, shot
A Delaware man who stopped along a road in Kent County to buy a dog was shot and killed, state police reported.
Police on Saturday identified the victim as Robert W. Watkins, 40, of Bridgeville. The shooting took place Friday afternoon — after Watkins and a woman stopped along Jeffrey Drive, where Watkins had made arrangements to buy a dog.
Watkins was the front seat passenger in the car. Police said one man got in the back seat, and another stood outside the passenger’s side window, police said. While discussing the price for the dog, the man outside the vehicle pulled a handgun and demanded money from Watkins, police said.
According to the Wilmington News Journal, police said that when the driver attempted to speed away, the man outside the car fired the gun, striking Watkins. The man in the back seat jumped out and fled.
Watkins was taken to Christiana Hospital and later died from a single bullet wound, police said.
Police provided no information on the breed of dog, or how the meeting had been arranged. Investigators Saturday night were still seeking the identities of the shooter and the man who got in the back of the car.
Burke, whose full name is Edward Shannon Burke, got angry at his dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, got a handgun and threatened to shoot it, according to WESH, the NBC affiliate in Orlando.
When the gun discharged, the bullet went through the dog’s leg and struck his wife, Catherine, on the side of her head, according to a police report.
Burke, 43, was charged with aggravated battery with a weapon and animal cruelty. Bond was set at $10,000 at a court appearance on Friday. He was also ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet on his ankle. The incident took place Wednesday at the couple’s home in Altamonte Springs.
In a recording of Burke’s 911 call, he tells the dispatcher he was playing with a gun that he didn’t know was loaded, and it went off. He says the bullet struck the side of his wife’s head.
Catherine Burke was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The dog was treated at an emergency animal clinic and survived.
Burke is on RealRadio 104.1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wikipedia describes his show as “mixture of outrageous daily, biker attitude and personality, and right-wing style rants.”
(Photo: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 911 call, altamonte springs, animal cruelty, arrested, battery, bullet, catherine, cavalier king charles spaniel, disc jockey, dj, dog, florida, gun, head, orlando, realradio, seminole county, shannon burke, shooting, shot, wife, wound
Animal control officers in Fort Worth will be allowed to use tranquilizer darts to subdue dangerous dogs under a proposed rewrite of the city’s animal control rules.
That would mean a return to a practice ceased in 1995, after a dog nicknamed “Island Girl” was shot with a dart while trapped on a grassy island in a freeway interchange. The dart resulted in the dog becoming paralyzed.
The proposals aren’t final, and residents will be able to comment on them at meetings in May and June, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Fort Worth officials say the changes are needed because of a growing number of aggressive dogs found on Fort Worth’s streets — particularly pit bulls. Other proposed revisions include:
– Allowing the city to impose safety restriction on dogs before an attack happens — if a dog charges a fence, or is caught at large several times.
– Requiring higher and stronger fences, based on a dog’s size.
– Prohibiting dogs that are deemed dangerous in other cities from relocating to Fort Worth.
– Requiring all animals to be spayed or neutered, unless the owner pays an extra fee.
– Increasing the fee for loose dogs from $200 to $500 and the annual fee for a dangerous dog from $50 to $500.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animal, animal control, dangerous, dart, fees, fences, fort worth, gun, increase, island girl, laws, neuter, proposals, revisions, spay, texas, tranquilizer