So much of this story is disturbing. (The link is slow to load, and be warned it isn’t a happy story)
The long and short of it is that a Vancouver-area dog sled tour company, facing a slump in tourism and unable to care for the dogs, ordered an employee to euthanize 100 of them. Typically, when “culling” a weak or sick animal was necessary, this man would take the dog for a walk, away from the pack, and shoot it. Culling 100 at a time required him to shoot the tethered dogs in front of the other dogs, causing such anxiety that a few even attacked him during the process. He has now filed a Worker’s Compensation claim wherein he asserts that he suffered severe trauma as a result.
I don’t know where to start. I know nothing about sledding, so I don’t know what is asked of the animals. I have no problem with asking dogs or horses or really any animal to earn it’s keep, so long as it is treated properly and shown love and appreciation. According to the article, there are many unscrupulous operators in the area and many dogs have been rescued from pretty bleak conditions. The article also stated that the owners (at least briefly) tried to find the dogs homes, but with little success. I wonder what other resources might have been available to them, for starters. Also, what kind of mental midget executes dogs in front of their pack? Cruel and unusual doesn’t begin to cover it. Times are hard, no doubt, and it’s possible the man felt he had no choice but to obey his bosses, since he may had a family to feed and maybe other work is scarce. But then to file suit?
Rough damn story regardless of where you come down on the many issues involved. I’d like to think that anyone responsible for the upkeep of that many animals should have to prove financial capability to do so. I hope there are some criminal charges brought as well, if for no other reason than to prevent this kind of horror from being inflicted on any more dogs.
Rodeos, circuses, pony-rides, etc are too often run by people who care little for the animals they exploit. Like I said, I don’t necessarily object to animals working…but I believe the industry should be well regulated, and violations should come with a steep price.
This is all so very sad.