Sled dogs of Whistler

Sled dogs of Whistler

The story that broke in January, 2011, where an employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler recounted how he was ordered to kill 100 sled dogs brought to our attention what a simple commodity sled dogs are. When business is good, their life is essentially assured. But when business declines or never materializes as expected, inventory must be cut.

Citing a post-Olympic slump in bookings of dog-sled tours as their reason, a major tour operator in Whistler has admitted that he ordered the killing of 100 dogs. Looking at your pet, can you imagine the mindset that made that decision; the thinking that concluded that killing them was the necessary action to maintain a bottom line for their business. To hell with the fact that these are living beings who have likely served the business well during the busy season. Too cold for me.

I always wonder: did you ask each and every one of them if they wanted to die?

According to Marcie Moriarty, general manager for cruelty investigations with the BC SPCA, it is actually legal to shoot an animal if it dies instantly. But the report on the sled dogs seems to say that at least some of these dogs did not die instantly. Instead they struggled to flee, to try and climb out of the pile of dead dogs.

Least we be shocked into disbelief by this story, we must not forget the race horses slaughtered once they are past their prime or the MILLIONS of healthy cats and dogs killed in our North American shelters every year often due to bored or unprepared owners who abandon them.

Photos of the victims and links to news articles | Vigil info

Dogs in trouble

Dogs in trouble

We probably hear more stories about cruelty against dogs than any other animal. Why? I don’t know, but the stories are sickening and disheartening.

In one case last year, a man severely beat a dog with a flashlight causing serious injuries to the dog. When authorities arrived to investigate, they found the dog sleeping beside the man who had abused him.

There is something in dogs that remains loyal beyond all reason. It’s as though they see something more in us than we do. Or perhaps it is a naivety in their genes that makes them look up to us.

But any abuse against ANY animal must end. Without stronger laws against animal abuse and cruelty, we find that the current pattern of abuse just continues and even seems to be escalating. There have been links made to show that animal abusers can become abusive to people. It’s a behavior that must be amended as soon as possible.

We must not tolerate abuse on any scale.

If you see abuse, report it! There is no excuse for abuse.

Elephants deserve better, too.

Elephants deserve better, too.

There is growing resistance against the capture, confinement, and use of wild elephants. Animal rights advocates allege elephants in zoos and circuses “suffer a life of chronic physical ailments, social deprivation, emotional starvation, and premature death”. Zoos argue that standards for treatment of elephants are extremely high and minimum requirements for such things as minimum space requirements, enclosure design, nutrition, reproduction, enrichment and veterinary care are set to ensure the well-being of elephants in captivity. Circuses continue to have a mixed record.

reprinted from Wikipedia

To these concerns, add the deaths in recent years of two baby elephants in the Calgary Zoo from mother Maharani:

  • On November 17, 2004 an Asian elephant was born at the Zoo. She was rejected by her mother and died within 3 weeks of her birth of an overwhelming infection, despite the efforts of zoo keepers and veterinarians. She was given the name, Keemaya, after her death.
  • In August 2007, another Asian elephant, Malti, was born. Malti contracted elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, a serious and invariably fatal virus October 31, and died on November 1, 2008 despite treatment.

In recent years, Lucy, the elephant in the Edmonton Valley Zoo, has received attention due to her continuing health problems and her solitary status. Just this week, Bob Barker, the former television game show host offered Edmonton city council $100,000 to spend however they please if they agree to allow independent elephant experts, selected by Zoocheck Canada and Performing Animal Welfare Society, to come to Edmonton and examine Lucy the elephant.

For so many years, the human race has kept animals for their own entertainment. But at what point do we recognize the inhumanity of such an arrangement? At what point do we consider what the lives of these animals are like and do right by them?