|christine zenino/cc by 2.0|
A company that operates dogsled tours of Whistler, British Columbia, reportedly killed 100 dogs last year when business slowed after the Vancouver Olympics. The killings came to light after an employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler filed a claim for compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder that he says he suffered as a result of being told to shoot dozens of dogs or cut their throats and then dump them in a mass grave. The British Columbia SPCA is investigating and calling for a criminal investigation.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Mushers routinely abandon, shoot, bludgeon, or drown dogs when they become ill, don't run fast enough, or are simply unwanted. In 2005, it was revealed that the largest dogsled tour operation in the U.S., Krabloonik Kennel in Aspen, Colorado, was shooting and killing as many as 35 dogs every year. A Krabloonik employee defended the killings, saying, "This is part of the circle of life for the dog-sled dog."
The deaths of these dogs serve as a tragic reminder never to patronize dogsled tour operations. With the Iditarod coming up, be sure to tell everyone you know about the cruelty inherent in dogsledding.
Written by Michelle Sherrow