Tuesday, February 01, 2011

British Columbia sled dog killings hang heavy over Whistler

With Vancouver, Richmond and Whistler celebrating the first anniversary of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the horrible news that 100 sled dogs were murdered in Whistler has undoubtedly put a cloud over the BC ski resort. Here's the latest from CBC News:
British Columbia SPCA officers headed to Whistler Monday to investigate claims that 100 healthy sled dogs owned by a tourism operator were slaughtered. The allegations are contained in a filing to WorkSafeBC, the provincial workers' compensation board.
Click on to read the rest of the article.

The company in question is Outdoor Adventures at Whistler, which on its website claims it is "the largest dog sledding company in North America." Although I've gone dog sledding in both Quebec and Montana, I've never been in BC. I did go on one of Outdoor Adventures' sleigh rides a few winters ago, which included a fondue dinner at The Chalet at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Whistler Blackcomb
has responded to the news with these two postings on its Facebook page:
Whistler Blackcomb is saddened to learn of the allegations against Outdoor Adventures in Whistler. There have been a number of different media reports regarding the allegations and Whistler Blackcomb, like many of you, is following the story closely. Until there is further clarity with regard the allegations, Whistler Blackcomb has suspended the sale of Outdoor Adventures dog sledding activities and will offer a full refund to those wishing to cancel their booking of a dogsled activity with OAW. Whistler Blackcomb is keen to understand all of the information related to these allegations and as more confirmed information becomes available, we will work to ensure our Whistler Blackcomb Facebook fans are informed. (Feb. 1, 2011, 8:30 AM).

The recent news of the killing of sled dogs is incredibly tragic. Whistler Blackcomb would like to clarify that Outdoor Adventures is a separately owned and managed company and is not a part of Whistler Blackcomb’s operations. As one of many sales agents of third party activity providers, Whistler Blackcomb would like to confirm that we have suspended the sale of all Outdoor Adventures activities including dogsledding. Whistler Blackcomb will continue to follow this story closely and work to ensure our guests have the correct, most up-to-date information as it becomes available. (Feb. 1, 2011, 12:20 PM)
The tragic deaths of the dogs is heartbreaking news, and according to Pique newsmagazine, a "black eye" on Whistler. Other Canadian dog sled operators are also shocked and saddened, as reported in the Vancouver Sun.

Sled dogs in Montana
Photo by Sue Frause