Handlers and their dogs develop close bonds from birth, Tim Pawsey photo

Like most people, we are sickened by the news just out of Whistler, concerning the brutal killing of 100 sled dogs last April, post-Olympics, and ongoing SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) investigation. Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to dog-sled a couple of times, at Sun Peaks, BC, and at the original location of Quebec’s Ice Hotel (now moved into town).

What struck us then in particular was the remarkable bond that exists between the dogs and their handlers, people obviously extremely dedicated to the health and well-being of their canine charges, young and old. Reputable operators, they had off-season activities (often involving relocating the animals) to keep their dogs happy, occupied, well exercised and in prime shape ready for the winter.

We can’t imagine what this individual must have gone through when the order came to ‘cull’ the dogs. Let alone what followed …

We don’t know the Whistler company in question but the details as outlined in the National Post are beyond disturbing.

Nor can we accept the parent company’s claim that they weren’t aware of the situation … and, therefore, the suggestion that somehow they aren’t responsible.

And the biggest question: Who knew what when? And how come—in such a tight knit community—it took so long to come out?

This is a case of tourism gone horribly wrong. No professional dog owner or racer would behave in this manner.

Hopefully, in due course, the right people will be held accountable. Although, we’re not holding our breath.

You can get a sense of just how smart these dogs are here

Update: The British Columbia government has announced an enquiry. We’ll find out in 45 days if it has any teeth.