Post Olympics Puppy Love? Not Quite.

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.

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:41+00:00 February 1st, 2011|Travel|5 Comments

About the Author:

Tim has been covering the food and wine revolution for about 20 kilos. Count 15 kg alone thanks to the blossoming cuisine and wine culture of British Columbia, Canada. Tim’s hallmark is seeking out and recommending value wines from BC and around the world that offer quality at every level. He also scopes out noteworthy restaurants that live up to their promises—and often over deliver. Readers depend on the Hired Belly for his “Belly’s Best” and “Belly’s Budget Best” picks to help them find the right wine for the occasion. He writes, tweets and shoots his own images for columns in the Vancouver Courier and North Shore News. He also contributes to WHERE Vancouver magazine, as well as to several other publications. They include Taste magazine, Tidings Magazine, and Montecristo. His columns are frequently picked up by major newspapers across Canada. Tim is a frequent judge for wine competitions, such as Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. He is a founding judge of The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine. He is frequently invited to judge at The BC Wine Awards, and others. Tim has traveled to taste in many of the world’s leading wine regions, most recently in Burgundy, Argentina and Chile.


  1. Kathryn February 3, 2011 at 4:30 am

    Have been sick about this since the story broke Monday morning. To answer your question as to how this remained under wraps for so long, it is simple: someone involved grew a conscience and “accidentally” leaked a WCB document. Thank goodness for that and hopefully those responsible, including the employee/manager who killed the dogs and then had the gall to claim compensation, will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    An interesting tidbit: the claimant’s lawyer is also the lawyer for WAG in Whistler

  2. Tim February 3, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Thanks – wasn’t trying to excuse his actions in any way.
    Interesting re. the WAG connection…
    Still can’t get over how anyone who works so closely with animals could commit an act like this on such a huge scale.
    As to the full extent of the law, trouble is, it’s woefully inadequate.

  3. Clint Cora Dog Author February 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

    This is not acceptable. I hope the person who shot these poor dogs as well as the company ends up being charged by the authorities.

  4. Melissa February 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Great article Tim – I’m really looking forward to knowing the outcome of the hearing. This is truly a disturbing story.

  5. Linda Diamond February 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    This horrible slaughter should be treated like manslaughter.
    Its time to make humans accountable for mistreating animals,
    in any way. We are supposed to be their CARE GIVERS.

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