The 56 sled dogs at the heart of a tragic animal cruelty case will be laid to rest on Nov. 2 at the BC SPCA’s pet cemetery near Penticton.
The discovery of the mass killing at a Whistler-based sled dog tour company in 2011 sparked international outrage and launched the largest animal cruelty investigation in BC SPCA history.
Last year the BC SPCA prepared a file for Crown counsel with more than a thousand pages of evidence against Bob Fawcett, the former general manager of Howling Dog Tours. He pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2012 and will be sentenced in late November.
Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA, says the remains of the animals were handled with the utmost respect during the investigation.
“Unfortunately it was necessary to exhume the bodies from the mass grave in order to gather the forensic evidence needed to submit charges, but we were always very aware of our responsibility to treat the remains of the dogs with great care. This was a heartbreaking case, but now that a guilty plea has been rendered and justice is being served we hope that these beautiful animals can now finally rest in peace.”
She says the SPCA chose its pet cemetery near Penticton as the final resting place for the animals because of the beauty of the area and because the story touched people from around the province. “This wasn’t just a Whistler story. It was a story that touched the hearts of every person across B.C. who loves animals.”
The BC SPCA is planning a small service of remembrance on Friday, Nov 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the BC SPCA Pet Cemetery on White Lake Road (at Partington Drive) south of Penticton.
Anyone wishing to pay their respects to the Whistler dogs is invited to join BC SPCA representatives on Nov 2, or to post a message in memory of the slain dogs at facebook.com/bcspca or via twitter at #WhistlerSledDogs.
The BC SPCA would like to thank Until We Meet Again for generously donating the memorial stone for the burial site of the Whistler sled dogs.
Directions: The BC SPCA pet cemetery is located on White Lake Road in a rural area south of Penticton (no street address). Heading South from Penticton on Hwy 97, pass the 3A exit to Vancouver, make next right turn at White Lake Road and continue for five minutes. The pet cemetery is on the right (at Partington Drive).
The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.