Investigators won't dig up mass dog grave: B.C. SPCA
Published Tuesday, February 1, 2011 4:28PM PST Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 12:48AM PDT
The B.C. SPCA says that it will have enough evidence to recommend criminal charges against a man who slaughtered 100 healthy sled dogs without digging up the mass grave where they were buried.
Marcie Moriarty, general manager for SPCA cruelty investigations, told ctvbc.ca that investigators have a warrant to obtain the entire WorkSafe BC claim of the worker who performed the grisly cull.
"We'll hopefully be getting the WorkSafe documents at the end of today, which hopefully will provide enough evidence to recommend criminal charges," Moriarty said.
The general manager of Howling Dog Tours, a company owned by Outdoor Adventures Whistler, filed a claim for post-traumatic stress after shooting dozens of dogs to death in April 2010. The dogs were killed because of a "slow winter season" after the Winter Olympics, according to WorkSafe BC documents.
The animals were buried in a mass grave. Moriarty said that police and SPCA investigators have located the grave, but probably will not need to unearth the bodies.
"The reality, though, is that it is under a foot of snow," she said. "I think there's sufficient evidence, likely, without the grave."
Eileen Drever, senior investigator for the SPCA, said that staff members are hoping to interview Robert Fawcett, the former director of Howling Dog Tours in Whistler.
"He allegedly killed these dogs, so we need to speak with him," she told CTV News. Fawcett has not been charged with any criminal offence. Three attempts by CTV News to contact Fawcett at his registered address in Pemberton were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Moriarty said that it is too early to tell what charges -- and how many -- investigators will recommend in the mass killing, but cruelty to animals and injuring or endangering animals are good possibilities.
She added that it is unlikely that Howling Dog Tours or Outdoor Adventures Whistler will face any charges in the massacre.
Lawyer Corey Steinberg, who represents the worker, declined to comment on the investigation Tuesday.
Ghastly details in documents
In the WorkSafe BC decision approving his claim for compensation, the worker describes chasing after a dog that survived a shot to the face: "Although she had the left side of her cheek blown off and her eye hanging out, he was unable to catch her."
Another dog was dumped into the grave while it was still clinging to life. "‘Nora,' who he had shot approximately 20 minutes before, was crawling around in the mass grave he had dug for the animals. He had to climb down into the grave amidst the 10 or so bodies already there and put her out of her misery."
At one point during the slaughter, he ran out of ammunition and had to kill an aggressive dog -- already missing part of its head -- with a knife.
By the end of the cull, the worker was killing the dogs "execution style" by wrestling them to the ground, using one foot to keep them down, and then shooting them multiple times.
According to the claim, the dogs panicked as they watched their compatriots being killed, and attacked the worker as he finished his job.