Outdoor Adventures still undecided about future of its dog sledding business
March 31, 2011
WAG asked to possibly take 35 sled dogs
Outdoor Adventures still undecided about future of its dog sledding business Animal Welfare Christopher Poon
Local animal shelter Whistler Animals Galore (WAG) was recently contacted by officials at Outdoor Adventures about the possible re-homing of up to 35 sled dogs.
According to Kirby Brown from Outdoor Adventures, the company hasn’t yet decided to get rid of any dogs, but asked WAG about re-homing the dogs to see what options were available for the animals in Whistler.
“We asked what her capacity was and asked if she could take 30 to 35 dogs,” he said, referring to WAG’s executive director Paula Del Bosco. “So right after incident, she was already trying to make sure that she had her bases covered and was looking at a network of people that could take dogs.”
If WAG is asked to take up to 35 sled dogs, Del Bosco is confident that the shelter would have no problem finding homes.
“I put out a call that we have 35 dogs that may potentially need to be re-homed and I had an insane response,” said Del Bosco. “There were so many people who wanted to be a part of helping and we’ve had tons of responses, so I’m sure that if the time comes, we’ll be prepared to help them (Outdoor Adventures) out with that.”
Del Bosco said that the response was a reflection of how much Whistler residents love dogs.
“Where else can you go where in the bank… your dog knows where to get cookies from?” she laughed. “There’s the dog dish in front of every other store, and the response has just been amazing here.”
When asked if Outdoor Adventures is getting out of the sled dog business, Brown said the company isn’t making any decisions quite yet.
“We haven’t made any decisions yet about what direction we’re going to go with the sled dog portion of the business,” he said. “We’re still waiting for all of the various and assorted investigations to wrap up so they can influence our decision making.”
As previously reported in The Question, after the alleged sled dog incident came to light, then-premier Gordon Campbell created a task force to look into the dog sled industry in B.C.
After two months of investigation and research — including public input — the task force report was filed to the Ministry of Agriculture on Friday (March 25).
A ministry spokesperson told The Question the report is about 25 pages long, and it will likely be made public within the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Outdoor Adventures and WAG are happy to know that should the time come, the company’s sled dogs would be able to find new homes.
“I honestly believe that… even if we needed to take them all at once, that with people in Whistler and their love of dogs, we’d be able to find them places,” said Del Bosco.
Said Brown, “That’s a natural part of the sled dog business, you have dogs that reach a certain age and you want to make sure that we’ve got the best re-homing program going.”
Sarah Fulcher 1 day ago
Although I think it's great that this company is considering looking for new adoptive homes for some or all of their dogs, using a public shelter is not the proper venue. For one thing, the company and it's owners are well off financially. Using publicly funded shelters which are already overcrowded from irresponsible pet owners, to take care of unwanted sled dogs from irresponsible mushers, is not appropriate. If they want to re-home dogs, they should first attempt to do it themselves, by posting on their website, or networking with other ethical sled dog kennels. These dogs would do best if re-homed to caring working homes, like recreational mushers or racers, where they can be understood, given a job, and have an excellent quality of life.
They should not, however, be dumped into the public shelter system, where they run the risk of going insane in the shelter itself, or being adopted into homes who don't know what they are getting into, and the dogs being bounced around from home to home. While they are wonderful dogs they are a lot of dog, extremely high energy, and more than the average pet owner can handle. People need to understand the breed and know what they are getting into and be able to provide adequate excercise for them.
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Trudy Handel 1 day ago
Said Brown, “That’s a natural part of the sled dog business, you have dogs that reach a certain age and you want to make sure that we’ve got the best re-homing program going.” Strange, where was Kirby Brown when the 100 dogs were slaughtered? Suddenly we have found compassion? Convenient. There was a company in the US sponsored by the person who owns Phoenix University. The company, the "Missyplicity Project" was set up to clone dogs and they used hundreds of beagles and other mixed breed dogs to get fertile eggs and attempt cloning. Ultimately it didn't work - but you know what they did with all those dogs? They had workers that took them for walks all the time and they had "enrichment" times with them, and when they didn't need them anymore, they had them spayed and advertised all over North America for adoptive homes. Their website had a photo and description of every dog, including individual traits. Every dog had a health exam, all shots and worming were up to date, and they paid to have the dog flown to its new home after a careful selection process. They made sure that new owners were aware of the dog's history and the fact that they were still sketchy on house breaking. Each dog came with a one year health guarantee and if anything happened to it during that time, then the company paid all the health costs. Each dog came with a written history. Every dog was scooped up by a new owner within a few months of the company making them available. This company recognized that they had an obligation to the animals that they had been using for research, even though most of these were beagles bred for medical research. This was a responsible company. Now, look at this in relation to the actions of Whistler Outdoor Adventures, who calls a charitable organization and wants to fob off 35 dogs on them. These people suck, any way you look at it. Kirby Brown, you are shedding crocodile tears. Step up to the plate and take responsibility for the dog you have used for profit - don't just dump them in a shelter and call it "the best rehoming" because it isn't. Spend the money and set up an adoption process. Enrich their lives instead of leaving them on a chain. Find the owners yourselves and guarantee their health. It is so ridiculous that someone in Maple Ridge faces charges for letting their dog have bad teeth, while your company allegedly butchered 100 dogs and has not even been charged.
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Bark2 1 day ago
[Said Brown, “That’s a natural part of the sled dog business, you have dogs that reach a certain age and you want to make sure that we’ve got the best re-homing program going.”]
That's a nice "after the fact" quote Brown. Too bad the company didn't feel this way last year. I hope if OAW does surrender dogs to WAG, the company will make a sizable contribution at the same time. It is not be appropriate to expect a non-profit organization to bail out a profitable company without some financial assistance being offered.
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Marion Ambler 1 day ago
I can't help wondering if OAW asking WAG if they could potentially rehome 35 dogs has anything to do with the current investigation. It would support their case for slaughtering the dogs if WAG was to say they thought it would be difficult to rehome these dogs.
OAW has money and resources and if the dogs need new homes I hope they consider helping WAG out if they want WAG to find new homes for their dogs.
One of the changes a lot of people want made to industries like this, that exploit animals for profit, is that they are required to pay into some kind of insurance system to help rehome or look after their animals once they have milked the profits out of using them.
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Patricia Chuchryk 1 day ago
I find Sarah's comment compelling. It seems crazy that a wealthy corporate entity can dump their dogs into the public shelter system. Having said that, however, can we really trust OAW to do the right thing by their dogs? At least in the public shelter system there is the screening of foster and forever homes by people who know a thing or two about dogs. I also agree with Bark2, that if the remaining dogs do go into the shelter system, OAW must follow this with a considerable donation. All I want for these dogs is to be out of the care of OAW and into the care of loving forever homes.
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julia trops 1 day ago
The reason that there was a fabulous response is because we (the general public) used a tool called Facebook to find out if there was interest. Social media is changing our world, and it is amazing how much help is actually out there for THOSE WHO ASK.
Thank you to Paula at WAG who provided direct contact details so that those who wished to help, could do so. Many of our animal loving friends may not be willing to post up on fb but they will send an email if permitted.
Thank you to all of you who did respond. It just goes to show that you are all out there, and you are all STILL LISTENING and WATCHING what goes on with the sled dogs and other animals.
I understand why there was another party involved in this potential adoption (ie WAG), a wise decision I think, considering the vandalism that happened over the past day or so. The people who did that were obviously not thinking. For everyone else, those of us who really do care about animal welfare, we are not part of such vigilante-ism, we are working to make lasting changes in animal welfare legislation... changes that will create convictions, not just charges.
Charges mean nothing. We want CONVICTIONS! Please find your nearest city that is holding a vigil (http://www.april23rdvigil.com) with petitions available for changes based on Bill C-229. Yes, we are in an election, but with YOUR HELP, we are making these changes ELECTION ISSUES!