Statement from Outdoor Adventures at Whistler Ltd. (OAW)
VANCOUVER, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - Outdoor Adventures Whistler (OAW) only recently learned of tragic and regrettable events regarding a cull of animals at Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. (Howling Dogs) that are the subject of a WCB ruling issued last week. Contrary to media reports, OAW did not instruct the General Manager to carry out the cull in the manner described in the report.
OAW was aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at Howling Dogs in April 2010 but it was our expectation that it was done in a proper, legal and humane manner. We only learned otherwise on Friday, January 28 when we read the WCB ruling for the first time.
OAW is now investigating the matter.
While OAW has had a financial interest in Howling Dogs for 4 years the operational control of the company remained with the employee referred to in the WCB ruling who was the General Manager of Howling Dogs at the time of the incident. The employee in question in the ruling submitted both the employee report and the employer report to WCB.
Not long after the events of late April, the employee in question ceased managing the business. This employee continues to get our support as he heals from his injuries and illness. Because of the information in the WCB ruling pertaining to his emotional condition we don't feel it is appropriate to release further information about this individual.
In May 2010 Outdoor Adventures assumed operational control of Howling Dogs. With professional consultation and new leadership, Howling Dogs made significant changes to the business, the intention of which was to ensure humane treatment of our dogs and improved safety protocols of the operation. Measures included:
Relocation and delivery of dogs throughout Canada. Approximately 75 of
the most capable dogs were delivered across British Columbia, Alberta
and Ontario to other operations. These dogs were given away for free
and delivered at Howling Dog's expense.
- The neutering of all male dogs in the kennel to mitigate unwanted pregnancies and ultimately manage our population. This program was designed and implemented with our staff and our veterinarian in Whistler.
- Creation of an open-pen style kennel where dogs are not tethered or chained. Consulted with animal behavioral specialists and professionals to determine the best format and layout for this type of kennel. Currently 85% of our kennel has been transitioned with a goal of 100% transitioned before Summer 2011.
- It is now company policy that any dogs requiring euthanasia do so at our veterinarian's office. To this effect there are no firearms on our site.
We have hired a new manager for Howling Dogs who with the support of key operational staff at Outdoor Adventures is working to craft the finest dogsled operation in the world with the highest standards in the industry.
On December 1, 2010 our veterinarian conducted his bi-annual inspection of all dogs and kennel conditions and the summary of his report reads, "Overall, I am very pleased at the substantive improvements seen at the facility and have no concerns about the dogs' quality of life or for the care they are provided. Overall, this is a healthy and well cared for group of dogs."For further information: