Outdoor Adventures at Whistler Ltd. (OAW) releases veterinarian report

VANCOUVER, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - In May 2010, Outdoor Adventures at Whistler Ltd. (OAW) assumed operational control of Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. With professional consultation and new leadership, Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. made significant changes to the business, the intention of which was to ensure humane treatment of the dogs and improved safety protocols of the operation.

On December 1, 2010, a Whistler veterinarian engaged by Outdoor Adventures at Whistler Ltd (OAW) conducted an inspection of all dogs and kennel conditions. 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."

The improvements were led by key operational staff at OAW and include giving away approximately 75 dogs, neutering males and creating an open-pen kennel rather than tethering the dogs. Guns are no longer allowed on site and the company's new policy is that euthanasia must be performed at a veterinary office.

A copy of the veterinarian's report is attached.

Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. is entirely separate and distinct from Howling Dog Tours Ltd. based in Canmore, AB. The two companies are not related.

Dr. David Lane

Howling Dog Herd Inspection December 10, 2010

The following is a summary of a facility inspection of Howling Dog's Sled Dog Kennels' located between Pemberton and Whistler.  156 dogs were given individual physical exams today.

Food and Water

All dogs had access to clean water, and no dehydration was noted on clinical exam.  The inspection itself happened between feedings, so the process itself was not observed.  Most dogs had a normal Body Condition Score (BCS) but many were mildly overweight.  Given that these are athletic dogs about to enter a winter working season, a BCS of 3.5/5 has advantages.  No dog had a BCS less than 2.5/5.  The implementation of the neutering program appears to have greatly facilitated maintaining weight on previously difficult keepers.

Faecal samples were taken to confirm parasite control and appropriate deworming medication.

Addendum Dec 6, 2010 - results from 5 faecals submitted was negative for parasites.  Existing protocol for parasite control is successful.


It is obvious that a great amount of work was done to improve husbandry conditions over the summer.  Most dogs have been transitioned from individual tethers to group pen facilities.  The pens are well constructed, roomy and safe.  All shelters were clean and dry, with adequate wind, snow and rain protection.  No deficiencies were noted.  The plastic igloo style dog houses should present less danger of sharp edges than the previous shelters.    

Physical Health

Almost all of the dogs were in excellent physical health.  Multiple individual concerns were identified and noted in the medical logs.   Predominantly, these concerns were dental in origin (fractured and/or abscessed teeth).  The only painful conditions noted stemmed from dental pathology and most of the dental pathology appeared to be relatively recent (ie: since the last inspection).  Overall, the proportion of dogs with medical conditions, and the nature of the conditions themselves, was similar to the sort of abnormalities noted in the pet dog population, and is of lower frequency than noticed on previous inspections.  Overall, the herd's physical health has improved over previous inspections.

Mental Health

All dogs seemed in very good mental health, with no abnormal, repetitive or stereotypy behaviours detected.  No lick granulomas were observed, although some barbering persists.  Subjectively, the dogs seemed much happier in their group pens.  This observation is substantiated by comments made by the kennel staff.


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.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call.


David Lane DVM

SOURCE Outdoor Adventures at Whistler Ltd.

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