[Ed. Note: For background, read British Columbia SPCA to Exhume Mass Graves of Slain Sled Dogs.]
Criminal cruelty-count for tour operator, who admitted he shot and knifed 'friends'
Grisly reports of the execution of sled dogs in Whistler following the 2010 Games, a lengthy probe, and a mass grave exhumation have led to a criminal animal-cruelty charge against the self-admitted executioner, former Whistler dog tour operator Bob Fawcett.
On Friday, B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch announced charge approval against Fawcett, for allegedly causing unnecessary pain or suffering to a number of dogs in April 2010. Fawcett's first court appearance is scheduled for May 24 in Pemberton.
The alleged crime, which sparked outrage worldwide, was investigated by the B.C. SPCA and the RCMP.
Fawcett, former general manager of Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours, claimed he suffered post-traumatic stress after completing a mass killing of dogs that were his "friends" - for economic reasons.
In a press release, the B.C. SPCA said: "Gruesome details of the mass killings were leaked to media in January 2011 after Fawcett filed a successful claim with WorkSafe B.C., saying the cull left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Fawcett also posted details on a PTSD website, describing how the panicked animals were shot or had their throats slit before being dumped in a mass grave."
Last May a team of B.C. SPCA constables, veterinarians and forensic scientists exhumed the bodies of 54 sled dogs from a grave near Whistler. That evidence supported a B.C. SPCA report submitted to Crown counsel in September 2011, recommending charges against Fawcett.
In a January 2011 PTSD forum account in which Fawcett said soldiers would be the only people "who could relate to what I have had to be put through," he wrote: "So I my manager take a truck to the bottom of the road so no one could come up and gave him a radio in case I shot myself. I then set about the direct execution of 60 of my friends on day 1. Some I missed, had to chase around with blood everywhere, some I had to slit their throats because it was the only way to keep them calm in my arms."