British Columbia

Guilty plea in Whistler sled dog slaughter

The man charged with the slaughter of more than 50 sled dogs two years ago in Whistler, B.C., has pleaded guilty in a North Vancouver provincial courtroom.

Dog slaughter plea

BC

9 years ago
2:20
Robert Fawcett pleaded guilty to slaughtering dozens of sled dogs at Whistler, B.C. 2:20

The man charged with the slaughter of more than 50 sled dogs two years ago in Whistler, B.C., has pleaded guilty in a North Vancouver provincial courtroom.

Robert Fawcett pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the animals.

Fifty-six dogs were dug up from a mass grave near Whistler after details of the killings came to light in January 2011 when Fawcett filed a worker's compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The slaughter garnered international attention and prompted the B.C. government to bring in tough new anti-cruelty laws to protect sled dogs and regulate the industry.

Sled dogs rest at a kennel operated by Whistler Outdoor Adventures near Whistler, B.C., on Saturday February 5, 2011. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

After the information leaked out about the cull, Fawcett and the company that bought his business, Outdoor Adventures, issued a statement in February 2011 that many of the dogs were old and sick and that efforts to have them adopted were unsuccessful.

The company said no instructions were provided to Fawcett on how to kill the dogs, but that he was known to have put down dogs humanely on previous occasions.

Fawcett will be sentenced Nov. 22.

 

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