Sled dogs in B.C. slaughter case to be buried next month
Janis Forest and her dog Mya stand outside Provincial Court during a hearing for accused sled dog killer Robert Fawcett in North Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday August 16, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:34AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:20PM EDT
The bodies of more than 50 sled dogs exhumed from a mass grave near Whistler, B.C., nearly two years ago will be finally laid to rest next month.
The BC Society for the Protection of Animals says 56 dogs will be buried at the agency's Penticton pet cemetery on Nov. 2.
The dogs' bodies were discovered in January 2011, after the former manager of Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc., Robert Fawcett, applied for worker's compensation on a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder.
In his claim, Fawcett said he was traumatized from being ordered to cull dogs no longer needed when business dipped following the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Fawcett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals in a North Vancouver court last August.
"This was a heartbreaking case, but now that a guilty plea has been rendered and justice is being served we hope that these beautiful animals can now finally rest in peace," BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said in a statement this week.
Fawcett now faces up to five years in jail, a $75,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
He is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 22.
A small "gathering of remembrance" is planned for the cemetery on White Lake Road at Partington Drive south of Penticton on Nov. 2, but those unable to attend are invited to post a message on the SPCA's Facebook page or tweet with the hashtag #WhistlerSledDogs.