VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A Canadian company linked to the slaughter of 100 sled dogs after the Winter Olympics received 65 previous orders regarding the dogs' treatment, officials said.
Howling Dog Tours, whose parent company is Outdoor Adventures Whistler, has come under almost unrelenting public criticism following the revelation 100 of its 350 sled dogs were euthanized following a post-Olympics lull in business, The Vancouver Sun reported Friday.
The slaughter came to light following a WorkSafeBC (worker's compensation) claim for post-traumatic stress disorder made by award-winning sled dog racer Robert Fawcett, the man who killed the dogs from April 21-23.
He is now under investigation for animal cruelty.
In 2006 the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued orders noting dogs tethered too long on chains, not getting enough exercise. Other orders were issued after dogs were discovered emaciated, lacking dental care and concerns about the animals not being housed properly or receiving proper socialization as required by a pack animal, the Sun said.
At the time, the SPCA was also dealing with Fawcett, who was a director and the general manager of Howling Dog Tours.
"We'd go and do an inspection and an order to fix something was always complied with so the dogs couldn't be taken into protection" of the SPCA, said Marcie Moriarty, head of the SPCA's cruelty investigation division.
Whistler police are looking into what they allege is a mounting number of death threats over the dog slaughters. The threats are being leveled at current workers of Outdoor Adventures who had no connection with the animal slaughter, the police say.
"I understand these allegations have touched a nerve in the community and across the country, and rightly so," said RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen. "We support the public's right to express their feelings of outrage and concern in a peaceful manner."
Meanwhile, Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb announced they were suspending their bookings with Outdoor Adventures. Outdoor Adventures said it was voluntarily suspending its dogsled operations, the Sun reported.