....and around the world, tens of thousands more each and every month.
Let’s face it, the massacre (and there is no other word for it) of 100 sled dogs in Whistler was horrible. But I’m betting it was no more horrible (and certainly no more tragic) than the 100 who were shot in Northern BC a few weeks ago. And it is no more tragic than the hundreds who are put down in shelters in North America every single day. And no more tragic than the hundreds of animals of all species who are sold for slaughter at auctions, culled by animal mills and even reputable breeders, or abandoned in fields, houses or country roads to die from starvation and other preventable deaths.
The 100 who died in Whistler is the tip of the iceberg. It reflects not only society’s disregard for the lives and feelings of other sentient beings, but also society’s greed. The breeding or purchasing of animals as an entertainment commodity, be it to give tourists sled rides or to thrill children in petting zoos or to race (or fight) against one another and then be killed when they are no longer profitable is, in my opinion, unconscionable. It is a reprehensible practice and it has to be stopped.
The SPCA is being blamed by some, after the business claims to have asked them to take the dogs (though without telling them they were going to massacre them if they couldn’t dump them on someone else’s door). The vet who refused to euthanize healthy dogs is being blamed. The rescues who were supposedly contacted (so far, I haven’t heard of a single rescue who received a call or email from them - and there are lots of rescues on the two BC rescues forums I frequent) are being blamed.
Where the f*** (I don’t usually use such offensive language, but I can think of no other word strong enough) do those blamers think these animals were supposed to go? The SPCA, like ethical rescues, survives on donations, not 'profits' – and with society’s attitude and lack of commitment for the animals it breeds, they are stretch to the limit to handle what they do handle. The same is true for other rescues. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if petting zoos dumped their potbelllied pigs, goat kids and chickens on the rescue/shelter community at the end of each summer? It is bad enough that they dump them on the unsuspecting public, who then in turn dump at least some of them into rescues.
Every time that someone breeds a dog in this province and sells the puppies, they are contributing to the problem. Every time that someone fails to spay/neuter/geld their animal and then lets it conceive – by neglect or design – they are contributing to the problem. Every time a business starts up which is grounded in the purchase and disposal of animals according to the vagaries of economics, they are contributing to the problem.
We need legislation, to be sure. But more than that, we need a new moral fibre for society. I am almost betting that some entrepreneur out there is already drafting the script for a movie about the Whistler massacre. It sickens me. What kind of civilization have we become? Where is the "humane" in humanity?
If you are at all touched by the events of the past few days, if you feel outrage about the Whistler dogs, then put the blame squarely where it belongs – on the owner of the business.
And then go volunteer with a rescue or make a donation to one. Heaven knows there will be more than 100 dogs killed in the coming days. You just won't hear about them on the six o'clock news.