The man who admitted to taking the lives of 56 sled dogs in April of 2010 will find out his fate Thursday (Nov. 22).
Robert Fawcett entered a plea of guilty to accusations that he caused unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal at a court appearance in August. By pleading guilty a full trial was averted. Crown Counsel Nicole Grégoire expected a trial to take ten days with about 15 witnesses being called to testify.
The former general manager of Howling Dog Tours faces a fine of up to $10,000 and potentially up to five years in jail.
The cull was made public after Fawcett applied for assistance through the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and details of his application were leaked to reporters. The BC SPCA spent more than $200,000 investigating based on details Fawcett provided WCB. The SPCA uncovered the remains of 56 sled dogs from a mass grave at the company's operations base just off Highway 99 north of Whistler.
The dogs and the company operations were taken over by the Sled Dog Foundation and a new company called Sled Dog Co. took over the remaining dogs. The foundation and the company are working to transform the way the sled dog industry operates.
News of the cull led to the B.C. government creating a Sled Dog Task Force, which resulted in amendments to B.C.'s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act. The laws around animal cruelty in B.C. are now the toughest in Canada.
Pique will be at the sentencing. Go to www.piquenewsmagazine.com for information as it becomes available and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for breaking news.