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Houssian vows to continue operating

Outdoor Adventures owner accepts moral responsibility but trying to reconcile man he knows with statements in documents




Outdoor Adventures Whistler will keep operating despite threats against the business and the staff and a drop off in sales.

The company, owned by Joey Houssian, has come under global fire after being linked to the alleged inhumane killing of up to 100 sled dogs last year.

While the dogsledding business has ceased operation for the time being, "the rest of Outdoor's activities are open," said Houssian speaking publicly for the first time since the allegations of the dog killings were made a week ago.

"We have a commitment to a large number of staff, so... we are going to try and keep our staff working and stay open and as a company we are not planning on closing," he said.

"We are still getting bookings and we are still operating. The outpouring of support has not only been from the public but also from our partners and our suppliers and people continue to be very enthusiastic, standing right behind us and continuing to support us.

"I would like to thank Whistler for the astonishing outpouring of thoughts and goodwill and energy that they have provided me and to the company and to our staff.

"It has truly been overwhelming."

The RCMP is continuing to investigate the threats.

Houssian said while there are still many questions which need to be answered in the investigation in to the death of the dogs he takes moral responsibility.

"I accept moral responsibility for what has happened inside our company and I think it is really important that people understand that," he said.

"We are not here pointing fingers. We are not here using smoke and mirrors. We are here to be responsible and basically we are also obviously continuing to piece this whole thing together."

Last week a Vancouver radio station ran a story based on documents from a WorkSafeBC claim. The claim was being made by the general manager of Howling Dog Tours Whistler, which at the time of the claim was partly owned by Outdoor Adventures Whistler. In September of 2010 Outdoor Adventures acquired the rest of the company.

The document told a chilling tale of the death by shooting and slashing of up to 100 dogs by the manager, who claimed he was told to get rid of the dogs for economic reasons. They were buried in a mass grave.

The manager, Bob Fawcett, filled in both the claim paperwork and the employer's portion of the paperwork.

There is a discrepancy in the documents about the number of dogs killed.

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