Speak out Against the Needless and Brutal Killing of Sled Dogs
  • Petitioned BC Sled Dog Task Force Head Terry Lake

This petition was delivered to:

BC Sled Dog Task Force Head Terry Lake

Speak out Against the Needless and Brutal Killing of Sled Dogs

    1. Laura Sterner
    2. Petition by

      Laura Sterner

      Sacramento, CA

UPDATE 2/21/2011:  Dr. Lake has responded to our petition, but we still seek a commitment from him to work to dispel the myth of the unadoptable sled dog.  Please keep the petition going.  

-------------original text below-------------

Sled dogs are not livestock, but Terry Lake, the head of the task force appointed to investigate the killing of 100 dogs who were brutally killed in British Columbia seems to feel that they should be treated that way.  He recently told The Star.org:  

“In over 20 years of practise, I probably have euthanized hundreds of animals, and, of course, in an acceptable and humane way,” Lake said. “These are not pet dogs we are dealing with, and so the method of euthanasia in a veterinary office is not the only humane method of euthanasia. I think that’s an important thing to say.”

Christie Keith of petconnection.com points out that the takeaway message here is that sled dogs are held to a lower standard of "humane" treatment when it comes to how they are killed (yes, killed).  She also points out that this statement further feeds into the myth that retired sled dogs do not make good pets and are not adoptable.  

Hundreds of retired, rescued sled dogs are living proof that this is not true.  We need to make sure that the people in charge of this task force know that we CARE about these dogs, even if they do not.  Let's make our voices heard!  

Here is the letter.  Your signature here will send this letter directly to Dr. Lake's e-mail box.  Please sign to let him know that we do not buy into the party line and won't accept it.  Then share this via e-mail, Facebook, twitter, and wherever people gather who love dogs.  Then join the Pet Health Action Network on Facebook to stay on top of this and other stories affecting companion animals.  

We, the undersigned, would like to express our concern and outrage at the recent killing of 100 sled dogs in British Columbia.  We are particularly concerned by the continued expression by Dr. Terry Lake, the head of this task force, that retired sled dogs are not adoptable, which implies that they therefore must be killed.  Further, we object to the notion that working dogs such as sled dogs can and should be held to a lower acceptable standard of "humane" killing than non-working companion animals.  This idea suggests that the sled dog should be treated like livestock.  

We would like to ask the task force to work to STOP the needless killing of sled dogs and to investigate further these ideas that sled dogs are not adoptable before making blanket statements that effectively condemn hundreds of dogs.  WE ASSERT THAT THERE IS AMPLE EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE ADOPTABLE and implore you to consider this evidence before making decisions and statements that will affect the fate of countless dogs in the future.  

Edited on 2/21/2011 to add:  We appreciate your recent clarlification on this matter and ask that you make a commitment to work to dispel the myth that the retired sled dog is unadoptable.  We believe this myth leads to events such as the one that happened recently, and believe that you are in a position to make inroads against it.  





Recent signatures


    1. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      I've closed the petition based on comments made by Dr. Lake at the Pet Connection blog where he clarifies further his position. He has asked us to watch the work of the task force, and we will. Thank you to all who participated; I believe we truly made a difference here in making sure this task force knows that so many are so concerned.

    2. Reached 1 signatures
    3. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      Dr. Lake has been asked to indicate whether we can count on him to work to dispel the myth that these dogs are unadoptable. Until we get a commitment from him on this, the petition remains open.

    4. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      Dr. Lake responds:

      My comments regarding sled dogs have been taken out of context by those who genuinely care about these animals and I would like to add context. Every veterinarian will tell you that there are some dogs, particularly those that are raised outside with less human contact than housepets, are terrified to come into the veterinary hospital. We often have to perform euthanasia in the back of pick up trucks when dogs are simply too terrified to enter the clinic. When considering all the factors euthanizing a sled dog in its own environment is often far more humane than subjecting it to the confines of a veterinary hospital. These dogs, if well socialized, can be adopted to many homes but they are not suited to appartment life or to sitting around in a small yard their whole life. These were the points I made and if all my comments were published, it would have been clearer to all those who are concerned about this horrible situation.

      Terry Lake, DVM

      You may view his response at

    5. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      Background info: Anatomy of a Sled Dog Massacre, by Christie Keith

    6. Reached 750 signatures
    7. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      I went to brunch and when I came home the number of signatures had doubled. Thank you to everyone who has signed.

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. Laura Sterner
      Petition Organizer

      We now have almost 300 signatures! I'm thrilled to see so many here who care about the lives of these dogs. Let's keep this petition moving forward.

    10. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Rebecca Bannon EDISON, NJ
      • over 3 years ago

      We have two huskies and the fact that this is happening to some very hard working dogs after their life of hard but rewarding work for them is over is heartbreaking. They aren't the pet for everyone, but they can bring some great joy to people willing to put in the work for them. It's so worth it.

    • Jean McCarthy BRAMPTON, CANADA
      • over 3 years ago

      Dr. Lake, I really hope you did not graduate from our beloved University of Guelph. I would hate to see the reputation of Guelph be blotched by you. You are not a veterinarian who cares about animals. You are only in this for the $$s and that is a p--- poor reason to be a vet, or on any board. Lane should also be relieved of his "high" place as neither one of you show compassion for animals. Just look at the picture, and other pictures, of these beautiful dogs and their trusting eyes and tell me that this unmerciful slaughter has been fair. The employee should well have nightmares over this for the rest of his life!!! I cannot read more about this slaughter, and to think this is Canada! Atrocious acts and yes, they could have adapted to a loving home. Shame on you both - you need to be in captivity - maybe taking place of one of those lovely dogs - pull a sled until you no longer can, and then be done with you.

    • Josie White GOLDENDALE, WA
      • over 3 years ago

      I want change in the thought of professionals concerning working dog treatment. No euthanasia for retirement. No euthanasia in the field by gun/knife.

    • Michelle Gregg ATLANTA, GA
      • over 3 years ago

      I am outraged not only that sled dogs are for some reason held to lower humane standards than other companion animals, but that they are being murdered once they can no longer work to begin with!! This is absolutely unacceptable and we will work to stop this egregious behavior until we have won the lives of these beautiful dogs once and for all.

    • Jolanta Piatkowska PORTLAND, OR
      • over 3 years ago

      Dr. Lake,

      The issue is NOT ONLY how the dogs are euthanized, but WHY... exactly, WHY do you have to kill them???


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