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.
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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.