Ask the Ontario Government to Ban Outdoor Dog Chaining
Sickening new video footage from a dog sledding facility north of Toronto is shining a spotlight on appalling cruelty. Guests at Windrift Adventures posted videos showing dogs chained outdoors to poles, with only plastic barrels or tiny wooden crates for shelter. At least one dog appeared to have a festering wound on his front leg. Animal protection authorities have opened an investigation into the disturbing footage.
Tragically, these conditions are standard in the sled dog industry. As the acclaimed documentary film Sled Dogs revealed, dogs are frequently chained outside in cold weather when they are not being forced to pull sleds. These social, pack animals are denied the opportunity to socialize, play, and roam free. Instead, are forced to eat, sleep, and eliminate in the same tiny area to which they are chained. Dogs frequently suffer from boredom, frustration, and depression, and when tourism declines and operators generate less profit, they may even be shot to death. In one high-profile case in Whistler, B.C., a dog sled operator shot 100 dogs to death, execution-style, in full view of one another, and dumped into a mass grave.
Like most provinces, Ontario does not regulate the sled dog industry, and keeping dogs chained outdoors is legal.
Please tell Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Community Safety & Correctional Services Minister Marie-France Lalonde, and your provincial MPP that these dogs deserve better than a life of misery on the end of a chain.