Sentencing expected for man who slaughtered dozens of Whistler, B.C. sled dogs

The Canadian Press

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. - A B.C. man who admitted to slaughtering 56 sled dogs in the ski resort town of Whister, B.C. following the Vancouver Olympics appears in a North Vancouver court today for his sentencing.

Robert Fawcett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the animals in late August, more than two years after the bodies were dumped in a mass grave.

The disturbing case came to light only after the former sled dog tour operator filed a workers' compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder, and prompted international outcry.

The B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals conducted a massive forensic investigation, while the provincial government passed new laws giving B.C. the toughest penalties in Canada for animal cruelty.

Fawcett's claim suggested the dogs were culled after a post-Winter Olympics slump in tour sales, although the company that employed the man has denied such instructions.

Under the Criminal Code, the maximum sentence for causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal is five years of prison time and up to $75,000 in fines.