Emotional Reunion For A Man And His Best Friend

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“I think it’s about time for some good news, especially on Valentines Day…A man & his beloved dog, reunited…think I’m gonna cry!!!”

It’s been a long year for Robert Moreland, but even longer for his dog Blackjack.  The German shepherd was stolen from Moreland’s truck while he was at Home Depot 10 months ago, and Moreland was devastated.   He and Blackjack had been together since the dog was a pup, and now they have finally been reunited.

When Moreland discovered that Blackjack had been taken he called police, but they never found him.  “It hurt me to my heart,” Moreland said, a long time dog lover who did not want to give up the search despite health concerns of his own.  Moreland has suffered from PTSD ever since retiring from the Air Force in 1981 after 20 years of service, and he credits Blackjack with helping him cope.

Finally he gave in and did get another dog, named Rommel, though he continued to pray for Blackjack.  “I had given up,” Moreland said. “Not because I wanted to, but because I know evil people are in this world, and they don’t care.”  Then the miracle happened.

Eric Weinberger, a volunteer at Big Dog Ranch Rescue, got a phone call from a Palm Beach resident who had been feeding a stray dog for several months.

 Weinberger came and after several failed attempts was able to catch the dog, which the microchip revealed to be Blackjack.  Weinberger fears that Blackjack was used in dog fighting.  He was found with a green plastic collar around his neck and a piece of meat hung from a chain. “We’ll never know what they were using him for,” said Weinberger, “But the only reason he would have that collar on him is if he was used as a bait dog.”

Big Dog Ranch Rescue called Moreland to deliver the news and the pair had an emotional reunion on Valentine’s Day.  Blackjack went straight to Moreland and curled up beside him, as if no time had passed.  Blackjack had surgery to treat his wounds on Friday, and should be able to go back home on Sunday.  “I was so pleased (to find him),” Moreland said, and he expressed his gratitude to the kind people at Big Dog Rescue for bringing his boy home.

News Link:http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2013/02/emotional-reunion-for-a-man-and-his-best-friend1/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LifeWithDogs+%28Life+With+Dogs%29

No Prison Time For Man Who Killed 50 Sled Dogs

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“This guy is supposed to love dogs, he said he couldn’t bear to see them deteriorate, well why would they? money was frozen but I though their food was safe?!!  if so, I wonder if he ever went without food?? If I was in that situation, no way would I even contemplate killing them, hell would freeze over first…I would look for other homes for them…if I couldn’t find other homes, I would make room for them in my house, or somewhere;but I definitely wouldn’t kill them, that goes against everything I believe in, thought that true of all dog lovers?!”

The man who killed more than 50 sled dogs after business slumped following the Canadian Winter Olympics thought he was acting in the “best interests” of the animals, a British Columbia judge concluded.

VANCOUVER, B.C.A man who pleaded guilty in the slaughter of dozens of sled dogs in British Columbia will not spend time in prison, a judge has ruled.

Provincial Court Judge Steve Merrick concluded Thursday that Robert Fawcett had the “best interests” of the dogs at heart when he culled the pack near Whistler after a business slump following the 2010 Olympics.

The devastating aftermath of the April 2010 killing was outlined in court by Fawcett’s lawyer, who described how hard it was for his client to listen to details of the slaying of his beloved animals. 

Fawcett, 40, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals. That count relates to the deaths of nine dogs. More than 50 were exhumed from a mass grave in 2011 as part of a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigation. The court was told most of the dogs didn’t suffer.

The judge gave Fawcett three years’ probation, 200 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine. He can’t work in the sled-dog industry or make decisions about euthanizing animals.

The court was told that Fawcett felt forced into the decision when the owners of Howling Dog Tours put an “absolute freeze” on spending, except for food and a bare minimum of labor.

Fawcett was watching the dogs’ conditions deteriorate to a point they were fighting and killing each other.

“He accepted the burden because he felt he could do it compassionately, and he did not want that burden placed on anyone else,” said defense lawyer Greg Diamond.

The defense supplied 30 character references to the judge who described Fawcett’s “admirable dedication” to the dogs.

Diamond said his client has become an “international pariah,” partly due to intense media scrutiny.

He said his client has attempted suicide, has tattooed a ring of dogs around his arm to remember their lives, and still shudders when he hears a dog bark.

Diamond said the one “silver lining” that has resulted was legislative reform giving British Columbia some of the toughest animal-cruelty laws in Canada.

Government prosecutor Nicole Gregoire said Fawcett has received death threats, had a mental breakdown that sent him to an institution for two months, and even saw his young children and wife forced into hiding.

The case became public in January 2011 after a workers’ compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder was leaked.

Gregoire said questions remain about how someone who was caring and had a record of high standards could inflict pain on animals. “Exactly!!”

She pointed to a psychological assessment, noting the psychiatrist found Fawcett likely had experienced “high levels of distress” leading up to the cull, and likely had disassociated his emotions during the event itself.

News Link:http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019752613_sleddogs24.html

Guilty plea in sled-dog slaughter

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Animal-rights activists want Fawcett locked up for killing unwanted pack

A man charged with the slaughter of more than 50 sled dogs near Whistler has pleaded guiltyto an animal-cruelty charge two years after the bodies were dug up from a mass grave near the ski-resort town.

Robert Fawcett, seen here leaving B.C. Provincial Court Thursday in North Vancouver, pleaded guilty to an animal-cruelty charge. He’s accused of killing sled dogs after the 2010 Olympics

Former sled-dog operator Robert Fawcett, who showed up sporting a short haircut and wearing a mismatched brown suit, entered his plea while standing next to his lawyer in a North Vancouver court Thursday.

He was charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to the animals.

Outside the courthouse, about a dozen animal-rights advocates accompanied by their pet dogs called for a prison sentence for Fawcett.

If it’s going to be a slap on the wrist, we are nowhere more for-ward than we were yesterday,” said Ingrid Katzberg, referring to a possible sentence.

“It has to be something that is going to tell other people you are going to be punished if you continuously do this to animals.”

Fifty-six dogs were dug up in a mass grave in May 2011 after details of the cull leaked out four months earlier.

The information came from a post-traumatic stress-disorder claim made by Fawcett, the former general manager of Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours, through workers’ compensation.

The claim suggested the dogs were killed to cull the sled-dog pack after a post-Winter Olympic slump in tour sales. The companies that employed the man, however, have denied such instructions.

A man calling himself Bob Fawcett also wrote on a PTSD website, describing a gruesome scene of how the dogs were shot or had their throats slit before being dumped in the grave.

The post claimed upwards of 100 dogs were slaughtered, although the B.C. SPCA said the investigation only ever turned up about half that number.

The Crown prosecutor has asked for a psychological assessment for Fawcett, who is expected to be sentenced in November.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie did not specify what sentence the prosecution will ask for.

“The position that Crown takes in this matter will be a principled and fair position that is based on the circumstances of the offence, the seriousness of the offence, but also takes into the account the circumstances of the offender,” he told reporters outside the courthouse.

Fawcett and his defence lawyer, Greg Diamond, did not speak to the media.

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

Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA, said this investigation was the biggest and most costly in the organization’s history.

We hope this plea results in swift and appropriate justice in this very disturbing case,” said Moriarty in a statement.

The SPCA says a memorial for the slain sled dogs is planned for Nov. 2.

News Linkhttp://www.theprovince.com/news/Guilty+plea+sled+slaughter/7172236/story.html#ixzz25EduTw4N


Sled-dog operator charged with animal cruelty for post-Olympic slaughter of dozens of dogs

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Grisly reports of the execution of sled dogs in Whistler following the 2010 Games, a lengthy probe, and a mass grave exhumation have led to a criminal animal-cruelty charge against the self-admitted executioner, former Whistler dog tour operator Bob Fawcett.

Whistler's Bob Fawcett (centre) is pictured here in the Incredible Skijoring competition during the Purina Dog Challenge in Whistler in January, 2010. He has been identified as having slaughtered 100 sled dogs last year. Police are investigating "serious threats" connected to the incident.

On Friday, B.C.’s Criminal Justice Branch announced charge approval against Fawcett, for allegedly causing unnecessary pain or suffering to a number of dogs in April 2010. Fawcett’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 24 in Pemberton.

The alleged crime, which sparked outrage worldwide, was investigated by the B.C. SPCA and the RCMP.

Fawcett, former general manager of Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours, claimed he suffered post-traumatic stress after completing a quick and messy mass cull of dogs that were his “friends” — for economic reasons.

In a press release, the B.C. SPCA said: “Gruesome details of the mass killings were leaked to media in January 2011 after Fawcett filed a successful claim with WorkSafe B.C., saying the cull left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Fawcett also posted details on a PTSD website, describing how the panicked animals were shot or had their throats slit before being dumped in a mass grave.”

Last May a team of B.C. SPCA constables, veterinarians and forensic scientists exhumed the bodies of 54 sled dogs from a grave near Whistler. That evidence supported a B.C. SPCA report submitted to Crown counsel in September 2011, recommending charges against Fawcett.

In a January 2011 PTSD forum account in which Fawcett said soldiers would be the only people “who could relate to what I have had to be put through,” he wrote: “So I my manager take a truck to the bottom of the road so no one could come up and gave him a radio in case I shot myself. I then set about the direct execution of 60 of my friends on day 1. Some I missed, had to chase around with blood everywhere, some I had to slit their throats because it was the only way to keep them calm in my arms.”

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Sled+operator+charged+with+animal+cruelty+post+Olympic+slaughter+dozens+dogs/6493086/story.html#ixzz1scXKLoIW

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