Animal welfare

Ontario sled company under fire after 220 dogs removed by Animal Welfare


Inspectors rescue sled dogs from Windrift Adventures’ two Ontario sites over abuse allegations

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Windrift Adventures – a dog sledding company operating in Oro-Medonte and Severn, 90 minutes northwest of Toronto – has had its dogs impounded by Animal Welfare Services from their two locations in the ski country suite to allegations of abuse, reports CBC. After animal welfare inspected the premises on September 23, Solicitor General Department spokesman Brent Ross confirmed Tuesday that “a large number of dogs had been removed from both properties.”

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One of dozens of dogs chained to a short leash
One of dozens of dogs chained to a short leash Photo by Facebook / Dylan Blake

In 2018, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) first investigated the company and issued several orders to provide isolated shelters, clean water, proper food and veterinary care.

However, allegations of abuse circulated when earlier that year Whitby couple Natasha Guerriero and Dylan Blake posted a viral video online that garnered nearly five million views, where one of the dogs had visible open wounds, another limping and dozens chained in the snow. “The dogs were extremely scared walking towards them and some of them were sick, starving and injured. It was shocking, ”Blake said in a Facebook post. This sparked a petition with more than 130,000 signatories demanding that the company “treat their dogs better.”

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“We love our dogs and we love the sport of dog sledding. We love to introduce people to the sport and teach them what dog sledding has to offer, ”says Windrift Adventures on its website.

Although officials have not provided CBC with further details on the case against the company, Ross assured that “the animals are housed and received care.”

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Earlier this year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) seized 40 dogs from a sled dog operation in British Columbia. “There were a number of animal welfare issues including inadequate shelter, hypothermia, suspected dehydration, and stereotypical behavior seen in some dogs.” said Marcie Moriarty, head of prevention and law enforcement for the BC SPCA. Under the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act, sled dog owner Al Magaw was charged with $ 65,000 in fines owed to the company.


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