Animal activists are up in arms with the slap on the wrist handed to Bob Fawcett, the man who brutally slaughtered more than 50 sled dogs in Whistler following the 2010 Olympics.
Fawcett avoided jail time upon the suggestion of the Crown and was
fined $1,500 and ordered to complete
200 hours of community service (hopefully not at a B.C. SPCA.)
Following the letter of the law, Judge Steve Merrick is correct in saying the chance of Fawcett re-offending is highly unlikely, and a psychiatrist's assessment shows evidence of mental instability. Animal euthanasia is indeed
legal in Canada.
Fawcett was an entrepreneur who bought into the hoopla that the Vancouver Olympics would result in a huge spike in tourism long after the athletes packed up and left the country. That never happened and he was stuck with a failed business on his hands.
The photos seen round the world of dogs cramped into tiny quarters and suffering from malnutrition left a black eye on British Columbia. It enraged even non-pet owners.
Owning an animal is a huge responsibility whether it's for work purposes or pleasure. Children need to be taught to respect and appreciate animals. Many serial killers, we're told, began on their psychopathic paths in life by torturing small animals.
Fawcett may indeed be remorseful and the fact he's become a "pariah" to many is no different than many other felons.
Where Fawcett erred was he made no attempt to contact animal authorities and say, "hey, I've got a problem, can you help?"
Animal cruelty laws need to be changed and unfortunately, due to resources and funding, they're hard to enforce.
A sentence of six months to two years in jail would have been more appropriate for Fawcett especially when one considers there's young people sitting in jail right now who have committed far lesser crimes in the eyes of the public.
- Penticton Herald Managing Editor James M. Miller