Target: Provincial Court of British Columbia
Goal: Increase maximum sentence for murderer of over 50 sled dogs
Recently, a British Columbia sled-dog musher and former sled-dog tour operator, Robert Fawcett, pleaded guilty to charges of murdering over fifty dogs for the purposes of culling. When breeders cull animals, they specifically select those that exemplify desired traits. In this case, instead of simply keeping specific dogs for future breeding, Fawcett disposed of the others in a mass grave that was found to contain the remains of fifty-six dogs. The punishment for this heinous crime is up to five years in prison, with a potential $75,000 in fines. This is hardly a punishment fitting of the crime.
While Fawcett is scheduled to undergo psychological testing for his behavior, the fact remains that to prosecute a man guilty of severe animal cruelty for five years maximum is unjust. Animal rights activist Ingrid Katzberg claimed that, “if [the sentence] is going to be a slap on the wrist, we are nowhere more forward than we were yesterday.” Truly, crimes such as these cannot be treated lightly. In addition to his crime, Fawcett was found to have reimbursed his workers for “post-traumatic stress-disorder” as a result of their being forced to cut the animals’ throats and dump their bodies into the giant grave. It was this file for workers compensation that alerted authorities to strange and potentially illegal activity.
After the appropriate investigations were performed and claims led to the discovery of a grave that held the year-old remains of the 56 sled dogs, the guilty man confessed. Still, many companies that employed Fawcett deny any claims made against him and continue to vouch for his character even after he pleaded guilty. While it is unlikely that he killed the dogs for aggressive reasons, breeders are known to cull animals and frequently overlook the well-being of those that do not exhibit the most desirable traits. To kill off these animals as a result of this practice may not make Fawcett a sadist, but it does make him a murderer.
Tell the Provincial Court of British Colombia that severe punishment should be the course of action going forward. Stand alongside animal rights activists and fight against animal cruelty by making sure that courts know these crimes will not be tolerated by the public.
Dear Provincial Court of British Columbia,
I oppose a sentence of merely five years for Robert Fawcett, who pleaded guilty to having murdered over 50 sled dogs after the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Just because this crime was revealed more than a year after the incident is no reason to lighten the sentence for mass murder. Many have claimed that the aforementioned sentence would be a “slap on the wrist” and nothing more. I agree, and I urge you to make a sentence that is befitting of the crime.
In addition to justice, a light sentence does not deter animal abusers from their detestable practices any more than a slap on the wrist deters a child from bad behavior. To give a sentence that many consider to be easily endurable advertises a negative message. It tells our society that animal abuse is only a minor infraction as opposed to a serious crime. A light sentencing in situations such as these tell our public that it is okay to cause pain and suffering to animals. It is not, and I urge you take action against it immediately. Robert Fawcett deserves severe conviction for his crime, and five years in prison is simply not enough.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Google Images