Day 2 – Orientation to Otranto

The next day was a walk around Otranto, and all met at Porta Terra, near my place which is in the old city wall. It was hot, but certainly not the same as it is now, near the end of June. It was easy to get around. There are a lot of hills, and one thing I would say is to have good walking shoes.

As I am walking around, I am listening to others talk, and looking at my surroundings. A few stray dogs were walking with their tongue hanging out, or else lying in the shade. There is a problem here I am told with strays. The Italians are not used to having dogs and cats, and it is a fairly recent development. It is one which is a bourgeoisie activity, and they do not know how to take care of them, or what to expect. So they come to Otranto and dump the animals off. It’s really quite sad. At night, I can hear them barking and in the morning I see them in the old city as I walk to the castle. My heart goes out each time. There is one dog, I think a German Shepherd, who has known what it is to be part of a family, I can see it in his eyes. About the middle of the month, I started to say hello to him, and he now barks at me, and follows me as I walk.

I am looking at the houses as we tour the new town, where many residents live, and it is all cement, formal, but all quite beautiful. It is easy to see what the people here value, and it is simplicity. Whether it is because of an economic result, or by choice, I am not sure, but I do know it is quite lovely and unspoiled.

That afternoon, we go to the Castello and select studios and get our keys. When that is done, I take my supplies to the Castello and afterwards I wander. As i walk around, I am looking for magic and mystery. Little did I know I would find it in my flat that evening.

Canadian Animal Cruelty Legislation has no balls – you can help change that!

Sled Dog Suzie Massacre Whistler
Meet Suzie, she loved her sticks and would always try to engage you. Suzie is no longer with us, and according to the WCB reports died a horriic death. Thank you to Amie Wills for her photo so we can remember her.

This petition is aimed at international citizens, not Canadians.

If you are Canadian please go to to get a hold of a good letter to send to your MPs – especially the Conservatives!

Information about Vigils happening around the world on April 23rd 2011.

Animal Cruelty part of the Canadian Culture?

Sled Dog Suzie Massacre Whistler
Meet Suzie, she loved her sticks, and would always try to engage you. Image courtesy of Sled Dog trainer, Amie Wills. According to the WCB report on the CBC website, when she was shot in the face, she made a horrible noise, and ran away in pain with her eye hanging out. She settled near some of her packmates, but she was finished off with a scoped rifle.

Most Canadians I have talked to in Kelowna really had no idea how bad our Animal Cruelty legislation is; they didn’t know that laws have not been substantially changed since 1892. But then, when news stories hit regarding someone setting fire to their pet, or dismembering an animal, how can we wonder why they are not successfully prosecuted.

At the end of January, 2011, Canadians and world citizens were shocked and dismayed to hear of the mass executions (known to some as the Canadian Sled Dog Massacre of the Whistler 100) of the Whistler dogs in 21-23 April 2010, two short months after the Olympics. While a Task Force has been appointed by the BC government to investigate, and the results and effectiveness of that remains to be seen, Canadians are no longer waiting for the government to do the right thing.

Some Canadians are no longer accepting that animal cruelty is part of our culture, part of our identity.

But we are not the only ones.

The international community is appalled at the lack of animal cruelty legislation in Canada. Countries like the United States, England, Norway, South Africa, Italy, and the list is growing every day, are signing online petitions directed to the Canadian Government that current laws are unacceptable. According to the IFAW organization, Executive Summary in “Falling Behind – An International Comparison of Canada’s Animal Cruelty Legislation”, “Almost every day in Canada newspapers cover stories of horrific acts of cruelty to animals. From house cats captured and killed in microwaves to dogs dragged behind cars until they die from their injuries — cases of cruelty abound.” Recently, a three month old puppy was beaten to death in a hotel room in Victoria, and the killer received almost nothing as a consequence to his action.

Unless, you, my fellow Canadian, support these kinds of actions? Do you accept that cruelty to animals is part of our Canadian culture?

A grassroots movement of Canadians say things need to change. There have already been 25 walks across the country and around the world, trying to bring awareness to Canada’s horrible animal cruelty legislation. There are more to come.

As of this writing, 46 vigils are taking place on April 23rd, the second and final day of the two day Canadian Sled Dog Massacre, and petitions will be available for people to sign. We want to symbolically show the sled dogs that we really do care that this happened to them by signing the petition in support of Bill C-229.

Have you already signed?

Letters have been written by residents of Canada to their MPs. Some have written every MP in Canada! The responses have been varied but predictable. Liberal MPs have responded with unequivocal support, while the Conservative MPs appear to be quite haughty and do not believe they need to listen to the Canadian voice.

From letters I received from Conservative  MPs,  it appears to me that they feel that their work with Animal Cruelty legislation is done with the passing of S-203. Maybe they think that with their stance in the polls, should there be an election called, they have it completely wrapped up, and they don’t need to lift a finger.

How do you feel about that?

To see all the vigils that are planned for April 23rd, please visit This is a facebook page.

Past events can be seen at the Advocates Against Outdated Animal Welfare, also a facebook page. This link though will take you right to the photo albums.

Business list for petitions in the Okanagan – Bill C-229 Legislation against Animal Cruelty

Looking for 100 businesses in the Okanagan. Please consider doing this in your own Canadian city. 1000 persons with 1000 signatures is 1 Million signatures. Your bit could be as simple as signing your name saying you want change.

If you can suggest any receptive business, please let me know. If you would like to help distribute petitions, send me a message. If you would like to just print off the petition, Bill and Coles Notes version, and put it in your business, by all means, here are the links. Please send a note so I can add your business here. I will do a first round of petition pick up March 15, and a second round Apr 25. Businesses, I will be sending out a press release by the end of Feb. If you want to be included, you need to tell me.

If you would like to see what Bill C-229 is all about, please read the info from MP Mark Hollands website. Forget about politics: if you are Lib or Cons or Green or NDP or Independent. This is about getting the animal cruelty laws changed because it is the right thing to do:

Web Links

Bill 203 vs Bill 229

and Bill 229 itself:

and the petition:

here are the parliamentary rules regarding petitions – please consider asking everyone to use BLUE INK :

Business List current as of Mar 18 2011 – signatures gathered approximately 1160

1. Sunshine Pets on Banks Road Kelowna
2. Sunshine Pets near Staples in West Kelowna
3. Sunshine Pets on Elliott in Westbank (near old Coopers)
4. Urban Canine near Dragons Lair and Natures Fare in West Kelowna
5. Bean Scene on Bernard
6. Bone Apetit in Glenmore
7. Bone Apetit on Pandosy south of the Hospital
8. Buckerfields Kelowna
9. (hope to get one in Buckerfields Westbank when it is built)
10. Second Cup by London Drugs Kelowna (completed)
11. Total Pet Kelowna (completed)
12. Urban Trail Orchard Park Plaza
13. Bone and Biscuit
14. Natures Fare Kelowna
15. Mouldings and More (West Kelowna)
16. Cherry Hill Coffee by Paramount Theatre
17. Kelowna Community Theatre
18. Cannery Coffee on Ellis/Cawston
19. Hopefully City of Kelowna will put it in their staff room, this has to be approved first.
20. Pet Pantry Penticton
21. Bliss Peachland
22. Country Corner Summerland
23. Sunoka Vet Clinic Summerland
24. Total Pet Penticton
25. Lindsays Animal Hospital
26. TriLake Animal Hospital (soon)
27. Carrington Animal Hospital
28. Fairfield Animal Hospital
29. Choices Market (hopefully, dropped off needs to be approved by manager)
30. Rose Valley Corner store
31. Body Fit Kelowna (West Kelowna)
32. Astral Media (needs to be approved by manager)
33. SLR Society for Learning in Retirement
34. Martin Avenue Boys and Girls Club
35. K9 Grooming
36. Rutland Pet Hospital
37. Jacobsen Vet Services

Why the dogs, why not the homeless?

I was asked the other day, how there could be so much attention on this situation, the one with the sled dogs, when there are so many other weighty matters that abound with our human population: homeless, child abuse, addictions, you name it. Why do people show up at protests for a potential bunny cull, but not for these others? Fair enough question. Happy to explain…

There is a difference yes. The difference here is that the humans are the caretakers of animals. The animals have no choice, really, but to live within our society as we wish. Humans do have a choice, and if they are incapable of choices, their caretakers have choices. In my opinion, if their caretakers abdicate from or are incapable of their responsibility, then we have human conditions such as are listed above.

In Kelowna, we had an overpopulation of bunnies in one of our areas, according to some people there were THOUSANDS. Apparently people would dump their unwanted bunnies there, and well, bunnies do what bunnies do, and the population exploded. What is the City to do? They came up with the idea of a cull, but too many people protested, (though one went out with his 14 year old son and beat some to death with a bat – and a serial killer is born!) Long story short, the majority (I don’t know if all) were put with TRACs on a bunny farm. I believe they were all fixed so they could not reproduce. But, the point here is that it was because of human action that this problem occurred in the first place. Human action. Powerful beasts, we humans.

Our laws in Canada are atrocious. They are outdated and insufficient for the cruelty that humans are capable of. They have not been changed since 1892! Truth of the matter is, you can do anything pretty much right now to an animal in Canada, and you’ll just get a slap on the wrist. There are many of us that want that changed. The sled dog executions were an unavoidably, tremendously impactful event that shoved our current laws unceremoniously in our face, and demanded our attention to get these laws changed NOW. We could not NOT do something! We are taking ownership of our laws, we are taking ownership of our voice. But why is this so important? They are just DOGS for heavensake!

Case in point:
Here is the WCB report from BF who killed the Outdoor Adventure Sled Dogs – have you read it?

The outrage that I and others feel that this was even permitted to happen (and that some people think it was okay to do) is why we are using this momentum to get our laws changed so that if it ever did happen again, there would be severe penalties for their actions. Bill C-229 is not perfect in my eyes, I would like things to be much stiffer in penalties, and stronger in definitions, but I know laws need to change in increments. Maybe my son or grandchildren will see what I would envision as a perfect legislation.

The dog walks listed in this facebook Vigil for 100 Sled Dogs group are not just “dog walks”. There is so much more behind it, there will be petitions that people can sign so they at least feel like they are :doing: something. That is the motive behind the dog walks. People around the world! are disgusted that something like this could happen in our day and age, in our supposed evolution and consciousness as human beings.

This is not like a protest for a bunny cull. These dogs were massacred, horribly, terribly and painfully. By their pack leader. In front of the survivors. You don’t think dogs feel anything? Look at how your companion greets you next time when you come home.

There are so many people in this world who are watching Whistler, watching them deny that Outdoor Adventures is even part of Whistler, even though Outdoor Adventures is advertised as a Whistler business, given a Whistler business license, and sold as a Whistler activity. There are so many people in this world watching Whistler bury their heads in the sand thinking that if they can’t see a problem, no one else can either.

There are so many people in this world who are watching Canada, watching our government and forming opinions on our population, that we allow this sort of thing to go on. There are so many people within Canada itself, watching and writing and petitioning our government to change the legislation so that this will ever happen again.

I am one of these people, and I hope you are too. This goal is obtainable. We can get the legislation changed. We can make a difference. We can do this. Even one petition from each person with 25 signatures will add up to the million we hope to get. Every signature counts. Every voice counts. Your voice counts. This is not just about the dogs, or about dog walks. This is about making a difference for everyone.

Here is a link to information that you can get started in your own community. It is a note I posted on facebook, and thought perhaps others might like to make an impact in their own community. Any questions, by all means, let me know.

BC Sled Dog Task Force Likely Going to Turn Its Back on Sled Dogs

If you thought the fate of the 100 sled dogs who were slaughtered in British Columbia would mean a better day ahead for dogs, think again.

Instead of learning from the tragedy, instead of understanding that yes, sled dogs can be and frequently are adopted into pet homes, instead of acknowledging that death — whether it’s from a bullet to the head, a knife to the throat, or a syringe full of Fatal-plus –  is not an acceptable canine retirement plan, <b>the task force assigned to investigate the killings is turning its back on Canada’s working sled dogs.</b>

Please write to your MP and your Senate regarding this, and get the laws in Canada changed!
this is the bill mark holland, mp, wanted passed into law for tougher penalties re animal cruelty.
This is the PAPER Petition for people to sign –

discusses what is current and what is proposed by Bill C-229.

If you want to see how sad Canada is with regard to Animal Cruelty read this
how Canada ranks in animal cruelty legislation:

Please write!! Deadline for the taskforce presentation is not til March. We can make a difference, we have time!

Letter to the MPs, MLAs of Canada regarding Animal Rights and Animal Cruelty Legislation

Please feel free to copy and paste, or adjust as you feel necessary. Write to all public representatives and have all of our government hear how we feel about animal rights and animal cruelty. Here is a list of the email addresses

Dear MLA (or MP or Senator) of Canada,

There is outrage all over the world about the massacre of the sled
dogs. Canada is or maybe already has a reputation for cruelty and lack
of regard when it comes to their animal population.

Our society is one of compassion, we Canadians pride ourselves on
being one of the most compassionate peoples on this planet. But, as
Mahatma Ghandi said, ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the ways its animals are treated.

This current disposal of sled dogs in Whistler is a prime example of
what is wrong with the current legislation. These sled dogs (and other
animals) are used for economic gain, but disposed of when they are no
longer able to be supported. This is unacceptable. Animals are
sentient emotional beings. A parallel could be drawn between a parent
who can no longer support a child, would it be acceptable to kill

Under no circumstances should any company be able to discard animals.
There must be agreements signed to this effect. The SPCA or other
humane organizations must be involved and funded to enable relocation,
this needs to be a requirement!

The animal cruelty laws need to be changed. Currently Bill C-229 is in
progress and needs to be passed pronto!

The animal rights laws need to be changed. Bill C-50 needs to be
resubmitted as per requirements and passed pronto! Please SUSPEND
whether you are Liberal or Conservative or NDP or Independent and look
at the entire picture! There is no room for political ego in this
situation! How amazing would that be if you all worked together?

Animals are living sentient beings and need to be recognized as such
in updated legislation to protect their rights.

The words “brutally” and “viciously” must be defined in the Criminal Code.

“Lawful excuse” must be defined as self-defense for both human and animal!

Animals can not be killed or discarded, in any manner, when they no
longer serve their economic use.

A business who uses animals in their day to day work, for economic
gain, for human enjoyment”, must make provisions within their business
plan for the future of these animals.

A business that kills their animals must be penalized financially and
criminally for their actions. Each animal killed must be a subsequent
sentence. Sentences should be major fines, not $500. Go big!

Any illnesses arising from the ordered actions of employees that
require medical or psychological care must be turned back to the
company or parent company of that employee who ordered the action.

Any animal inflicted injuries arising from the actions of any
employees because of their killing animals must be turned back to the
company or parent company of that employee.

Canada must step up to the plate and change the laws that have, in
substance, not been changed since 1892. Bill C-50 is written already,
and could be passed without much ado, as it has already gone through
legislature. C-229 is a good start! Canada likes to think of itself as
a supporter of other nations, and that it has a good reputation in the
world. But as mentioned, a nation’s (or man’s) character is easily
judged by how he treats animals. And what does the world think of us

I do worry that a very narrow minded approach is going to be taken by
this task force – ie just looking at the sled dog issue. I hope
that… this task force pushes forward an increase to spca funding to
support preventative measures. All companies like Outdoor Adventures who use animals
for “human enjoyment” should be made to sign an agreement than none
can be killed because they can’t afford it… that part of the
business requirement is there is acknowledgment that the future of
such animals be assured, and that execution is not acceptable.

I would like a response on what you specifically are doing to aid this venture.
Thank you.

Julia Trops

Dog Sled Cull or more properly EXECUTIONS after BC Winter Olympics

Astonished. Horrified. Disgusted. Agonized. These are only a few of the feelings I had when I found out that TWO months after the Olympics, an event that celebrated the highest possible physical abilities, 100 sled dogs were culled, or more accurately, viciously murdered or executed, at Whistler Olympic Village.

To abhorrent to be true? Read the WCB report filed by the man who did this.
or on CBC website:

A very quick heart and gut wrenching synopsis: It took this person two days to shoot/ slit the throats of 100 dogs. He says in the report that he still sees ( when he tries to sleep) the terror in the… eyes of the dogs who trusted him , as he systematically picked them out, (or as they realized their fate) had to hunt them down in front of their pack. He threw their bodies in a pit , one on top of the other, those that were not quite dead yet ,tried to crawl out. He went into the pit and made sure they were now dead.

Other dogs “when they realized what was happening” tried to attack him. WHEN THEY REALIZED! Do you know anything about dog mentality? And if you do, can you imagine what must have been going through their brains?

And now this guy is getting compensation! If he receives compensation, it should be from the company who ordered the executions!

Well now I and many many others want compensation for the dogs!

Criminal investigation against the man who did it, criminal investigation against the company! Remove their ability to own any life form whatsoever as they have proven their inability to treat it with respect and dignity! They still have 200 dogs apparently. What will they do with the remainder?

This is horrific and completely unacceptable. There must be laws put in place IMMEDIATELY to protect animals who have no or limited voice. Write your MLA or your politician, I DON”T CARE WHERE YOU ARE! YOUR VOICE COUNTS! Write the company. Write the Whistler town council! Write the Whistler tourism companies! But PLEASE WRITE to express your outrage and that you do not accept this behaviour!

The BC Tourism industry is a huge part of this province’s income. Boycott BC until the LAWS ARE IN PLACE AND THIS COMPANY IS INVESTIGATED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW!

Here are the email addresses: Copy and paste is all you need to do:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

First Nations that I could find, if you have any you would like to share, please send me a note or post below:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

News agencies (will be updated as I find the addresses):,,

Newspapers are published in a separate post, just following this one.

I am not going to post the gory details. If you want to read them yourself. Last I checked there were almost 400 reports around the world of this atrocity:

Join if you want numbers the Facebook page:

Now my question is, if business doesnt pick up, and it most likely won’t, what will they do with the other TWO HUNDRED DOGS?