Operation Sled Dogs, an unaccredited and amateur group of Husky rescuers who are currently driving 24 Huskies across Canada in make shift transport truck, began a campaign in March to save a group of Huskies slated to be culled by their owner, and in their rush to make a name for themselves, announced on Friday that a puppy in their care has died.
According to a post made by group administrator Gini Green on the Operation Sled Dogs Facebook page an eight week old puppy died during transport.
Although we would like to be posting tonight about some wonderful news or showing you pictures of the surrender, we have all struggled today with the news this morning that the one 8-week old puppy surrendered, had to be rushed to a vet but couldn’t be saved.
The rescue of the Huskies has been mired in controversy from the onset of the operation, with members requesting transparency in expenditures and demanding full accounting of funds raised finding themselves ostracized from the group, and being attacked through numerous online means.
On April 10th, when Operation Sled Dogs took possession of the then 25 dogs, they noted immediately that most of the dogs were barely fit for travel, but due to a strict timeline for shipping, and a growing number of voices denouncing the group for their handling of the rescue, organizational leaders including Dee-Ann (Diane) Gallant, Bev Miagortok, Mike De Grace and Deanna Bliuvas made the decision to move ahead.
Shortly thereafter, the pup in question, died.
There are many issues associated with transporting dogs, especially sick ones and according to one blogger, the consequences can be disastrous.
“But let’s say, whatever the reason, rescuers don’t follow the law and obtain a health certificate for their shelter pups being put on a transport,” writes the YesBiscuit blog. “What’s the worst that could happen? For starters, any pups who are harboring contagious diseases could infect all the other dogs on the transport. Subsequently, every dog coming off the transport may have been exposed and may infect other dogs at their final destination. Furthermore, if a rescue group pulls … puppies and only gets them vetted once they have arrived, they might find out that most of the pups have parvo and be forced to euthanize en masse or beg for $20,000 to help cover vet bills.”
Many animal rights advocates are now questioning whether the Operation Sled Dogs organizers were not only unqualified to take on a rescue of this size, but also if they should have reached out to well known rescuers such as ARC, Red Rover or even their local SPCA to ensure the safety of the dogs.