Nearly two weeks later, both lost Tuuluuwak dogs with rewards (Ukiuk and Malick) have been found, along with their teammates: Pakak, Tenoch, Tuuq, and Qilaq. It has been confirmed that Malick is headed back to his breeder in the states. We are unaware of where Ukiuk and the remaining dogs will end up, though it appears Steve’s daughter-in-law has shown interest in acquiring them. Whether or not they will be chained remains uncertain. SHARP has updated us that Aklak, Siluk, Uno, Valor, and Kinu have also been recovered. Hero, Fabby, and Ursula are presumed dead, according to rescue workers. We are leaving them with the lost dog photos, just in case they are still out there. Many dogs still remain unaccounted for, and are featured below:
And just like that, in the span of a month, another sled dog kennel has dumped a handful of dogs across numerous shelters, and reportedly killed others. There were eight newborn puppies on the premises when Steve decided to abruptly end his involvement in the sport of mushing, according to his daughter-in-law. These puppies have not been spoken of by rescues, shelters, or mushers who found Steve’s dogs loose.
As the situation was unfolding, mushers were quick to change their photos of Steve’s dogs from public to private. The primary rescue involved with searching shelters for his dogs refused to release his name. The mushing club to which he belonged remained silent. Instead of banding together to try and help, the inner mushing circle panicked and attempted to erase all mention of him from the internet. This same scenario happened when Bob Fawcett slaughtered the Whistler dogs. He had been Vice President of Mush With PRIDE at the time, but was quickly scrubbed from the website and meeting minutes.
Both the Whistler and Tuuluuwak cases are prime examples of why the mushing industry is not capable of self-regulation. Culling, abandonment, and neglect are so rampant in the sport, that mushers will merely sweep cases that go public under the rug instead of working to mend the sport from the inside out.
During this catastrophe, we were left with a couple questions…
- Where was The Canadian Coalition for Sled Dogs? Their mission statement reads, “our work ensures every sled dog in Canada is humanely cared for and protected by advocating for nation-wide codes of conduct and stringent standards.” They have been incorporated since August 23rd, 2012. Why was a well-known musher like Steve Laviolette allowed to cull and abandon his dogs? Where were the oversight regulations that the Coalition claims to be putting in place? Where was the rescue and support network?
- Where was Mush With PRIDE? The organization’s very own president, Karen Ramstead, had her dog’s littermate (Carmack’s Slider, littermate to Carmack’s Wifi at NorthWapiti) killed by Steve Laviolette. Why did PRIDE not step in? Why have they not publicly condemned his actions? Why were they not involved in the rescue of the remaining dogs?
- Lastly, where were the breeders? Only two breeders put an effort into finding their lost dogs – CoeStar and HaagenDaz. One breeder, Sumbawa Siberians, even knew that SHARP had taken in one of their dogs, and did nothing. Other breeders simply lamented about the situation on their Facebook pages, called Steve an asshole, and left all the hard work up to SHARP.
Though they refused to name the musher, SHARP was the only organization to step up in the area to help the dogs in the Tuuluuwak case. Their latest update is as follows:
“16 dogs were found stray by the pound. The pound relocated/adopted 11 of them and we did 5. Our 5 went to very reputable rescues and the rescues intend to keep them as they are in the best possible care. ”
SHARP took in a total of 3 dogs through the rescue system.
These dogs have been identified and all associated parties have been informed.
1 dog was adopted out direct from a different shelter in QC.
The prior owner of this dog has full details of the adoption which took place in July.
It is the 11 dogs adopted DIRECT from the shelter in Quebec that we do not have confirmation of identity on. Not all shelters have extensive paperwork, especially if they are smaller rural ones.
If you have one of the aforementioned dogs shown above, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update their status as “found.”