Sled dog slaughter case in North Vancouver courts this week 

Trial of Bob Fawcett moved to Lower Mainland from Pemberton for security concerns

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - DOG JUSTICE: Court proceedings connected to allegations of animal cruelty levelled against Robert Fawcett continue this week with a hearing at the courthouse in North Vancouver.
  • Photo by John French
  • DOG JUSTICE: Court proceedings connected to allegations of animal cruelty levelled against Robert Fawcett continue this week with a hearing at the courthouse in North Vancouver.

The second court hearing in connection with charges laid against Robert Fawcett of Pemberton is set for this week in North Vancouver.

Fawcett is charged with causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal. This second hearing follows a decision by Justice Douglas Moss on May 24 to move the proceedings from Pemberton to North Vancouver over security concerns.

Crown Counsel Nicole Gregoire requested the change in venue and defense counsel, Greg Diamond, supported the request. Gregoire argued that the Pemberton court facility isn't well equipped to handle what is expected to be a high-profile case that will attract media attention and she said North Vancouver is set up to better handle protestors if future hearings attract protesters.

"Administratively, if is difficult to staff this courtroom," said Justice Moss when he ruled last month that all further hearings relating to the case will be held at the courthouse in North Vancouver.

Gregoire noted that Fawcett has received threats and the international attention the sled dog cull caused has generated a significant amount of news media interest.

Fawcett didn't appear at the hearing in Pemberton and his lawyer didn't enter a plea on his behalf.

The hearing set for the morning of Tuesday, June 19 is expected to focus on setting future hearing dates as the two sides prepare for a trial.

The charges against Fawcett stem from April of 2010 when Fawcett was the general manager of the Whistler-based Howling Dog Tours.

The BC SPCA spent more than $200,000 to investigate the sled dog cull originally reported to have involved 100 dogs. Investigation found the remains of 54 dogs. Fawcett had given WorkSafe BC details of the cull when he applied for benefits as he dealt with post-traumatic distress.

If Fawcett is found guilty he could face up to five years in jail and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

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