WAG's rescued dog in 'remarkable' shape after a year in wild 

Ministry of Forests confirms it approved shooting of second 'feral' dog near remote campground

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - 'Feral' dog examined A dog rescued by WAG from remote Sloquet Hot Springs is looked at by Whistler vet David Lane and WAG staff. The dog's companion was shot.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • 'Feral' dog examined A dog rescued by WAG from remote Sloquet Hot Springs is looked at by Whistler vet David Lane and WAG staff. The dog's companion was shot.

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The Ministry of Forests spokesman confirmed in an email to Pique on Aug. 10 the death of one animal and their request for WAG to take on liability.

"(A ministry staff member) requested a written assurance from the organization to take responsibility for the animals and any associated liability. When this consent was not forthcoming, he advised the manager he could shoot the dogs at the campsite if necessary," the spokesman's email said.

Eckersley said on Friday that as a non-profit, WAG could not accept liability, though they had been more than willing to capture and take the dogs away.

"This is the first time I'd ever had to deal with a situation like this from a ministry person," Broderick added.

"I was surprised by the request to take on liability."

The ministry spokesman said that both dogs had been involved in numerous incidents, including biting one person and stealing food from campers repeatedly.

"We can confirm that the manager of Sloquet Hot Springs campsite shot a feral dog on Thursday evening that had been acting aggressively toward campers in recent weeks," the spokesman wrote.

"The campsite manager, also the band manager for the Douglas Lake First Nation, received permission from ministry staff to shoot the dogs. However, the dogs ran off from the campsite and the shooting occurred approximately seven to eight kilometres away from the campsite."

The spokesman added that the manager acted with the full support of the ministry: "The animal was one of two dogs that had been causing problems in the area in recent weeks. Both had open sores and one had a severe injury to its hind leg. Ministry staff recently received reports that the dogs were stealing food from campers and one individual was bitten by one of the dogs...

"Three unsuccessful attempts were made in recent weeks to capture and relocate the dogs, including one by a member of the SPCA who was camping in the area and managed to load the feral dogs into a pickup truck. However the dogs chewed through their rope tethers and jumped from the moving truck, resulting in further injuries."

The following day, Friday, Aug. 10, WAG was invited to return to capture the second dog, which had run off into the forest. The group had a continuous presence at the Sloquet Hot Springs until loggers and volunteers captured it without incident on Saturday, Aug. 11.

"They are angels," said Eckersley, who had gone out to the site twice in the effort to catch the last dog. "I spent 36 hours trying to get him and they said they were going to save this dog and they did."

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