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Paws and Listen

Calling for an end to sled dog cruelty

Following Vancouver’s winter Olympics in 2010, dozens of sled dogs were slaughtered due to a downturn in business for one company.

Horrified by this needless cull, we partnered with the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) to encourage our customers to “paws and listen” about the suffering of sled dogs.

The Campaign

In March 2011 our British Columbia shops asked customers to sign postcards addressed to the Minister of Agriculture demanding a ban on dog sled races and tours. Although the Whistler case was extreme, it served as an example of what can become of animals when they’re exploited for profit and are no longer of economic value. It’s not uncommon for an entire herd of dogs to be culled when they’re no longer required by the business—and until dog sledding is banned altogether, dogs will continue to suffer.

We created a limited edition Paws Soap with 100% of the purchase price being donated to VHS. We also held marches in Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria with concerned customers and their canine companions to raise public awareness around the cruelty that exists in the dog sledding industry.

The Outcome

The sales of Paws Soap resulted in a $14,500 donation to the Vancouver Humane Society, and 10,725 signatures were collected to ban dog sled races and tours in British Columbia. VHS presented the signatures along with thousands of others at a hearing in Vancouver. Although we were disappointed that an outright ban was not introduced as a result, the province did impose greater legal penalties for animal cruelty and regulation of the industry.