In Focus Film School Presents: Man’s Best Friend

 

Whistler and Pemberton are renowned for their majestic mountains and scenic beauty. As tourist destinations that draw over a million people every year, any damage to their reputation can cost residents their businesses and livelihoods.

A high profile incident of a dog sled owner accused of killing over 50 of his animals in April 2010 has Dominic Ball looking for answers. Does dog sledding, by its very nature, subject animals to undue risk? Or is it possible to run an ethical business that treats dogs humanely?

As Dominic notes, “This was a huge international case and gaining access to people to tell the story was not easy. They might say in an email or on the phone that they would speak to me but when I would show up with a camera they would change their mind. I also tried to have some Whistler local businesses or media talk to me and they flat out refused or would not get back to me after my continuous attempts to contact them.”

One person who didn’t turn him away was Jamie Hargreaves, who once worked with Bob Fawcett, the man who is charged in the case. In the film, Hargreaves offers her insight on both Fawcett, and the dog sledding business.

In April 2012 Fawcett was formally charged with causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a number of sled dogs under the criminal code of Canada. Due to appear in a Pemberton court on May 24, 2012 Fawcett’s lawyer requested the trial be moved to North Vancouver, citing security concerns and recent threats to Fawcett’s safety.

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