July 22, 2014 6:00 pm

Six former sled dogs up for adoption at Burnaby SPCA

Sled dogs on a group walk with volunteers at Burnaby SPCA.

Six former sled dogs at the Burnaby SPCA branch are looking for their forever homes.

The shelter received the dogs from a sled dog operation that was shutting its doors in Pemberton.

The company’s tenancy agreement was running out and it could not care for the dogs anymore.

Burnaby SPCA branch manager Ryan Voutilainen says the new code of practice for the sled dog operators requires them to have a retirement plan for the dogs, but in this case, it did not happen.

“The  code of practice is still a new thing for sled dog operators. It may still be something they are working on,” says Voutilainen.

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These dogs have no connection to the sled dog slaughter in Whistler in 2010, but Voutilainen says, “it is very important to keep this issue in front of the industry, the government and the public so they are aware that these animals are out there and still not necessarily cared for properly.”

He says the majority of animals are in good physical condition.

Some animals are suffering from dental problems like cracked or broken teeth and will be undergoing surgeries today and tomorrow.

Once the dental issues are taken care of, the six dogs will be available for adoption, but Voutilainen says it can be challenging to care for a sled dog.

“They are not used to being inside a home. The best advice we can give people is to be really patient,” he says. “It takes them a little while to get used to the new surroundings.”

If you want to adopt the dogs, go here or call Burnaby SPCA at (604) 291-7201.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sled dogs up for adoption 

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