Former Whistler sled dog missing near Oliver
A husky dog named Arctic survived an infamous case of animal cruelty in B.C., but his owners are now desperate to find him after he went missing on a trip to the Okanagan.
Arctic disappeared from a rural property in the 1100 block of Willowbrook Road just northwest of Oliver, B.C. almost ten days ago, and his family is desperate to find him.
Alison and Patrice Savoie adopted the now 13-year-old dog in 2013. Arctic and almost two hundred other sled dogs were adopted into homes in an unprecedented rescue mission involving multiple shelters and rescues.
“He’d only ever lived on a chain,” said Alison Savoie. “He’d never had any freedom before.”
The dogs, including Arctic, survived the infamous cull at a sled dog operation that happened shortly after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler.
In 2012, Robert Fawcett pled guilty to animal cruelty charges after an investigation by the BC SPCA led to the discovery of 56 dead dogs buried on a site near Pemberton.
The details of the case were gruesome and sparked international outrage and led to changes to BC’s animal cruelty laws.
For six years Arctic has been the centre of the Savoies family life in Maple Ridge, and their constant companion. So when Alison Savoie went to stay with a friend near Oliver on June 21, she naturally took Arctic with her.
The next morning her dog vanished, seemingly into thin air.
The Savoies have combed the area every day since then, and believe someone may have taken the dog. There have been three unconfirmed sightings — the last one at Lion’s Park in Oliver on June 25 — with descriptions of Arctic being led by a woman with a rope around his neck. Since then, nothing.
The Savoies are offering a $1,000 reward, hoping that if anyone has Arctic that they’ll do the right thing and contact them or the authorities.