Allegations of animal abuse at a dog-sledding operation north of Toronto have prompted Ontario's animal welfare organization to launch an investigation.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it received a complaint from two people who alleged about 100 dogs were being mistreated at Windrift Kennel in Moonstone, Ont.
Natasha Guerriero and Dylan Blake, from Whitby, Ont., said they were dog-sledding on Sunday and took video of the animals afterward.
The videos, which the pair posted to Facebook, show dozens of dogs chained up in the snow, with one dog limping with an apparent open wound on one of its front legs.
Blake said the kennel's owner – a woman – told them the dog was injured while fighting another animal over a female dog that was in heat.
"She told the (injured) dog to suck it up multiple times," Blake, 20, told The Canadian Press.
That's when Blake said he decided to record video of the scene to share on social media.
"I turned around looking at all the dogs around me trying not to tear up because it was the most sickening thing I had ever seen," Blake said.
Guerriero, 25, said she felt bad about the animals.
"Dozens and dozens of dogs, if not all of them, are in trouble – they were limping, scrawny and starving and the owner said they sleep in little huts outside year round," she said.
Windrift Kennel did not responded to repeated requests for comment.
The couple said they got back on the bus and returned home to Whitby, where they filed a complaint with the OSPCA before posting the videos on Facebook, Blake said.
A spokeswoman for the OSPCA said they haven't seized any dogs and that the investigation is in its early stages.
Guerriero said they had booked the outing through booking company Toronto Adventures.
Toronto Adventures said Thursday it has cut ties with Windrift Kennel and will no longer offer dog-sledding outings. People who have booked a trip will be refunded, the company said.
"We came to the conclusion that waiting for the pending results of the Ontario SPCA investigation of Windrift Kennel was not necessary in determining if we would continue to use Windrift Kennel for any of our future events," Toronto Adventures said in a statement.
A staff member who answered a phone call Thursday said they have received multiple death threats in wake of the allegations.
"It's been rough," said the staffer who did not want his name used due to the nature of the threats. "People explode and some go overboard. We will be going over the threats and reporting it to police."