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Ontario dog-sled company says OSPCA 'misrepresents' facts of cruelty case

A dog-sledding operation being investigated for allegations of animal cruelty says Ontario's animal welfare agency is misrepresenting the facts of the case.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals launched an animal cruelty investigation into Windrift Adventures after a complaint from two people who alleged dogs were being mistreated at the operation in Moonstone, Ont.

Last week, the OSPCA ordered Windrift to improve the well-being of more than 100 dogs by providing insulated shelter, clean water, appropriate food and veterinary care to the animals.

Windrift said in a statement this week that it provides proper care to all its dogs.

"For twenty-five years, Windrift Adventures has been dedicated to providing the sled-dogs in our care with the love, support and compassion necessary to ensure their health and well-being," the company said.

"We believe the Ontario SPCA's ongoing media campaign against Windrift Adventures misrepresents the facts regarding animal care at our facility." 

The company added that it exceeds the province's animal welfare standards and follows best practices for sled-dog care.

A couple visited the facility last month and took video of dozens of dogs, including one that was seen limping with an apparent wound on its front leg. Windrift said that dog, Koi, is receiving treatment and doing well.

"At no time has Koi been in distress or mistreated," Windrift said.

The OSPCA said in a statement that three dogs needed veterinary care. It also said that Windrift is complying with the orders it issued.

The videos, posted to social media by Natasha Guerriero and Dylan Blake of Whitby, Ont., went viral.

The couple who made the complaint called the condition of the dogs "sickening."

"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," Guerriero has previously said to The Canadian Press. 

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

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