WHISTLER (NEWS1130) – The Whistler sled dog story is about re-emerge in the headlines, as the man charged in the slaughter makes his first court appearance on Thursday.

Sled dog owners hope all the attention will clear misconceptions about the industry.

Tim Tedford with the Professional Mushers Association of BC worries people have a poor perception of the industry, since it appears the dogs were killed in order to save money.

“Well, I don’t think people really understand the sacrifice that’s involved,” he explains. “What I’d want people to know is that the majority of people who have sled dogs, even the commercial operators, it’s more a labour of love, than about making money.”

Tedford says most operators invest in dogs for the long term, rather than the short term which he believes was the problem in the Whistler operation.

He is confident that operators in BC will be in full compliance of the new sled dog code of practice by October’s deadline.

He says owners already maintain a high standard when it comes to feeding and living conditions for their dogs.

“I guess what’s going to be new for most mushers is the amount of record keeping that’s required. We have to keep track of every dog, from birth ’til death, including reasons why a dog may have had to be put down.”

Tedford and his family own 29 dogs and operate a sled dog tour operation out of Big White.