VANCOUVER, B.C. – There will be no jail time for the man accused of killing sled dogs in Whistler.

Robert Fawcett has been given three years probation and a $1,500 fine after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary pain and suffering to nine dogs.

The Crown had asked the judge to sentence Fawcett to three years probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine.

In making its sentencing submission, the Crown noted that Fawcett has no previous criminal involvement, he has lost his career, and has received numerous threats following intense media coverage.

The Crown also said Fawcett is devastated by his actions, and has been depressed to the point of being suicidal, and prior to this incident, he had shown a high level of care for the dogs.

In total, 56 dogs were killed when the sled dog company Fawcett was working for saw a slump in business following the 2010 Olympic Games. The SPCA found the animals in a mass grave.

The BC SPCA’s Marcie Moriarty says she is absolutely shocked by the sentence.

“I cannot believe that this individual, at the very minimum, didn’t get a lifetime-ban on owning animals. Obviously, we felt jail time would have been appropriate in this case,” she notes, adding that some good has come out of the ordeal.

“We did the investigation, laws were changed, and at least the welfare of hundreds of sled dogs moving forward will be improved.”