Alaskan Husky abuse and neglect in 2008 Iditarod.

Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
edited 20 November, 2009 in Alaskan Husky
So far, in this year's Iditarod, (as of 12:00 PM EST on March 8th 2008): Four mushers have dropped out of the race because their dogs became too injured and/or sick to continue. One musher was involuntarily eliminated from the race because she lost two of her dogs during the 48 mile run from Rainy Pass to Rohn. She left those two dogs alone in the Alaskan wilderness to fend for themselves while she continued to the next checkpoint, where she was then disqualified for arriving without all of her dogs. One dog has died: a seven-year-old dog named Zaster died on March 8th while being treated for pneumonia. What a needless death.

Comments

  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 9 March, 2008
    Before you get all upset...there were 1,536 dogs that started the race. I bet that in normal life 1 dog out of 1536 in a two week period would die a normal humane death! And the girl who lost her dogs found them again. And the guy whose dog died scratched from the race. It is not abuse because the dogs love to run and get depressed when they do not run. Just think...you cannot push a rope! I personally love dog sled racing and it really bothers me when people say it is crue to "force" dogs to run when you can not make a dog run more than it is capable of! If a dog gets tired they are put in the sled and given some rest and most likely dropped at the next checkpoint. I completed over a thousand miles of training and racing this year and I am totally happy and proud of my dogs! Some of those race miles included the Junior iditarod too. Meredith
  • Kristen CrainKristen Crain TalkeetnaPosts: 1,501Member
    edited 13 March, 2008
    It seems to me that scratching because your dogs are sick or tired is the RIGHT thing to do. Would you rather have them continue on? Loosing a dog is horrible. When a dog runs off, you get that inevitable stomach-dropping sensation. Any owner of a sled dog type breed knows that these guys want to run so much that they will take off if given a chance. When they go, they go. Going after the dogs would be impossible- you can't expect a team of dogs to flounder through waist-deep snow and expect to catch a dog running loose. Going to the next checkpoint allowed her to notify the race, and then people in the area could begin looking out for the dogs, and people on snowmachines could search for the dogs. (I also want to note, that in a long distance race, 48 miles is nothing. With an average team, you can do that in around 5 or 6 hours). Don't forget that we're talking about Alaskan huskies. They are not a house pet. They are very independent and resourceful dogs, and know about being out in the wilderness. I'm not saying that they need to fend for themselves, but if they have to, I'm sure that they'll be a whole lot better off than Neighbor Joe's grossly overweight pound dog that hasn't seen any woods except the tree in his backyard.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 14 March, 2008
    UPDATED POSTING So far, in this year's Iditarod (as of March 14th 2008): Ten mushers have dropped out of the race because their dogs became too injured and/or sick to continue. One musher (Kim Franklin) was involuntarily eliminated from the race because she lost two of her dogs during the 48 mile run from Rainy Pass to Rohn. She left those two dogs alone in the Alaskan wilderness to fend for themselves while she continued to the next checkpoint, where she was then disqualified for arriving without all of her dogs. The first death this year has occured in the team of John Stetson: a seven-year-old dog named Zaster died on March 8th from aspiration pneumonia.The second death this year has occured in the team of Jennifer Freking: a three-year-old dog named Lorne died after being struck by a snowmobile on March 10th. The third death this year has occured in the team of Ed Iten: a four-year-old male named Cargo died on March 11, between Elim and White Mountain. The reason for Cargo's death has not yet been determined.
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 18 March, 2008
    Kim Franklins dogs were found back at Rainey Pass and were given back to her. Jennifer Frekings dog getting hit by a snowmachine was a freak accident with a drunk. Iditarod is not cruel and Kim didn't just leave her dogs in the Alaskan Wilderness to fend for themselves. She lost several thousand dollars for getting withdrawn from the race and I am sure she tried everything she could to get those two dogs back.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 25 April, 2008
    From the ADN reports I read, the snowmobile driver wasn't drunk, and the Frekings were camped too close to the trails. Anyway......... The first death this year occurred in the team of John Stetson: a seven-year-old dog named Zaster died on March 8th from aspiration pneumonia. The second death this year occurred in the team of Jennifer Freking: a three-year-old dog named Lorne died after being struck by a snowmobile on March 10th - yet Freking continued the race, even though one dog was dead and another was seriously injured. How could anyone continue down the trail after something so horrific happening to their team? The third death this year occurred in the team of Ed Iten: a four-year-old male named Cargo died on March 11, between Elim and White Mountain. The reason for Cargo's death was never determined. In almost all of the Iditarod races, at least one dog death has occurred. The very first race is reported to have resulted in the deaths of 15 to 19 dogs. In total, from calculations on the Iditarod's official statistics page, 506 dogs were dropped from the 2008 Iditarod teams due to becoming injured and/or too ill to continue. What happens to the dogs who do survive the race? They return "home" to their "chain yards." They are once again slapped on a short chain, connected to a dilapidated dog house, among hundreds of other neglected husky sled dogs. Some dog houses look like the ones below - with holes, exposed screws and rotting floors: http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/baddoghouse.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/unsafehouse.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/holehouse.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/typicalhouse.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/rockybed.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/rockycurl.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/rockyhouse.htm http://www.lakotasong.com/sleddogs/nodoghouses.htm
  • Kecia StewartKecia Stewart TemeculaPosts: 17Member
    edited 30 March, 2008
    Wait a minute Khuno's writer, on another thread you wrote that you know the Frekings personally, just under one of your other dogs.....hmmmm
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 31 March, 2008
    Not all sled dogs are not "slapped" onto a short chain...I know of several free run kennels like Wayne Curtis. I am not saying that I have a free run kennel however.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 31 March, 2008
    Our human knows most of the purebred racing community personally, and has been to many of their kennels across New England and the Midwest. She simply stated that she was fully aware that Jen was a veterinarian and that she felt that should have very little to do with fact that she had a dog die. And that we're all rather disgusted that she continued.
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 31 March, 2008
    Windy-why would you be disgusted that she continued on?? I think she and Blake made a good decision to deal with it on the train instead of at home. On the trail they have the support of all the other mushers and the sympathy of all those people and vets at checkpoints. I personally stood on Front Street in Nome and cheered them in because it was such a sad thing.
  • Kecia StewartKecia Stewart TemeculaPosts: 17Member
    edited 20 November, 2009
    Because Windy is also one of the un-informed people. Who I highly doubt knows all the people she says she does, but wait again on another thread she also says she knows Jen personally (just under a different dog again). While I will admit I don't know Jen, I do have a few friends that do.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 2 April, 2008
    Kazzie - Sorry to break it to you, but you tend to meet a lot of people after ten years of heavy involvement in any sport. You can not believe it all you like, but it doesn't change the facts. It's sad that so many people get so up in arms when all I'm trying to do is bring to light the abuse and neglect that a group of dogs faces day in and day out. Maybe if some of you had lived at large-scale racing kennels and seen how they operate, you would have different opinions.
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 2 April, 2008
    I have a fairly large scale kennel for a Junior and I have been to Seaveys kennel and Martin Busers kennel. I really like Busers kennel because the dogs are all proportioned in the yard compared to age so the puppies are in a pen together so they can play and the racing team is in the yard on chains together etc. I am also friends with a woman who has almost 60 dogs for her sons 3/5 dog team...would that be large scale?! I have also been to the kennel of Melissa Owens in Nome and her dogs were really sweet and happy where they were.
  • Jamie RizzoJamie Rizzo IllinoisPosts: 159Member
    edited 9 November, 2008
    I think certain dog sledding is abuse (like the iditarod) and some is not. Alot of dogs have died in this iditarod. One dog had ice cicles hanging from his chin (on the comercials for the new one)! It's sad. But not all dogs sledding is abuse.
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 9 November, 2008
    Dogs having icycles hanging from their chin is not cruelty...I mean, pet dogs have them too! Just walking around up here turns every dogs chin to ice in the winter ;)
  • Kristen CrainKristen Crain TalkeetnaPosts: 1,501Member
    edited 17 November, 2008
    You should see Jacques when he comes inside from playing. :)) The poor dude has snowballs all over his legs, and his head is completely covered in snow. He gets the ice beard/mustache thing going pretty well too. ...and he's only outside for maybe 20 minutes at a time! Good thing he's not a sled dog. :))
  • ttltt45ttltt45 QUAKERTOWNPosts: 15Member ✭✭
    edited 3 April, 2009
    I AGREE WITH FUN ON THE RUN KENNEL RACING AND FUSSY HUSKIES DOG TEAM. I AM A BORDER COLLIE AND A WORKING DOG AND THESE THINGS HAPPEN. KEEP ON MUSHING. I ADMIRE WHAT YOU GUYS DO.
  • edited 17 April, 2009
    This is nothing like the race to Nome!!!The medicine was taken once by a train,then by sled.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 20 April, 2009
    Six dogs died this year. This sport needs a major overhaul. Too much abuse and neglect is considered acceptable in the name of "sport" and "working dogs." Break The Chains - Save The Sled Dogs And also, I'll be posting some rather huge updates on that site in the next few days! Stay tuned. ETA: Link
  • Kathleen BlairKathleen Blair Posts: 3,928Member
    edited 26 April, 2009
    Oh, that is just so sad. I never knew the \"other\" side to that race. I\'ve just found this thread, and it is quite informative.
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