sled dogma: reality bites

wag the dog   the truth about the commercial sled dog industry

"If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through, it will blow up everything in its way."

- mile Zola J'accuse

wag the sled dog: industry misconceptions

#1 Sled dogs are working dogs and somehow differ from other dogs.

This is simply put a lie. It is a dog's living and working conditions which distinguish it as a "sled dog." Chain up any medium to large sized dogs, attach them to little plywood boxes, and you'll have yourself some "working dogs."

In Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna Valley mushers designated a "Sled Dog Special Use District" in which sled dogs where defined specifically as "livestock."

Check out this footage of an Iditarod racer's kennel: Dream an Iditarod Dream


#2 Sled dogs love to run...Trust us!

Most dogs love to run. Certainly dogs who live on chains the majority of their lives enjoy running too. But dragging an ATV through frozen muddy puddles...drinking whatever water they can find...knowing if you stop you'll be sorry...Maybe that isn't so fun for the dogs?


Check out this footage of a rookie Iditarod racer training: The Iditarod Train


#3 Professional dog racers take good care of their dogs.

Another popular misconception. Long distance professional racers tend to be the hardest on their animals. Check out for more detailed information about the sled dog industry and its role in perpetuating dog abuse and exploitation.



#4 Sled dogs get top notch veterinary care.


Some of them do however many do not. Given the large number of dogs bred into commercial kennels, most mushers and tour operators cannot even afford to provide basic veterinary care for their animals. Sick and injured animals are typically euthanized or left to suffer and die in misery.


#5 There's nothing I can do to help change the situation.


There are things you can do to help sled dogs!!!



Your dollar is your vote in the fight against sled dog abuse: DO NOT support commercial sled dog activities. Click here for current race event sponsor listings and boycott race sponsors and promoters!



Check out the sled dogma videos on YouTube and refer them to others.



Write to event sponsors and promoters and encourage them to stop all support of commercial sled dog activities.



Contact your federal, state and local legislators. Urge them to adopt anti-chaining laws and to strengthen existing laws against animal abuse and neglect.



Adopt a shelter pet and have it spayed or neutered. Do not support commercial puppy mills and breeders.


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