Iditarod officials says changes are planned to help ensure the health and safety of dogs who get dropped from the race and have to wait at checkpoints — sometimes outside — for transportation home.
The changes were prompted by the death of Dorado, a five-year-old dog found dead at a checkpoint in Unalakleet four days after being dropped from the race because of soreness.
A necropsy showed Dorado died of asphyxiation while being buried in the snow.
Organizers of the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said Wednesday that planned changes include construction of dog shelters at two major checkpoints, and more frequent checks on the animals, according to the Associated Press.
“This type of self-examination is an important part of ITC’s historical commitment to the improvement of the welfare of the canine athletes that annually participate in the Race,” Iditarod Trail Committee officials said in a statement.
Drobny’s husband, Cody Strathe, said this week that the couple asked the Iditarod Trail Committee to develop new protocols for the care of dogs that have been dropped from the race to Nome.
Race officials said they don’t believe Dorado’s death was a result of anyone acting negligently.
More dropped dogs than could be sheltered wound up at the Unalakleet checkpoint because severe weather prevented planes from landing to transport them.
Race volunteers housed more than 100 dogs in a hangar, but up to 30 more were tethered outside.
Unalakleet is one of the two communities where dog boxes will be built for shelter. Officials said they also plan to have more frequent flights to transport dropped dogs from checkpoints.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked that animal cruelty charges be filed in connection with Dorado’s death.
Nome District Attorney John Earthman said he was reviewing the letter.
Dorado’s death was the first since the 2009 race, when six dogs died.
PETA says more than 140 dogs have died since the Iditarod began in 1973.
(Top photo: Dogs await the start of the race, by Rachel D’oro / Associated Press; bottom photo, Dorado, from SquidAcres Kennel)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, announcement, changes, checkpoints, committee, cruelty, death, dog, dogs, dorado, dropped, iditarod, injured, monitoring, musher, mushers, officials, paige drobny, peta, pets, planned, race, sled, smothered, snow, trail, transporation, unalakleet
Revised, reconfigured and ready to get you all the way through 2013, the “Travels with Ace” calendar is back on sale for a limited time.
A heavy-duty, 18-month wall calendar, it’s illustrated with photos from our year-long, 27,000-mile trip across America — from the coast of Maine, where Ace was the first dog in America to see the sunrise one day in October, to the shores of Monterey, where Ace hopped up for a closer look at a bust of John Steinbeck — the author who inspired our journey.
You can buy it and get more information here, or by clicking on that ad to the left.
Fifty percent of profits from the sale of the calendar go to Rolling Dog Farm, a sanctuary for deaf, blind and disabled animals in New Hampshire (and also one of the stops on our trip).
We’ve added photos of one stop that we didn’t include the first time around — the Coon Dog Cemetery in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
The rest of the calendar is packed with images from some of our other stops:
@Salvation Mountain in California, where Leonard Knight has fashioned and painted a mountain in honor of God.
@Niagara Falls, where Ace — ohmigod! — almost disappeared.
@The Lodge, a gentleman’s club in Dallas, where we met one of Michael Vick’s former dogs, and where Ace briefly took the stage.
@Various points south, like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, where we kept running into kudzu dogs.
@The mountains of North Carolina, where we went in search of the elusive — and sometimes not so elusive — white squirrel.
@Rolling Dog Farm, where we reconnected with some old friends.
@John Steinbeck’s former home in Sag Harbor, N.Y., where we began retracing the route the author took in “Travels with Charley.”
@A marina in Baltimore, where we lived on a sailboat for a week, which Ace mostly liked.
Initial sales of the calendar raised $400 for Rolling Dog Farm.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, alabama, america, animals, arizona, baltimore, bandera, calendar, calendars, california, coast, coon dog cemetery, dallas texas, dog, dogs, fathers day, following, gentleman's club, gift, gifts, john steinbeck, john woestendiek, lancaster, maine, monterey, new hamsphire, niagara falls, north carolina, ohmidog!, oregon, path, pets, photography, photos, road trip, rolling dog farm, route, salinas, strip clubs, the lodge, trail, travel, travels with ace, travels with charley, trip, tucson, wall calendar, white squirrels, winslow
A mushing mortician in his second Iditarod brought one of his dogs back to life after the 9-year-old husky collapsed on his way down a steep section of the Dalzell Gorge.
“Boom! Laid right down. It was like a guy my age having a heart attack,” Scott Janssen told the Anchorage Daily News.
“I know what death looks like, and he was gone. Nobody home,” said Janssen who owns a funeral home in Anchorage and bills himself as the “Mushing Mortician.”
Janssen said he rushed to the dog, named Marshall, and administered mouth-to-snout CPR, compressing the husky’s chest and breathing into his nose.
After about five minutes, Janssen said he talked to the dog: “I’m like c’mon dude, please come back.”
“And he did.”
Marshall collapsed late Monday night as the 51-year-old musher navigated a tricky section of trail that follows Rainy Pass as mushers exit the Alaska Range. Marshall, believed to be one of the oldest dogs in the Iditarod this year, has finished about five or six races, and this was to be his last.
Janssen carried Marshall in his sled until the Rohn checkpoint, where veterinarians examined him and administered an IV.
“He was fine this morning,” Janssen said. “He’s still at the checkpoint and they’re flying him back home today.”
Fatalities have been common during the Iditarod’s 40-year history, but no dogs have died in the past two years.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alaska, animals, cpr, deaths, dog, dogs, husky, iditarod, injuries, marshall, mortician, mouth to snout, mushing, mushing mortician, pets, race, revived, revives, scott janssen, sled, sled dog, trail
There’s cycling with your dog, and then there’s cycling with your dog.
Above is Abby, who commutes to work via bicycle with her human. She calmly lays, sits or stands there on a nice padded surface as her human does all the work. Lazy dog? Or smart dog?
In any case, she seems, in this video anyway, a low energy dog.
Cycling with a high energy dog? That’s another story, or at least another video.
Check out Lily, the official mascot for MtnRanks.com, a purveyor of outdoor gear in Park City, Utah:
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abby, activities, animals, bicycle, bicycling, cycle, cycling with dogs, dog, dogs, dogs and bicycles, high energy, lazy, lily, low energy, mtnranks.com, outdoors, pets, pull, shred, smart, sports, trail, trailer, videos
Police say an investigation into a Connecticut woman’s suspicion that her ex-boyfriend stabbed her dog has led to animal cruelty charges against the woman.
Michelle Masella had told police her boxer returned home from a neighhboring park with a knife — her boyfriend’s knife — sticking out of her chest.
But East Haven police say all evidence pointed not at the boyfriend, but Masella.
Masella, 42, denied hurting her dog, and maintains the incident is just the latest harassment from her ex-boyfriend.
Bailey, her 68-pound boxer, was treated for a small superficial wound to her right shoulder, and another wound to her chest. She’s recovering, but remains in the care of the local animal control department.
According to police, officers found blood on Masella’s front porch, on the stairs leading to her second floor apartment and on the kitchen and living room floor. No blood was found at the park, or the sidewalk leading to Masella’s house.
Masella was arrested yesterday on a warrant charging her with cruelty to animals, filing a false report, interfering with a police officer and failure to vaccinate her dog for rabies.
She was released on $5,000 bond with a court date in New Haven on Oct. 12.
Masella, police said, has also been charged with forging her ex-boyfriend’s signature on one of his unemployment check and cashing it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, bailey, blood, boxer, boyfriend, connecticut, dog, dogs, east haven, investigation, knife, michelle masella, park, pets, police, relationships, stabbed, stabbing, trail
As was the case with our kudzu dogs, this one requires just a squirt of imagination.
Ace and I were walking the streets of downtown Missoula when we saw a chocolate Labrador stopping to pee — well, not really stopping at all, which was the interesting part.
For almost half a block, he zig-zagged along the sidewalk, leaving a squiggly trail behind him.
Perhaps he, or his owner, had no time to stop — maybe the human had an urgent appointment, or maybe the dog had a weak bladder; or maybe, just maybe, the dog was expressing himself in the other meaning of the phrase.
Maybe he’d discovered a way around not being able to speak human — and it’s just a case of no one having discovered his amazing ability yet.
Sure, it doesn’t look like much now, but let’s see what happens when we turn it sideways.
Don’t bother moving your computer; allow me:
If I’m not mistaken, it spells Missoula, Montana.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, behavior, bladder, chocolate labrador, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, downtown, missoula, montana, pee, pets, road trip, sidewalk, trail, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, urination, urine
Alaskan musher Lance Mackey has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and set an Iditarod record for most consecutive wins.
Mackey, 39, of Fairbanks, completed the 1,049-mile Iditarod race in just under nine days. He was cheered across the finish line in Nome by family and friends, including his father, Dick Mackey, the 1978 Iditarod champion, CNN reported.
“You’ve done something that will never be repeated, son,” the senior Mackey said, hugging his son at the finish line.
Mackey could be heard on the broadcast microphones speaking to his dog team just before reaching the finish line on Nome’s Front Street, “Nice, nice. This is so cool. We’re almost there, guys. You did such a good job.”
Arriving in Nome at 2:59 p.m. local time, Mackey’s official time was 8 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 9 seconds.
Mackey, a throat cancer survivor who says he began racing “at birth,” was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in February “for capturing multiple titles in two of the world’s longest sled dog races.”
More than 54 teams remained on the Iditarod trail headed toward Nome, including rookie Jamaican musher Newton Marshall, who was in 48th place. Marshall trained with Mackey this season in preparation for his first Iditarod run.
Fourteen of the original 71 teams that entered this year’s race have scratched en route.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, consecutive, dick mackey, dog, dogs, fourth, iditarod, lance mackey, musher, mushing, news, nome, race, record, sled, sports, trail, winner, wins
A freak accident in San Jose has the city re-examining its dog rules, particularly those governing bicyclists riding with dogs on trails.
A meeting was held Wednesday after the death of Beverly Head, who fell on the popular Los Alamitos Creek trail after her legs became wrapped up in the leash of a Siberian husky running alongside a cyclist.
Head, a 62-year-old phlebotomist, initially remained conscious after the Sept. 16 fall, even speaking with the bicyclist until paramedics came, but she died the next day, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
The bicyclist — who was riding with two Siberian huskies — has not come forward and the Head family is offering a $5,000 reward for his identity. The death has been ruled an accident.
“This is a horribly tragic accident, but we can’t legislate accidents,” said Justin Grosso, a San Jose resident who argued at the meeting that additional rules aren’t necessary. Others favored new city laws addressing the issue.
Suggestions included adding more signs on the trails, separating trails for walkers and bicyclists, and banning leashes more than 6 feet long.
About 125 people attended the meeting, which was convened by San Jose Councilwoman Nancy Pyle. The city’s current laws require that owners keep their dogs “under control” at all times and keep them on leashes of up to 20 feet in city parks.
“We’re here to get ideas from the public so that shared trails don’t become hazardous, and we can find ways to coexist,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, beverly head, bicycle, california, city council, cyclist, dogs, killed, leash, los alamitos creek, nancy pyle, parks, regulations, san jose, siberian husky, trail, trails, woman
A California dog owner is offering a $3,000 reward for the return of her two pit bull puppies.
The two 10-week-old pups, named Chocolate and Ashley, disappeared from the backyard of Fair Norton’s home in Hayward Aug. 12, according to the Oakland Tribune. Norton suspects they went through a hole in the fence.
A pet detective, hired for $600, used a bloodhound to determine the pups had followed a creek bed into a quarry. But the trail ended there.
“I just have a feeling that somebody has them,” Norton said. “If something happened to them, we would have seen something … someone would have found a dead dog.”
Norton said the dogs were early wedding gifts from a cousin who owns the puppies’ parents.
Chocolate is brown and white, with green and hazel eyes and a brown and pink spotted nose. He has a brown leather studded collar. Ashley is gray and white, with steel gray eyes and a black leather collar. Both have white-tipped tails.
Anyone with information may call Norton at 323-384-1640 or 209-834-4317.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ashley, california, chocolate, detective, dogs, fair norton, hayward, lost, lost dog, lost dogs, missing, oakland, offer, pet, pit bulls, puppies, reward, trail
They’re off and mushing — almost.
The 37th Iditarod begins this morning, with the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage.
Lance Mackey is the odds-on favorite to join Susan Butcher (1986-88) and Doug Swingley (1999-2001) as the only mushers to win three races consecutively, USA Today reports.
In 2009, the world’s most famous dog-sled race, which continues to take a beating from animal welfare organizations who see it as cruel, is being hit by the recession as well, Reuters reports.
The purse for the grueling 1,100-mile trek to Nome, which commemorates a lifesaving medicine relay in 1925, has been slashed to about $650,000, from $900,000 last year. And 67 mushers and their dog teams are scheduled to start Alaska’s most important sporting event, down from last year’s record field of 96.
To keep tabs on the race, visit its offical website, where you can also sign up to be an Iditarod Insider, receiving regular updates, and, for a fee, video of the race.