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Mackenzie Delta Sled Dog Race Photos

The following photos were received from an anonymous source (and sent to Terry Cumming, who forwarded them to me of the Sleddog Watchdog Coalition) and requested that they be posted on the Sleddog Watchdog web site. The first two photos were taken at an Inuvik dog race in March, 2007 and show a dog who has had some teeth broken and/or knocked out during the race for unknown reasons. The third photo of the dog with the injured eye was taken at an Aklavik, NT dog race in late 2006. The contributor noted that he or she had only ever been to two dog races and had seen injured dogs at both races.

Cummings wrote that it is highly doubtful that there was any veterinary care at these races as there is no permanent veterinarian in either community. Racing sled dogs can become injured for numerous reasons including from fights with other dogs. Most of the participants in these community races are First Nations mushers, which Cumming notes is an increasingly disturbing trend.
Eye                                                                                                                                        Bouch2_3Bouch_3

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anonymusher #

    The only information I could find on these races was from 2001. I did discover they are sprint races of the six to ten mile format but that's about it. Obviously they aren't big races and obviously they aren't sanctioned by the International Federation of Sleddog Sports or the International Sled Dog Racing Association. The only group connected with them seems to be the Beaufort Delta Dog Mushers Club, which I have never heard of up until now and which does not seem to have a website.

    Having said that, the two dogs pictured may have bad injuries or they may only be minor. Some injuries look worse than they actually are. More photos and information would be needed. What was the state of those particular dogs before the race and after the race? What caused the injuries? What are the rules for that sled dog race? And also, were many of the dogs injured like that or were these just isolated incidents?

    In case you're wondering what I would do if one of my dogs was injured, I would stop the team, clean and check the injury and see what else might need to be done.

    May 12, 2007
  2. My mistake in posting these photos may have been that they were anonymously submitted, and I don't do anonymous. That's cowardly and I cannot take it seriously. SOMEONE has to know the person who submitted them and protect their identity. That's fine. But anonymous? That's dicey.

    With that said, I don't care who sanctions or doesn't sanction the races. I don't think they should exist–period. You could rotate the dogs every mile, house them in a comfortable environment, and feed them fabulous vegan meals, like my dogs get, and I still wouldn't approve.

    Dogs do not exist to be mushed. They exist to have their own, free, natural lives, and to do what they want, how they want, as they wish. They should not be produced or trained by humans for our own benefit or whim. Period.

    May 13, 2007
  3. Hi Mary and Anonymusher:

    I received an email today from the sender of the photos who changed his mind with regard to the anonynimity issue. He is a newspaper reporter based in Inuvik. I have posted the information with a link to his personal blog. As to what caused the injuries in the photos, the source did not know what caused the injuries, what happened to the dogs after the race or the race rules, if any.

    There is a CBC Radio news link on the SDWD homepage about an outcry among Inuvik dog mushers because the Town of Inuvik wants to impose some minimal regulations on dog mushing operators in the Town. About the person originally wanting to be anonymous, it is difficult for some people to speak out against local socially accepted mores when living in a very small town. It is great to see a reporter 'bear witness,' a refreshing change from the many reporters who give an easy ride to 'the sport' of sled dog racing, including the Yukon Quest and Iditarod.

    AN UNRELATED TIDBIT: A full-page thank you to Yukon Quest 'silent auction' donors was published in one of our local papers on Friday. Was not surprised to see that the Yukon Teachers' Association was among the names listed. In 2005 I called the then president of the organization to complain about Yukon children being brainwashed in Yukon classrooms by their teachers (this is sanctioned by the Territorial Dept. of Education). I was told that I had to complain to the teacher first, then the school Principal if the complaint was not resolved with the teacher, then the Dept. of Education, THEN the Teachers' association (I may have mixed up the last two). But with the number of Yukon teachers involved in spreading Quest propaganda and now obviously the Yukon Teachers' Association are themselves complicit in supporting the Quest, it is a very uphill battle.

    Happy Mothers' Day!

    May 13, 2007
  4. Mike Grieco #

    I could not agree with you more Mary Martin! Thank you
    Love & Light to the Dogs!

    May 13, 2007
  5. Thanks so much, Terry. I feel so much better. I don't ever want to pass along material that is suspect.

    We have a similar situation down here where teachers actually teach kids that greyhound racing is fun. And in a county north of here there's a teacher who purchased a mushing dog and wants to train for the Iditarod, and this poor dog is pulling heavy stuff around in the 90+ degree heat. Parents were in an uproar. She was trying to teach them some kind of lesson (I'm still not sure what) and took time off to do her mushing. Her students had low test scores and their parents were enraged at the messages she was sending them. It's too bad that greyhound racing doesn't anger people the way mushing does, as thousands of dogs are killed per year, not including the pups culled before their careers begin.

    May 13, 2007
  6. Mary – I agree that greyhound racing is an obscenity. I have a link to on the SDWD site and urge people to speak up against greyhound racing and to go out of their way to adopt a greyhound as I hear they make wonderful pets.

    Terry Cumming

    May 13, 2007
  7. Anonymusher #

    It's clear from the photographer's blog that he does not oppose sled dog racing but is concerned about what happens to the dogs. I think the races should write up some rules for treatment of dogs and bring in a vet to inspect injuries and determine what caused them, etc.

    Who was the teacher who had a sled dog out running in 90-degree weather? What school does she teach at?

    May 14, 2007
  8. Found this little quote on an online forum

    "The real problem when it comes to musher dogs is the same as for greyhounds – what to do with the ones that won't run fast enough or are too old to run competitively. No one talks about it but every once in a while someone will be out in the woods and come across a pile of dead dogs, shot in the head, or if they're puppies, necks wrung."

    I updated the 'Inuvik dog race photos' page – added some more dog related pic's from the reporter's blog (lots of interesting photos of the Mackenzie Delta area on the blog site).

    May 15, 2007
  9. Anonymusher #

    For those of you who are interested, Margery Glickman, director of the Sled Dog Action Coalition ( ) will answer your questions this week on

    May 15, 2007
  10. Anonymusher #

    Someone used my screen name. Interesting argument going on at the Best Friends site though.

    May 16, 2007
  11. I guess the downfall of being anonymous is that your identity is easily stolen. I request that the identity theft cease immediately. If you disagree with someone, identify yourself and express yourself in an intelligent, appropriate way, and allow for legitimate, respectful discourse.

    May 16, 2007
  12. I THOUGHT something was funny about Anonymusher giving a plug for Margery Glickman!

    May 16, 2007

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