2020 Yukon Quest!
Do you see the open wound on the back of this dog's left front leg? And the dog plowing its head into the snow? This is NOT normal behaviour! This is the Yukon Quest!
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2020 YUKON QUEST 1,000-MILE DEATH RACE
August 2020 —
This year’s Yukon Quest unfolded as the usual horror show commencing in Fairbanks with a phony 'man & dog’s thrilling adventure' fantasy on full display and ending in Whitehorse with mushers propping up exhausted and injured dogs as the crowd roared and the media fussed. Anyone who really knows the dogs could see they were in grave distress but the public has become so brainwashed they don’t even realize the animals are being tortured right in front of them.
It makes me so angry to watch dogs cross the finish line. Some collapse in exhaustion while others are tearing at boots that are too tight. Dogs with no boots that have been forced to run barefoot over sharp ice - dogs writhing on the ground and shoving their necks into the snow, not because they are happy but because they are half crazy from harness burn chafing them for a thousand miles. Dogs with obvious open wounds on the backs of their legs above their feet from boots rubbing and grinding on their skin for a thousand miles, male dogs with their tails tucked tightly from severe frostbite. Dogs in severe distress with ears wilted and hanging down. This is not normal behaviour.
….dogs with huge chunks of frozen urine stuck to their coats because they’ve been denied a break - the winner's wheel dog lying motionless, collapsed across the finish line, but no one including the race vets even notice. And all of this while cameras are going off and the crowd cheers oblivious to the actual state of the animals. I’ve seen dogs cross the finish line with blood running down their chests - no one noticed them either. A few race officials try to block people from taking pictures. I manage to snap a few anyway. They are disturbing.
A friend showed me sickening video footage of musher Dave Dalton trying to force a sick old dog to run. He still manages to force it to run in wheel dog position from Fairbanks all the way to Dawson City where he finally had to scratch from the race because his dogs were all too sick to go any further. Musher Richie Beattie fell asleep and tumbled off his sled abandoning an entire dog team near Dawson City as they ran off into the wilderness attached to a gang line. This would have meant certain death for the entire team but for a skier who happened to spot them and bring them into Dawson.
Musher Michele Phillips was quoted by the media saying she had to drop her dog Mac at the Pelly checkpoint because ‘he fell in a moose hole’. So how is Mac? We’ll probably never know. We are never told what happens to the dogs that get dropped at the checkpoints.
The Yukon Quest doesn’t specify which breeds are allowed into the race consequently mushers often use ‘Alaskan huskies’ which is not a breed at all but merely a type - often puny mixed-breed mutts and with little fur. In other words, house dogs. The life of a Northern sled dog is dismal at best. This is how they live. ~~> The Yukon Quest Death Race <~~
Sled dogs are often beaten, drugged and severely abused by their owners, especially in large kennels that breed race dogs. This link shows musher Dave Dalton who calls himself a champion, ‘training his dogs’ by forcing them to swim non-stop in ice cold water as they howl and cry out in anguish. It is haunting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H4xItEPGrI - Sled Dog Training
Forcing a dog to run 1,000 miles in brutal arctic conditions is blatant animal abuse no self-respecting vet would ever condone. The Yukon Quest veterinarians do a cursory exam - carefully examining their teeth while ignoring the gaping wound on the back of the dog’s front leg. During the 2020 Yukon Quest veterinarians allowed sick dogs to race causing more dogs to become sick as they shared a stomach virus between teams. An obviously injured wheel dog was seen limping into the Braeburn checkpoint. The dog was not dropped from the race but was rather forced to run another 100 miles to the finish line in Whitehorse.
THEY’RE STILL RUNNING DOGS TO DEATH IN THE YUKON! The Yukon Government continues to fund a race that has killed over 40 dogs and the death toll continues to rise as dogs are routinely culled after every race. The musher’s Sled Dog Code of Practice conveniently contains specific directions on how to shoot a sled dog when no longer required. It’s all about money, greed and ego and the dogs continue to pay with their blood.
The Yukon Quest is presently experiencing financial difficulties and appealing to the public to bail them out. Perhaps the allure of long distance sled dog racing is beginning to fade a bit as entire boards resign, prize purses shrink, major sponsors pull out, and the number of participating teams continues to dwindle. However despite a worldwide pandemic they are currently planning, strategizing, and scheming to find a way to stage the next 1,000-mile Yukon Quest sled dog race in February 2021.
Courtesy Yukon Quest Official Website
Sled dogs do not deserve to be run to death in -55 below temperatures where they choke to death on their own vomit or drown from pulmonary edema from sucking in frigid arctic air for hundreds of miles at a time. They do not deserve to be left out on a chain in extreme sub-zero temperatures 24-7 or chained up under the blazing heat of the midnight sun and subjected to eternal forced quarantine.
I remain the sole voice calling out in the Yukon to end the government sponsorship of a barbaric 1,000-mile sled dog race in the Yukon in which many of the same mushers who run dogs to death in the Alaskan Iditarod also run dogs to death in the Yukon Quest.
You Can Help! Join me in speaking out for those who have no voice. *Sign & Share the Petition asking the Yukon Premier and the Yukon Government to stop funding the Yukon Quest!
~~> https://bit.ly/2UubeQz <~~
You Can Also: Make a donation to the petition to help support it and raise awareness.
Let’s make this a more humane world! The dogs are counting on us. We’re all they have.
"because i am a sled dog" youtu.be/Ym3IFjfiIQQ
What You Can Do:
Contact the the office of the Yukon Government and Premier Sandy Silver. Tell them to stop funding a race that has killed over 40 dogs!
Yukon Premier Sandy Silver: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Sandy.Silver@gov.yk.ca.
The Yukon Government: email@example.com
Contact the Yukon Quest Sponsors: Yukon Quest Sponsors and ask them to stop funding animal abuse. Include this link to a report detailing the tragic death of Boppy the Sled Dog: Boppy the Sled Dog Report
When you speak for the voiceless your soul smiles.
Thank you for your support!
pj johnson Poet Laureate of the Yukon
Animal Rights Advocate
Special thanks to animal rights lawyer Victoria Shroff, Mary Mika, Ashley Keith and to my many other fellow animal rights advocates who continue to speak for those who have no voice.
A section of my new book “it’s howlin’ time!” by Yukon Poet Laureate pj johnson is dedicated to the plight of the northern sled dogs. Available at: Mac's Fireweed Books www.macsbooks.ca/ and on Amazon amzn.to/2Aey9Z8
About Donating to This Petition: By making a donation you give others an opportunity to sign and share it. Every $20 will advertise this petition 500 extra times and all contributions over $25 will be doubled! Impression Calculation: $20 will advertise this petition 500 extra times to new supporters. So a donation of $26 will reach 1,000 new supporters. It really does make a difference!