I met some wonderful people today at work from Pittsburgh PA. They have followed the races up here for many years and had the usual lower 48 view of sled dogs. It is always heartwarming to listen to folks who love dogs, understand their need to work and love our state. But it is also a little disconcerting at times as to the “rosy” view that a lot of people have to our sport without knowing the darkness of it. As we all know up here, dog racing creates a LOT of dogs. Our state population isn’t large enough to find homes for all the sled dogs that don’t make the team. It is why we see so many come through our borough shelter and why organizations such as The Second Chance League exist. Is it crueler to euthanize a dog that is injured and can never run again, is too old, or too slow….or is it crueler to leave that dog on a short chain for the many remaining years of its life?
As in any sport that involves animals (horse racing, greyhound racing, dog mushing races) the abuses are there. My hope would be that the animal comes first and the ego or need to win comes last. Possible?