My name is Carol Kleckner. I have been a skijorer and dog musher for many years in Fairbanks Alaska. I started working with the Fairbanks Animal Shelter in 1999, trying to place the huskies that were brought into the shelter. We take the dogs out either in a mushing or a skijoring team and try to find them a forever home based on their needs and where they would fit into another person’s home and team. There have been many of the huskies that have found pet homes also and our goal is to place a dog where it will live its life to the fullest.
I have always had a passion for dogs (I made my younger sister eat out of a bowl on the floor with a leash attached to her t-shirt when she was 5 years old!!) but my passion for rescue dogs wasn’t ignited until I saw the number of dogs in Alaska that were brought to our shelter and euthanized because people thought that these dogs were worthless. Over the years between my first years of running dogs and then the start of the Second Chance League which helps to find fosters and adopters for the dogs that we have run, there have been around 500 huskies adopted through the Fairbanks shelter.
My partner Don Kiely and I now have 14 dogs in our kennel, down from a high of 31 as the dogs age and die of natural causes. Many of them are 12-14 years old and still running and skijoring. About half of our dogs came through our animal shelter.
We keep active with all our dogs. If they don’t run in a team they get a lot of free walks or leash walks and all live in a warm dog barn on cold nights or live in the house.
I have always tried to set the example that the cast off dog that is spayed and neutered can be just as good as a high priced dog. You just have to put time, energy, and love into developing what is best for that particular dog.