Letter: Hindsight about Krabloonik
September 25, 2013
As co-founder of the Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs, approximately a year and a half ago I gave Krabloonik my endorsement after many years of battling with them to improve their standards of animal welfare. My decision was based upon the work of their current manager, Guy Courtney, who I strongly believe was making significant improvements both in terms of facility upgrades and animal welfare practices.
Although I still support Mr. Courtney and his efforts, sadly, I regret my decision to support Krabloonik. I overestimated Mr. Courtney's authority as the reality is that Mr. Courtney is still under the control of Dan MacEachen who, as owner, calls all the shots. This includes decisions on how monies are spent and directed towards the dogs' medical care, facility operations and, most concerning, whether a dog is allowed to live or be put to death.
I, as do many of the individuals in this community, will always disagree with Mr. MacEachen's views, ethics, and practices regarding animal welfare.
I have first-hand knowledge that the allegations against Mr. MacEachen, including the disappearance of dogs and dogs being denied medical care, are true. I can also personally attest and even show records from the Voices bank account where we had to pay the medical treatment for some of the Krabloonik dogs. These dogs would not have received the necessary veterinary care had we not intervened.
It is somewhat ironic that there are more than 100 sled-dog operations in North America, including almost a dozen in Colorado alone, and yet these operations are rarely, if ever, in the news for animal abuse. Does our community view humane animal treatment differently from towns like Winter Park or Breckenridge? Why aren't citizens of these communities complaining about how their local sled-dogs are treated?
The reality is there is a recurring theme of animal abuse and neglect at Krabloonik that will continue to surface unless there is a change of leadership or unless the "authorities" at Snowmass Village take responsibility. Sadly, they have never taken accountability, even with citizen pressure. This is something I hope will change.
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I regret letting up on the gas pedal. I encourage the people of our community, and especially the mushers who work at Krabloonik and are the eyes and ears who witness neglect, to continue to speak up. We are all the voices that can lead to change. Please don't give up on the dogs and the vision of what Krabloonik can become under the right leader.