Krabloonik dogs: plan for safety |

Krabloonik dogs: plan for safety

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the Aspen Daily News May 6, 2011 article titled “After long debate, Krabloonik readies new summer exercise plans for dogs.”

For more than a decade, concerned locals, Krabloonik former and current employees, animal welfare groups, and tourists have been writing in to and contacting newspapers, the Aspen Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of the United States, PETA, and the Department of Agriculture (PACFA) regarding the welfare of Krabloonik dogs.

After years of pressure, Krabloonik yielded and will let their dogs off of chains in the off-season for one hour per week. (Still a sad number, yet it’s a start.)

General manager at Krabloonik, Guy Courtney, stated in the May 6 article, “I’ve had conversations with a variety of veterinarians who think this is nuts because there could be injuries … These dogs are descendants of wolves. They will assign pecking order within the pack and they will determine that by fighting.”

Other Colorado sled-dog operators and shelters monitor and plan for dogs to be exercised safely, and on a daily basis, allowing them to run, socialize, and swim in ponds. It is now Krabloonik’s responsibility to keep their dogs safe and healthy when off of the chains. This is a chance for Krabloonik to shine … to show that these dogs deserve the best care and welfare, and to show the company can graciously make the changes people have been waiting for.

When off chains, Krabloonik dogs can be introduced slowly, paired appropriately, and should be neutered. If Krabloonik needs assistance with any of the above, a plethora of individuals and organizations will offer guidance. The Voices group is happy to provide support as well. Nobody wants the dogs to fight when they are finally free to move around, and I hope the dogs will not be thrown together haphazardly to make a point that they will fight. Strategic thinking on behalf of the dogs is the honorable route to take. Go for it, Krabloonik. The community and dogs deserve the next level of care and concern for your dogs.

And a side note: The use of the word activist by Mr. Courtney for the people who want animals to live more quality lives is name calling. Until the law supports a higher standard of care, these dogs must rely on individuals’ compassion, and moral and ethical compasses. That is why we continue to work locally and on legislation.

Leigh Vogel

Basalt and Arlington, Va.

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