Time for changes at Krabloonik
September 3, 2008
For 34 years 200 to 400 Krabloonik sled dogs have been chained to their small wooden boxes out in an open field in Snowmass Village. For about four months a year they are worked very hard pulling tourists in heavy sleds, then for eight months they are stored in this field on 5-foot-long heavy chains and left to bake in full sun with only a hotter box to retreat into. They have no socialization, no attention, no exercise, no life and spend their days traumatically pacing in vicious circles, lucky to have adequate food and water.
In 2005 the public became aware of owner Dan MacEachen’s practice of “culling” dogs and puppies who were the wrong temperament or size or too old or sick or just not to his liking, by shooting them in the head and throwing them in a pile of other, hopefully dead, carcasses and feces. Our community was horrified and demanded that this be stopped.
What is happening today to those dogs who are unsuitable for rehabilitation and adoption through the Aspen Animal Shelter, whose operator only adopted out 27 dogs in three years and who stated that “these tethered dogs can’t walk in a straight line and require several months to stand comfortably upright”?
Michael Vick was appropriately prosecuted, in part, for executing dogs who simply lost their usefulness to him. How is this any different? These lovely, innocent creatures deserve a higher standard of care and as the owners of the leased property that Krabloonik rents for only $200 a month, Snowmass Village has the responsibility and the leverage to ensure that this “business” respects these animals, treats them humanely and abides by all state laws, which it is not doing.
I have lived in Aspen for 36 years and am now residing in Basalt for the past four years. I am just an average citizen who has agonized over the conditions at Krabloonik since it became too large to manage itself properly. Now is the time for change!
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