Letter: Nine questions regarding Krabloonik
To Dan MacEachen, Dan Phillips, Kathy McGowan, the Snowmass Village mayor, the Snowmass Town Council, The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News:
In view of the fact that a plea agreement has not been reached in the Dan MacEachen (Krabloonik) court proceedings, and a trial date has been set for October 8 to 10, will the Town of Snowmass Village continue to stand by and do nothing to make sure rules and regulations are being followed for the welfare of the Krabloonik dogs for more than six months of offseason? Or will the Town of Snowmass Village follow through with the promised “robust public process?”
A tentative date was set for an April 21 Town Council meeting to begin this process. So if council entertains comments and questions from the public about the care of the Krabloonik dogs and council’s responsibilities in this matter, I am sending nine questions that I would appreciate seeing discussed and answered during this process.
Many of these questions have been asked before by several concerned residents, but never answered with clear, truthful transparency. The constant secrecy that has surrounded Krabloonik for years, along with eyewitness comments and police reports from employees about abuse, and a history of noncompliance with state rules and regulations, do not produce trust in the public for what happens there when the spotlight of public scrutiny is not focused on Krabloonik. I personally have observed the disturbing physical, mental and emotional stress displayed by former Krabloonik sled dogs in shelters as they are learning to trust and be socialized for adoption. So I know there is a crucial necessity for higher standards of care and quality of life for these working dogs. Have any Town Council members gone to visit the dogs?
My questions to Dan MacEachen, Dan Phillips, Kathy McGowan and the Town of Snowmass Village Council are:
1. Why is Krabloonik breeding short-haired dogs that are unable to withstand the below-zero winter conditions of Snowmass Village, and will this practice be stopped?
2. Why has Krabloonik been so lax in keeping identification and medical records on all their dogs as required by Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act, and will this be remedied?
3. What offseason exercise and socialization practices does Krabloonik have planned?
4. Will Dan Phillips be kept on as general manager of dogs in the offseason?
5. Why does Krabloonik breed so close to their 250 quota so that they have to euthanize older dogs if their numbers exceed 250? And why does the Town of Snowmass Village authorize this?
6. What happens to the dogs who disappear overnight? Are they still being shot?
7. Will Krabloonik agree to and follow advice from an oversight committee of dog professionals since it seems that promises to make improvements in the past have been broken when Krabloonik is not under the bright light of public scrutiny?
8. Will the Town of Snowmass Village take a more active part in regulating the compassionate, humane care of the dogs at Krabloonik? If not, why?
9. Will the Town of Snowmass Village pull Krabloonik’s lease if Dan MacEachen is found guilty of animal cruelty? If not, why?
If the Snowmass Town Council and/or Krabloonik cannot see fit to honestly answer direct questions like these, the public trust factor will always be a problem. And if Krabloonik won’t upgrade the care of the dogs year-round, or won’t always be adherent to state rules and regulations, or won’t agree to an oversight committee of animal professionals to guarantee these improvements, the public scrutiny will continue, animals will continue to suffer unfairly and Snowmass Village will continue to attract criticism and loss of tourists.
I look forward to your answers to these questions (in a council meeting or by personal reply). I also look forward to Krabloonik becoming a leader in compassionate sled-dog care, and to the Snowmass Village Council taking responsibility for making sure that a business that brings dollars to the Snowmass community is respectfully and humanely run.
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