July 2016 - Sponsor a Sled Dog!
Now heres another way you can show your support for sled dogs in need!
The Sled Dog Sanctuary maintains a maximum carrying capacity of forty sled dogs on our forty acre facility. Every dog in the kennel is cared for by two full time mushers with a 20+ years of experience in training, housing and looking after their every need.
This on-site support is only half of what makes the Sled Dog Sanctuary great... the other half depends on you... to feed, house and train each dog we need your support to provide the necessary funding for food, vet care and supplies keeping them cozy and warm all throughout the winter.
Show your support and join today at the many levels we have available and receive our free gifts as a thank you for supporting these amazing athletes!
Focusing On Their Futures
It is our pleasure to announce the completion of of another trail on the Sanctuary property! This loop will allow year-round access for walking, sledding and other important exercise/training times for the dogs.
So much of what we do revolves around sled dog care but what many fail to realize is that a large part of a sled dog's rehabilitation can be more mental care than physical. It is very easy to get a sled dog to eat, gain weight and become healthy after experiencing a past life of abuse, but what about their mental health? What causes stress for a sled dog? How do you train a hard driving sled dog to walk on a leash, or walk with no leash at all?
Harnessing Hope Project
In our work rescuing sled dogs we have seen a wonderful advantage in bringing dogs and people together in the safe healing environment that is the Sled Dog Sanctuary. Over the years many people have related to an individual dog and found themselves receiving a special kind of therapy they may have not known they were looking for. While a person receives this wonderful gift from our rescues, the dogs themselves gain rewards from the interaction with strangers they quickly get to know as friends.
Whether it be our work with the mentally disabled, soldiers living with PTSD, those with limited mobility or others from all walks and trials of life, the sled dogs who live here speak a special language. Each and every one of them carry the ability to heal through animal therapy.
From learning how to drive a dog sled, taking quiet walks in the woods or for those who wish to spend a quiet moment with a new friend, our Harnessing Hope project encompasses us all.
This project has only just begun to take flight. As each new idea comes into reality, new trails appear allowing us to connect more people with sled dogs and encourage a positive way of life for everyone.
Its what the Sled Dog Sanctuary has always been about... a place of hope...
Adapting Our Sport of Dog Mushing
Our journey of creating an adaptive dog sled continues to be a very rewarding project. All throughout the winter we have been working on ways to make mushing, gear and interaction with the dogs accessible to everyone. There are quite a few details to think about when running dogs but within the challenge is the fun!
This month we had the pleasure of welcoming Ira Edwards to the Sled Dog Sanctuary to try our prototype dog sled. Ira was a great sport, especially considering the falling rain! The trail was punchy and soft but the dogs did great leading him around to complete three solo laps with a five dog team.
"This is the first time I've run dogs solo since I broke my back and it was a blast!" - Ira Edwards
After we came back to the kennel we swapped more ideas on the sled's design to help with stability and make the ride more comfortable and fun. We are very excited to put these changes in place this summer and have the adapted sled ready to hit the trails again next winter!
Alaska Dispatch News
Last summer (2015) we had the pleasure of welcoming reporter Laurel Andrews and photographer Marc Lester from Alaska Dispatch News out to the Sled Dog Sanctuary to meet the dogs and have a look around.
Laurel and Marc were collecting stories from the Mat-Su/Anchorage area about rescues and their impact on Alaskan animals in need. The dogs loved all the extra attention (as they always do when visitors come) and after the interview was done we headed back to work with little thought on where it was headed.
A few weeks later we found ourselves in the midst of a crisis as fires started to break out all around us burning thousands of acres with a full evacuation of the Sanctuary sled dogs being a very real possibility. Fortunately we remained outside the path of the blaze and just as things started calming down again we were notified that not only was our story live on adn.com but that the Sanctuary had made front page of the paper itself!
In the weeks to come our numbers steadily increased on Facebook and showed no sign of slowing down. A bit of searching on the internet found the Alaska Dispatch Article had been picked up by local papers around the state and was starting to make its rounds in the lower 48 states as well!
If you found us through the paper, through Facebook or through some other means welcome! And if you missed the article itself you can read it here on the Alaska Dispatch News website. Sled Dog Sanctuary: A Second Life for Alaska's Abandoned Huskies
The Sanctuary Residents
Many sled dogs call the Sanctuary home, some are just passing through while the more troubled cases will spend their whole lives within the Sanctuary.
Get to known each one of their unique personalities...
How you can help...
There are many ways you can support the dogs in the Sled Dog Sanctuary.
Donate time, dog food, treats or through monetary means you can help us give sled dogs all over Alaska a renewed outlook on life...
What Makes Us Unique
A forty acre haven devoted to sled dogs, run by mushers with over twenty years combined experience and access to limitless trails as far as the eye can see.
The Sled Dog Sanctuary is a rescue like no other. Come and explore what makes us so unique...
Thank you to our 2015 - 2016 sponsors!
With your support we have been able to change the lives of sled dogs and enrich the lives of people all over the state of Alaska...
Thank you also to our many individual donors and volunteers who have helped us so much this year. Many sled dogs have benefited from your donations of dog food, straw, transportation, treats and so many other ways. Thank you!