What Makes Us Unique
The Sled Dog Sanctuary is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to the rehabilitation, care and training of sled dogs in need. Here at the Sanctuary we are devoted to each dog as an individual, focusing on their unique wants and needs.
SLOW AND EASYWe never pressure a dog to conform into what we need in the kennel or out on the trail. We know that each one will settle into the environment in his or her own time and, as we remain patient, we watch their personalities unfold while they relax into life here at the Sanctuary.
The Sled Dog Sanctuary is made possible through mushers, dog lovers and volunteers who have a deep rooted passion for helping sled dogs in need.
The core of our team is made up of two experienced mushers, Raven and James, who share over twenty years experience and reside on the property caring for the dogs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Our musher's lengthly experience is invaluable for the care and training of the dogs as individuals or working together in the team. Not only do they quickly solve problems on the trail but they are key to accurate evaluations of each sled dog who comes through the Sanctuary.
NEVER GIVE UP
We exist as a Sanctuary in the truest sense of the word, offering shelter, love and a place to work and play as we bring hope to every dog no matter what trauma they have experienced in their past. With time and patience we believe sled dogs can thrive as an active member of a family, even if they have only known life in a dog yard setting.
The majority of dogs who come to us are traumatized, under-socialized or malnourished. Many of these dogs with complex behaviors are euthanized every day at shelters all over the country, but here at the Sanctuary we believe that no dog is a lost cause. Many can, and will, heal from their past given time and understanding.
Over the years we have rehabilitated, retrained and re-homed many huskies who would have been easily overlooked, or given up on, in our overcrowded shelters. So many of these beautiful creatures are simply misunderstood. Once you get to know them, and their beautiful independent spirit, you will wonder how you ever lived without one in your life.
ENCOURAGING THE SPIRIT
Each dog who resides within the Sanctuary is given the opportunity to work in harness and offered the chance to keep doing the job they so love to do. No sled dog is pushed to run too fast, too far or expected to exceed beyond their comfort level. We do not operate on a strict run/race schedule but instead remain flexible all the while listening to what each individual dog's need.
This often requires us to have many teams training at once. Young and fast, elderly and slow or those just learning the ropes. Each dog has their own preferred pace and if we don't have a slot where they can fit in, we will make one. Operating in this way not only keeps life fun for all involved but it allows us to evaluate each dog for their strengths and weaknesses.
Almost everything we do is done on Sanctuary grounds. Once a dog arrives they need not worry about moving on until they are mentally stable enough to transition to another home through our adoption program.
This 'in house' policy works wonders for all sled dogs in need but especially for those who may have been previously passed around from home to home like Polar.
These 'transient' type dogs mentally suffer when they feel they will be uprooted as soon as they relax into a new home. Because of this they often take longer to come around than ones who are younger or have lived most of their life in only one kennel.
No matter how long it takes for a dog to mentally come around, we are in it for the long haul. Some dogs require only weeks of rehabilitation while for others, it may take a lifetime.
Nearly every sled dog who comes to us is in need of socialization, not only from the mushers who care for them but from strangers as well. Every husky has their own special story and each their own special needs.
Since our main job is to care for the dogs and offer them what they need it was a natural choice to open the Sanctuary to the public by welcoming guests to hand out treats and help us socialize the dogs through interaction.
As the groups of people came through it was clear that not only were the dogs receiving rehabilitating therapy from the people but the people were receiving therapy from the dogs!
To this day we have welcomed and helped many different groups, schools and individuals throughout our community. It has been an honor to not only help dogs in need but to offer a healing atmosphere where sled dogs are able to make an impact on people's lives as well.
At the Sanctuary we know our job will never be finished. There will always be sled dogs in need, new trails to build, enhancing existing camp sites and exploring the endless miles of open land that is our backyard.
As our eyes remain fixed on the sled dogs currently in our care, our minds are always reaching towards the future.
With 40 acres to work with and the help of our wonderful donors, the sky is the limit for what we can build and utilize to make life better for all the dogs of the Sled Dog Sanctuary.
It is through the help of people like yourself that we are able to make such a difference in these dog's lives. Consider making a donation today and help us continue to enrich the lives of all who enter the Sled Dog Sanctuary...