Notorious Colorado Dog-Sledding Hellhole Closes Following Pressure From Dog Defenders

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Update (June 4, 2024): In December 2022, Krabloonik Dogsledding managed to delay its closure. As the town of Snowmass Village, Colorado, started its eviction of Krabloonik for dog abuse, the business filed a lawsuit, putting the process on ice. As the Snowmass Sun reported, the town and Krabloonik then reached a settlement, which was ratified by the town’s council. The agreement ended the eviction process and specified that Krabloonik’s operations would end on June 1, 2024. Now, champagne corks are popping at PETA. We can confirm that Krabloonik has officially shut down!

It’s a huge win for dogs. Thanks to dedicated, compassionate residents and local PETA supporters, Snowmass Village was made more aware of the widespread mistreatment of dogs at Krabloonik.

Krabloonik had been given a second chance in 2013 after its former owner was charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals—the seedy business changed hands, and a plan was developed to inspect its facilities. Yet animal abuse allegations continued to come in. Krabloonik reportedly violated its lease agreement with Snowmass Village via lapses in its spay/neuter and off-tether programs for dogs, and a Pet Animal Care Facilities Act investigation evidently found noncompliance with state regulations. After being given ample time to rectify the situation, Krabloonik seemingly didn’t provide a sufficient plan to address the violations.

Skeletonized remains of a dog corpse laying in the snow by a tree.

Dogs Reportedly Chained, Punched, and Left to Die at Krabloonik

Krabloonik was a hellhole with a sickening decades-long history of animal abuse and neglect allegations. As exposed in the documentary Sled Dogs, “excess” dogs were routinely shot in the back of the head and buried in a pit. Tenacious locals pushed the district attorney to take action, and a surprise inspection led the owner to be charged with cruelty to animals and to sell the operation. Yet dogs continued to be kept on chains—reportedly for years at a time. A former worker reported seeing dogs die from exposure to the cold and said that employees were instructed to leave newborns outside to freeze with no heat. One employee was filmed kicking and punching a dog and slamming him to the ground. Krabloonik said it would do better many times, but it never delivered on those promises.

Dog Sledding Is Cruelty—Help End It

Dogs forced to pull sleds vast distances through snow are miserable. The Iditarod, the most well-known dog-sledding race in the world, has killed over 150 dogs since it started in 1973. In just the last decade, dogs competing in the event have died from various causes, including asphyxiation, heart attacks, trauma from being struck by a vehicle, freezing to death, excess fluid in the lungs, and acute aspiration pneumonia—caused by inhaling their vomit.

Off the trails, dogs are chained by the dozens and deprived of the vital exercise, food, and companionship they need for a fulfilling life. Injured or otherwise “excess” dogs have been killed or abandoned without a second thought. Dogs deserve far better than a lifetime of isolation, cruelty, suffering, and death on the Iditarod trail.

Now that Krabloonik has been forced out of Snowmass, help us end the Iditarod dog-sledding race.

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