Oftentimes, the practice of dog sledding and other activities that use “working” dogs such as for hunting are defended by people who say it is part of culture and tradition, and that the dogs “like” to be outside. However, the way “working” dogs are treated is a tradition that needs to end NOW.

Recently, a Canadian couple on a nature excursion came across the Windrift dog sled kennel north of Barrie, Ontario. What they saw was horrific … dogs were tethered outside in the freezing elements unable to seek warmth in the snow, all while surrounded by their own waste.


You may think that this is an isolated case of animal cruelty, but in reality, this is standard practice. As the Canadian couple found out, to their horror, “working” dogs, such as dogs forced to pull sleds, have ZERO rights. In both Canada and the U.S., it is LEGAL to keep dogs in abusive conditions. 


In January of 2018, Facebook user Dylan Blake faced a similar situation when he participated in a dog sledding attraction with Toronto Adventures, Inc. In the videos shared on Facebook120 dogs were being kept on short metal chains in below-freezing temperatures. Their only shelters are makeshift dog houses that are still exposed to the elements, their food bowls are empty, their water has iced over, they are living in their own excrement, and they are so distressed all they can do is compulsively pace in circles, forming visible tracks around their posts.

National animal welfare organization, In Defense of Animals (IDA), is working towards exposing the practice of chaining “working” dogs and leaving them out in the elements. IDA has created a federal campaign called “Break The Chains,” alongside Fern Levitt, the producer of the film Sled Dogs, and Ashley Keith, of Humane Mushing, to continue to keep the pressure ON until “working” dogs have legal protections.

If you’d like to join IDA in their efforts, please SHARE this survey with as many professionals you know, such as veterinarians, law enforcement officials, postal workers, and canine behaviorists. IDA is working on collecting mass feedback from experts to bring dog chaining to an END.


Many aren’t aware of the cruelty of the sledding industry, so share this article with your network to help us spread the word!

Image Source: Sled Dogs Film/Facebook