Snowmobiler Speeds To Deliberately Hit Innocent Sled Dogs
Ryan Redington shares a special bond with the dogs on his sled team. The Alaskan native runs regularly with his dogs in northern Wisconsin. Fortunately, most mushers and snowmobilers in the area know how to be respectful and keep their distance from groups of dogs. But one incident shook Redington in ways he never imagined.
While Redington was training with Sarah Keefer and her sled dogs, a reckless snowmobiler got in the way. The person sped up and turned out of their way to hit Redington’s canine companions. Redington and Keefer believe the incident was intentional. One of the puppies was in critical condition, so dog lovers stepped up to save him.
Redington says his dogs love the races. They always cheer up when they go out in the snow with their dad. Redington takes extra precautions to keep them safe, such as attaching lights to their harnesses at night. So he thinks the only way someone can hit them is if they’re drunk or do it on purpose.
First, the reckless snowmobiler sped towards Redington and ran into his dogs without stopping. Then they flew over Keefer, who was not far behind. Fortunately, none of Keefer’s dogs were injured, but several of Redington’s were.
“Every other sled I had encountered was slow,” Keefer said. “This guy came straight into the middle of the track at high speed and only got away from the team at the last second before he hit the dogs.”
Most of the dogs had minor injuries that the vet could treat immediately. But a dog named Wildfire suffered a broken leg in three places. He had been flying through the air when he was hit, so he needed intense surgery.
Will he run again?
Redington hopes Wildfire can race again one day if he’s up for it. Being part of the team is a great way for dogs to release their energy and bond with their human. But Wildfire has a lot of healing to do before they can get back there. Vets had to repair his left tibia using a metal plate and 11 screws.
Costs for medical care will be around $9,000. So Keefer set up a GoFundMe page to help Redington cover all the costs. Dog lovers went above and beyond to ensure the goal was achieved. They ended up raising over $36,000 to support the dogs! Redington is grateful that his furry family members will all be fine in the long run.
“These guys are super athletes, but they are my family,” Redington said. “I spend every day with them and it’s heartbreaking to see what they had to go through. It’s very, very sad and it shouldn’t happen.
Redington has filed a police report, but there are no suspects at this time. He knows it’s unlikely they’ll find the person responsible, but he wants to do everything he can to make sure no more dogs get hurt.
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