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Welcome to Rogues Gallery Kennel

 

We are located in beautiful Kasilof, Alaska, home to one of the most active dog mushing communities in the world.

 

 

 

"This is the real world. A place where women and men slough off the get-ahead materialism of our age, and live in small cabins without running water or electricity and spend every dime they earn on dog food, all for the opportunity to journey into the dark and wild to enjoy the graceful company of dogs, camp out, and explore a frozen landscape that almost everyone else in the world regards as inhospitable."

--- John Balzar, author  

“Yukon Alone”

 

Ethics

 

The ethics of mushing are a very sensitive and emotional subject for us. It seems to us in all professional circles (and maybe all circles in general) you will encounter good and evil. The decisions you make are yours to own and we try, by example, to be the best representatives of this sport that we know how to be. Unfortunately, not all who run dogs, or even all who own them, feel the same. We often are sickened by the attitudes and practices of some mushers and we will never defend anyone involved in this sport who compromises dog safety or disregards their well being.

         We love our dogs and that love is returned. It is a fully symbiotic relationship. We live like “dogs” so my dogs can live like kings. While we consume chips and salsa for the fifth night in a row, they often eat fresh meat and kibble made from quality ingredients, not corn and cardboard. In fact, often times their dinner of Alaska salmon and rice cooked over a campfire smells far more tantalizing than ours.

Our canine companions regularly spend time in the house with us, where they enjoy wrestling with the permanent house crew and flopping on the couch for a lazy evening or overnight. They’re allowed to jump on me, lick my face, sniff our guests, and none are scolded for their naturally high energy level. 

The ethics of mushing are controversial, conflicting, and whole-heartedly emotional. This passage from John Balzar’s “Yukon Alone” to helps express those sentiments:

“… the cruelty humans inflict on one another is inseparable from the cruelty they impose on animals. I too am an advocate for animals. When it comes to mushing, however, I fault the animal-rights crusaders. An incredible amount of their emotional conviction is based on dubious or secondhand reports. That, in turn, becomes doctrine, and the public must choose sides accordingly. The fact is, dogs sometimes die while running races like the Iditarod and the Quest. Many more die, I’ll bet, from being inadvertently launched out of the beds of pickup trucks over any equivalent period of time. Pet owners with pickups are just a more diffuse target. How can you tackle them in a neat sound bite for the Associated Press?

Text Box: "In Alaska, our dogs mean considerably more to us than those 'Outside' can appreciate, and a slight to them is a serious matter."

--Leonhard Seppala,
patron saint of dogsledding
“… I have an acquaintance Outside who owns a big dog and keeps it fenced, alone, in a small yard all during the workday. Her love for this animal is unbounded. But, one might ask, is that enough? Dogs are social animals, creatures of the pack. This dog has never known and will never experience the joy of the companionship of its own species. How cruel is that? Moreover, dogs are born to run. You cannot deny that. So is it enough to let this one scramble up the stairs each night and take a turn around the block on a leash?

“… in Los Angeles, taxpayers finance the killing of 54,000 unwanted stray dogs a year. That’s almost 150 a day. In just one city. More lonely, abandoned, and mistreated dogs will be put down in Alaskan death chambers – generically called ‘humane’ shelters – in an average week than will ever perish on the trail. And these dogs will never know the devotion of a musher, the camaraderie of a pack, or the joy of purpose. If they ever had a chance to run, it was only for their lives.

“It’s not just the killing of strays that should concern us. What about the untold thousands of dogs in every city that come home as Christmas or birthday presents and then are sentenced to lives on the end of chains in crummy backyards, fed once a day and loved never; dogs who howl, not for the joy of the impending run but from the despair of loneliness?

“… Or more sharply to the point, what about the very doyens of purebreed dogdom, the members of the American Kennel Club – the people who encourage and participate in the breeding of dogs almost solely to conform to appearance standards? The working characteristics of these animals become concerns of no consequence, their temperament only a matter of casual consideration. No points are given for soundness. As a result, the genetic health of some breeds has declined scandalously. Yes, true enough, many of the fine ladies and gentlemen of the kennel club are generous donors to the humane movement and might object to criticism about their entrenched traditions. But if you cannot call bullshit on your own kind, who are you to call it on someone else?

“…(mushers) live closer to dogs and depend more profoundly on dogs than any pet owners I know… keep a wary eye on competitive mushing to guard against backsliding… denounce those who would train dogs by fear, or those who would cull puppies looking only for the strongest.”