A Krabloonik dog in summer

A Krabloonik dog in summer

Krabloonik mushers call for change at dog-sledding kennel

by Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

Voices for the Sled Dogs Mission and Vision Statements

Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs Mission: To raise the standard of care for Colorado sled dogs, inclusive of changing the current laws and regulations to represent responsible tethering of working dogs.

Voices for the Sled Dogs Vision: A respect for working dogs in Colorado, which includes consistent clean food and water, safe shelter and adequate, year-round socialization and exercise that is fit and ethical for a working dog.

Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs is now on Facebook and Twitter

Like our page on Facebook: Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs

Follow us on Twitter @VoicesSledDogs

Krabloonik dogs in summer.

Krabloonik dogs in summer.


To: Kate.anderson@ag.state.co.us, Keith.roehr@ag.state.co.us John.stulp@ag.state.co.us 

Title suggestion: Please amend the current tethering waiver

Dear Drs. Anderson, Roehr, and Stulp, 

I have concern for dogs who can be tethered indefinitely. I ask The Colorado Department of Agriculture to amend the current tethering waiver so these dogs exercise and socialize on a daily basis. 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.



Call to Action!

You can use copy the letter below to send to the representatives listed below. We want PACFA, city and town representatives to know how many people are counting on them to help Colorado sled dogs.

Title suggestion: Please modify the tethering waiver language for Colorado sled dogs

Dear Colorado Representatives,

I am concerned about the current Colorado tethering laws that permit Colorado sled dogs to be tethered 24 hours per day.

Please amend the current tethering waiver per the suggestions made by Voices for Sled Dogs, making it mandatory for the dogs to be off of the chains for at least 60 minutes every day.



The letter should go to the following (you can copy and paste entire list):

Kate.anderson@ag.state.co.us, Keith.roehr@ag.state.co.us John.stulp@ag.state.co.us, butlermrky@aol.com, johnwilk@bikerider.com, mordkin@rof.net, snowmassreed@gmail.com, billb@rof.net, rforrest@tosv.com, asmythe@tosv.com, gail.schwartz.senate@gmail.com, repcurry@gmail.com

You can also call:

Dr. Kate Anderson, PACFA Administrator: 303.239.4100 x4168

Dr. Keith Roehr, Assistant State Veterinarian:303.239.4100 x4166

Dr. John Stulp, Commissioner of the Dept. of Ag: (303) 239-4100

Two Critical Violations Reported in Krabloonik Inspection Report

Two critical violations reported in The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) inspection report for Krabloonik dated 1/11/10. The Krabloonik 1/11/10 violations include animal care ("Primary enclosures...shall be constructed and maintained to enable the animals to remain dry and clean...") and storage ("...food storage... area is heavily soiled with rodent droppings").

The PACFA program is a licensing and inspection program under the umbrella of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of those animals in pet c...are facilities throughout Colorado.

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1167928256523See More

January 13, 2010 Update

From the members of Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs:

It has been more than a year and a half since the inception of our group. We would like to thank the thousands of individuals who have reached out to us and offered support. Your voices have been heard and all of your comments and concerns have been read. Please continue to follow our progress.

We will be posting updates and calls to action for the many concerned citizens of our community, state of Colorado, and interested media and animal rights groups around the country and world.

Winter Conditions

Winter Conditions

Winter Conditions

Winter Conditions

Winter Conditions

Winter Conditions
Krabloonik Kennels is a dog-sledding operation and restaurant located in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The standard of care for the 220+ sled dogs has been under public scrutiny for many years. Krabloonik has been cited by the Colorado Department of Agriculture on several occasions over the past several years for noncompliance with state regulations.

Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs is working to rectify current violations and to raise the minimum standard of care to a higher level.

Please see below for updates, how to get involved, and to get informed about sled dog operation standards.




Goals: Ten Standards of Care

The objective of Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs is to expediently improve the quality of life and significantly raise the standard of care for the Krabloonik sled dogs year round.

The following are the list of changes we deem imperative to improve:

1. Rectify all Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) violations cited against Krabloonik from the Colorado Department of Agriculture immediately.

2. Improve shelter, water, and feeding conditions.

3. Implement a regular exercise regime year-round, resulting in time off the chains.

4. Document and control the population and breeding of the dogs.

5. Implement a spay/neuter program.

6. Ensure proper and timely veterinary care for injured and ill dogs.

7. Provide socialization for the dogs.

8. Additional, year-round, educated staff for the care of the dogs and their surroundings.

9. Create a Retirement/Rescue program for old or non sled dogs.

10. Establish an Advisory Committee to monitor year round care and conditions of the dogs and their environment.

VIEW SLIDESHOW: Conditions of Krabloonik Sled Dogs

1. MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION: Improve the Conditions for Colorado sled dogs: To donate funds, please make your check payable to Friends of the Aspen Animal Shelter (or FAAS).
P.O. Box 985
Aspen, CO 81612
*Please note "Voices for the Krabloonik Dogs" on the memo portion of your check.

2. CALL AND EMAIL: The Town of Snowmass and The Town Council Members:


The Town of Snowmass: (970) 923-3777
Sally Sparhawk: sally@sparhawkconsulting.com
John Wilkinson: johnwilk@bikerider.com
Arnie Mordikin: mordkin@rof.net
Reed Lewis: snowmassreed@gmail.com
Aspen Daily News: letters@aspendailynews.com
Aspen Times: cabraham@aspentimes.com
Snowmass Sun: mosberger@snowmasssun.com
Mayor Douglas Mercatoris: dmerc@rof.net


Minutes of Meeting
Krabloonik Advisory Board
January 27, 2009

A meeting of the Krabloonik Advisory Board was held on January, 27 2009 at 12:00 p.m. at The Aspen Animal Shelter, Aspen, Colorado.

The following committee members were present: Scott Dolginow, Anne Gurchick, Dan MacEachen, Seth Sachson, Ed Foran, Lee Ann Vold, Bill Fabroccini, and Laura Van Dyne.

The meeting begins with Dan addressing the agenda item requesting an update on any plans to get the dogs off the chains by May 1st for exercise in the off-season. Does he foresee having the funds for improvements? Dan stated he does not foresee these improvements happening, and does not have the funding needed. Ed Foran asked if he does not have the funds then will Dan maintain status quo? Dan said “yes”, it will remain the same. Dan stated he needs to see what the status of his mushers and other staff members will be for the off-season months. Ed inquired about what percentage of staff remains in the off-season. Dan says around 4%, four Hispanic laborers and one musher. Lee Ann stated it seems we are right back where we started. Bill stated he does not want to go forward with an anti-chaining ordinance, but that this may become necessary.

There was a brief discussion about the sled-dog, Trip that came into the Animal Hospital with a large tear wound. Dan explained that she had been in a dog fight on a dog sled ride.

Dan was asked about the 4 recent dogs that were euthanized by the local vet. He said one of them was extremely sick; the other two were excessively aggressive dogs. The fourth dog was not put down, but instead given to a musher. Lee Ann was told to speak with the musher, Justin Layman, in order to get specifics on the names of the dogs to update files.

Lee Ann inquired if Dan plans on breeding this year since the total number of dogs at Krabloonik are above the PUD agreement of 250. Dan stated he plans on breeding a few litters. When asked about “what a few” amounts to, he stated approx 3 litters, 15 puppies. Past years breeding consists of 6-8 litters and 25-30 puppies. Dan says the breeding amount depends on how many dogs leave by summer with mushers, adoptables, and death. Anne asked why Dan can’t take one season off of breeding since Krabloonik is overpopulated. He states he needs to keep the line going in order to have good dogs to pull sleds in years to come. Pups will begin pulling part-time their second winter from birth, and are ready to pull full-time when they are three yrs. of age.

The group then continued discussion on the current overpopulation problem. There are over 275 dogs at Krabloonik presently. Laura asked if all of the dogs are used to pull sleds. Dan says he needs a working core of 200-225 dogs. There are roughly 30 puppies and 10-12 older dogs that are not working. Bill noted that this is an example of where we differ in ideology. Anne asked what is the worst case scenario if Dan does not breed this year. He said there will be a “slip in the cycle”. Anne states the best case is that there will be 25 less dogs that are born to live their lives on a chain.

In regards to being able to reduce the number of dogs, Ed asked why the dog sled tour couldn’t be cut to a 5 mile tour? This would turn more sled rides and the stronger dogs would run 2 tours per day. Dan responded that even though the tour is shortened the mushers still have to run up the same steep hill to finish at Krabloonik. He believes this climb is too hard for the mushers to complete numerous times daily. The distance is shortened but the work load is increased.

In regards to exercise for the dogs in the summer, Seth made a comment that it seems simple to put up fenced yard and hire one additional guy to rotate the dogs in the yards all summer. Dan said he is not willing to spend the money on the fencing; he needs that money to care for other items in the business. Bill asked what area would suffer if money was used to put up a fenced yard. Dan did not give a specific answer.

The discussion then moved to questions about numerous dogs being housed and located on Divide Open Space property. Dan stated that yes there are dogs on the Divide Open Space Lot, and that there is a written agreement with Divide HOA that allows the dog houses, dogs, and sledding through the property. The lot size is 7/10 of an acre. The Advisory group wants to get a copy of this agreement, to insure the right to use the Open Space will transfer should a sale occur.

Dan was asked “what he wants, terms, conditions” in order to agree to a sale of the business. He stated he has a call into his accountant who has been out of the country. He needs to be able factor in paying off his debt, taxes, and still have enough money to retire. He stated that the sale price discussed would not leave him much to live on after paying his debt and taxes. He does not want to sell Krabloonik and then have to go out and look for another job. He might as well keep Krabloonik. Seth brought up the idea of Dan maintaining the restaurant, and a non-profit maintaining the dog kennel. Dan stated his interest is not in the restaurant but rather the dogs. He agreed that a sale would be best for all parties. There was a brief discussion about Dan’s interest in staying on temporarily as a paid employee if the business was to sell. Dan stated that he needs to speak with his CPA and attorney to determine was he needs in order to sell. Dan said he would get in touch with the Krabloonik Advisory Group once he had a realistic number of what is needed for a purchase.

Assuming a sale does not go through, and everything is status quo, Ed proposes actively perusing enclosures so the dogs will be off their chains and get exercise. Dan questions who will be accountable if a dog or staff member becomes injured because of dog fights. He said he does not want to be held liable for injury to a staff person, or an injured/killed dog. Ed then asked about past discussions of acquiring a dog walker (wheel). Dan stated that this will not help get every dog off their chain on a daily basis. The group discussed specifics on how a program would work with exercise pens. Dan reiterated that he does not have the funding for fencing or extra staffing required. Scott suggested that the Krabloonik Advisory Committee possibly help organize, and maintain the exercise program for the dogs in the off-season. The group stated that Dan will have to be involved in the exercise program because his staff knows the dogs, and ultimately Dan is the owner of the dogs.

Anne expressed her frustration with Dan’s lack of commitment to resolve problems and find solutions. She feels the Advisory Board members are all putting in a lot of time and effort to try to improve the conditions for the dogs, but Dan seems to resist or find problems in most ideas proposed. Dan explained that he too cares for the dogs greatly, and is looking after their well-being. His concerns in developing an exercise program are in preventing heatstroke’s, fighting, ect. He feels that some of the dogs are better off on their chain than in a fenced enclosure.

The meeting closed with Dan stating that he would be agreeable to a “quick fix” of a smaller fenced area in the off-season, with less substantial fencing material to get the dogs off chains 2-3 times per week, but that he will require help to achieve this.

Before the group meets again to go over specifics of putting up a fenced yard area, Dan is going to follow up on the possibility of a purchase agreement. He will contact the group after speaking with his CPA and attorney.

Next Meeting time TBD once Dan contacts group.

Minutes of Meeting
Krabloonik Advisory Board
October 14, 2008

A meeting of the Krabloonik Advisory Board was held on October 14, 2008 at 8:00 a.m. at The Aspen Animal Shelter, Aspen, Colorado.

The following committee members were present: Scott Dolginow, Anne Gurchick, Dan MacEachen, Seth Sachson, Ed Foran, Lee Ann Vold, Bill Fabroccini, and Bill Boineau.
The meeting opened with LeeAnn discussing the need to get back with the Town of Snowmass Village, and the report requested by Mayor Doug Mercatoris from the police and animal control. Lee Ann stated that the Voices group would like to be on the Nov 3rd Town Council agenda and stated she would speak with Town Manager, Russ Forest to confirm.

Lee Ann discussed the plan for “Krabloonik Vet Day”, on Wed. Oct 15, 2008. Six vets confirmed attending. She asked who from the Advisory Committee is confirmed as assisting the Vets. Ed Foran, Seth Sachson, Justin Layman, Anne Gurchick, Dan MacEachen, Lee Ann Vold, and Bill Fabroccini (will arrive late) were confirmed. Lee Ann presented a map of all of the dogs with names and designated dog house to be used for vets. Scott estimates about 5 mins. per dog on avg. for health checks. Lee Ann requested documentation on the 8 dogs currently under Scott’s care. “Voices” group will compensate vets upon request.

According to Lee Ann’s count on the map there are 290 dogs; Dan confirmed the number is probably correct. Dan stated that it is a larger number of dogs than he prefers, and said he won’t be doing additional breeding this year. Dan asked to know what the vets are looking for or expecting to find. He would like a brief report from the vets after the health inspection.

Bill Fabroccini stated that while he had been gone for a month traveling, he had the time to study the dog sledding business and wanted to share some facts with the group as well as the evolution of the sled dog. He spoke with Jeff King and Jim Blair about their dog sledding operations. Bill asked Dan
1. Does he agree that sled dog operations have evolved to where sled dogs should be exercised in the “off-seasons”?
2. Financially, how does Dan propose to care for his sled dogs with appropriate staffing for 290 dogs? Dan responded that Jeff King’s dogs and most sled dog operations are at sea-level. Their dogs are in a cooler environment with different geography. Dan stated that Bill is not comparing “apples to apples”. Jeff King’s operation has different goals, and requires a different standard of performance than dog sled rides. His dogs are trained for racing. Altitude; lack of humidity; increased sun intensity; makes running sled dogs on a 4-wheeler too harmful for their health. Dan stated he ran the dogs 3 miles this past Saturday during training and one had borderline heatstroke. Dan said that difficulty in finding staffing and lack of business are issues. He is not making the money to afford more staffing. Dan agreed that he sees the benefit of running dogs in the summer if all needs were met. Scott commented that it is different to get dogs ready for racing versus pulling sleds for tourists. Ed agreed that pulling a 4-wheeler up the Divide Rd would be too hard on the dogs.

Ed stated he feels fenced in pen areas would be a huge benefit to the dogs. Bill F. states the issue still comes back to the number of dogs Dan has, and the lack of money to care for them. Bill stated that before we can continue to move forward, people want to know that Dan is willing to make a financial commitment. Dan stated that the more dogs the better because the more dogs; the more income. Scott asked if a sled dog can pull a sled two times in a day. Dan stated physically yes; emotionally no-they get bored. Bill F. stated he believes Dan has a problem with his business model. Dan explains he attributes income problems to a loss of summer activity. Dan states he does not believe that April-November is “tough” on the dogs, but they could be happier.

Bill F. brought up public voicing concern and people wanting Krabloonik shut down. Lee Ann stated that citizens are coming to her concerned for the dogs well-being, but don’t want to support Dan’s private business financially.

Discussion then turned to if Dan would consider the option of selling his business. Dan stated he is open to the topic if the price is right. He stated he is not set up financially to make the changes discussed. Dan stated that his lease allows assignability. The lease states that Dan guarantees his presence in the business for 10 yrs. (he has eight years left).

Bill Boineau stated he does not feel the town would contribute money, but he was not in opposition of a sale.

Discussion moved towards concerns from the Voices group and the public. Issues/concerns are discussed and then explained by Dan. These explanations are communicated to the Voices group but then the items are not actually being taken care of like stated by Dan. Makes people not believe in Dan’s answers. For example, Anne explained that the dogs were still being tethered for longer than the 15 minutes that Dan stated was occurring.

Lee Ann asked about the 7 older puppies, there are only 5 now…what happened to the other two? Dan stated one was adopted and one died possibly of Parvo. Anne stated that Parvo is a huge concern since it is a highly contagious disease.

Lee Ann asked about what can be expected for the transition into winter. Dan stated mushers start November 1st. Arturo and help will take 1-2 weeks’ vacation when mushers come in; new people start caring for the animals supervised by Justin and Nick. Veteran mushers come back December 1st. New mushers will get the overall feel for operations and then assigned their dogs.

Next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 28th, 8am at Aspen Animal Shelter.

Minutes of Krabloonik Advisory Board
September 23, 2008

A meeting of the Krabloonik Advisory Board was held on September 23, 2008 at 8:00 a.m. at Krabloonik Restaurant and Kennel, Snowmass Village, Colorado. The group met inside the restaurant and after the meeting visited outside with several of the dogs.

The following committee members were present: Scott Dolginow, Anne Gurchick, Dan MacEachen, Seth Sachson, Lee Ann Vold, Laura Van Dyne, and Ed Foran.

Also in attendance were: Art Smythe, Chief of Police, Town of Snowmass Village, Tina White, SMV Animal Control, Nancy Nevin, Voices for Krabloonik Member, and John Larrison, a past musher at Krabloonik.

The meeting opened with LeeAnn introducing Nancy Nevin of the Voices for Krabloonik Committee and explaining that it may be helpful for the Voices group to meet with Dan and visit Krabloonik for themselves.

Dan introduced John Larrison who worked for Krabloonik in the past as a musher and last season worked as a musher in Alaska. John expressed his interest in attending the meeting to provide input on other mushing operations.

Lee Ann handed out Vet flyer to be used to coordinate Vets and Vet Techs in the valley for “Vet Day at Krabloonik” on Oct. 15th from 9am-12pm. Lee Ann will be contacting Vets in the valley to request their assistance, she is hoping for at least 7 vets and techs. Scott will coordinate vets the day of the exams. Lee Ann asked about obtaining a medical form to use for Vet Day. Dan stated a medical sheet for each dog has not been created yet. LeeAnn offered to create a medical form as Dan does not have time presently before leaving town. Dan stated he currently has records on bloodlines and standard shots. Lee Ann will obtain a sample medical form from Dan and Scott. Dan has agreed to have one medical form per dog. A fund is not yet available to pay vets for helping out, but “Voices” will raise the funds for compensation on vets that need to be paid. Photos will be taken of each dog during the vet exams for each dogs “file” sheet.

Dan briefly reviewed the current dogs under medical care that Scott looked at last week. There are 8 dogs needing medical attention per the CO Dept of Ag report from Sept 3rd inspection, plus Dan said he added a few more dogs to be checked out. “Nellie” the thin nursing dog is gaining weight per Dan. Scott will do another check-up on the dogs today.

In regards to Lee Ann’s question about the need to tether mothers in their pens with the puppies, Dan explained to the group that certain mothers push the pups away from the their food and eat it for themselves. Tethering the mothers gives the pups the opportunity to eat. Dan stated mothers are tethered 15-20 minutes, but acknowledged it is a violation. Ed agreed it made sense for this practice as mothers can end up killing the pups.

Pups must be over 4 month old to run around loose among the other dogs. Nancy voiced concern that coyotes could grab puppies. Dan and Ed stated if would be highly unusual for any wildlife to come into the dog area.

Dan addressed the past Krabloonik chef’s claim of 5 dogs dying this past summer. Dan spoke about “Shadow” who died from eating a rock, but disagreed that 5 dogs died.

Lee Ann asked about where the dead dogs and dog feces are now being disposed of. Dan explained that both end up at the landfill.

The discussion went to the issue of exercise in the off-season. Ed reiterated that a dog run and dog wheel are ideal items to exercise the dogs, and wanted to know what was discussed at the previous meeting. Dan updated Ed from last weeks meeting, specifically-risks of summer exercise: elevation, heat, intensity of the sun, no humidity (are all risk for the dogs). Heat stroke is a serious issue and can kill the dogs, Dan will be held liable for this.

The group further discussed creating a large fenced area to get the dogs off their chains in the off-season. Ed suggested a water feature in the fenced pen. Space is an issue as Dan stated he only has 1.7 acres. Dan said he is open to creating a fenced area, but we will have to discuss, and work as a group on how and what to implement. The group discussed not needing to have the dogs exercised every day in the fenced area but 2 or 3 days per week for 20-30min.

Nancy brought up the point that some of the Krabloonik dogs that come to the Shelter have a hard time walking, and that also the dogs are not being conditioned for 6-7 months in the off-season to pull the sled. Seth reiterated he feels it is necessary for the dogs to be off-chain at time to exercise their bodies in different directions. Laura asked if it is possible to put sled teams into groups within the fenced area for exercise. Dan stated he does not have fixed teams.

Ed mentioned that the issue of an appropriate fenced exercise yard comes down to staffing and money. Dan agreed and said it is hard to find people to handle the dogs.

The discussion moved onto the population of dogs at Krabloonik. Dan explained of the 260 dogs, 210-220 are the working core dogs. There are 30 puppies presently. And the older dogs that remain at Krabloonik that can’t function as sled dogs are used to help train the puppies, or adopted out to the Animal Shelter or mushers. He mentioned that some of the dogs are not pet material and are either sent to a program in Alaska or put down.

LeeAnn stated in terms of moving forward with improvements and funding she would like to address the town about contributing money. Ed offered to assist LeeAnn with obtaining additional bids for presentation to TOSV. Lee Ann believes funding should come from Dan, TOSV, and the public supporters. Anne and Scott stated that if the public has issues with the current conditions they should be asked to help pay for the improvements. Ed will get with Dan to organize a couple of additional bids, which will include the installation of a water feature.

Nancy showed the group a new type of watering can for the dogs. Ed noted that the dogs would chew and tear up the cans. Scott/Dan don’t think the dog’s tongues are being cut on the cans. LeeAnn asked if they can at least “test” one of these cans with a dog that we know shreds the #10.

Seth expressed concerns about volunteer dog walking program.due to liability reasons. Dan said he would need to approve the volunteer walkers on a case-by-case basis. Ed proposed a “Volunteer Walker Education Day”. People can come up to Krabloonik and see what it takes to actually walk these dogs.

In regards to reporting to the Town Council, Art suggested rescheduling Krabloonik as an agenda item until after Vet Day on Oct. 15th. Art is also going to coordinate rescheduling with the State Vet, Kate Anderson, who has expressed interest in attending the next Town Council Meeting.

Lee Ann and Anne to get together and coordinate committees, chairs, volunteers, mentors.

Meeting adjourned at 9:40pm

Next Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 14th, 8am at Aspen Animal Shelter

September 17, 2008 Krabloonik Advisory Board meeting 8:00 a.m. at Krabloonik Restaurant and Kennel, Snowmass Village, Colorado.

The group met outside, within feet of some of the dogs so as to witness and reference the care and behavior of the dogs.

The following committee members were present: Scott Dolginow, Anne Gurchick, Justin Layman, Dan MacEachen, Seth Sachson, and Lee Ann Vold. Russ Forrest, Town Manager, Town of Snowmass Village and Art Smythe, Chief of Police, Town of Snowmass Village, also attended the meeting.

The meeting opened with a review of Krabloonik’s PACFA violations. Dan noted that there were six, not ten, violations and all but two had been addressed. Four of the violations were considered “non-critical,” two of which will always exist, unless they become issues. The four non-critical violations stated in the CO Dept of Ag Sept. 3rd, 2008 inspection were:

1. Vet care – specifically for the dogs Quincy, Blanco, Pinky, CB, Marble and Pumpkin. The dogs have been seen by a State vet and Dan did a walk-through with Scott Dolginow, DVM, to recheck some of them after the meeting.
2. One of the nursing mothers was too thin and Dan has boosted her caloric intake.

The third and fourth violations that will always exist are:

3. Chains too short. To lengthen would increase the likelihood of fighting and uncontrolled breeding.
4. Lack of perimeter fencing. Dan stated he has not had an issue with any predators coming into the kennel area in over thirty years and informed the committee that the state vet agreed a perimeter fence would do no good and would not enforce the violation.

Discussion turned to improved feeding and watering conditions for the dogs. Dan noted the water cans are always damaged by the dogs, so the kennel goes through a lot of them each year. He has agreed to replace the cans with the #10 cans being donated by Voices for Krabloonik. Seth, Scott and Dan noted that in the winter dogs can live off snow and Dan assured the committee that water is still supplemented. Dan agreed to explore the possibility of the trained volunteers assisting with watering in the summer. Dan pointed out how some of the dogs had just been given water or their water cans replaced to a hanging position on their kennel and the dogs had already pulled the cans off the kennel and dumped some of their water.

Feeding the dogs six days a week instead of seven was then discussed. Dan noted that this only happens in the summer months of June through September, primarily because the dogs don’t eat as often as normal household pets do. Scott noted that a lot of people would still struggle with the perception that the dogs were not being fed and that, although the dogs health was okay being fed 6x weekly, Dan should consider feeding them every day. With the seven day feeding approaching, Dan agreed he is open to changing the feeding habits next summer. Scott and Seth noted that some breeds, especially Huskies, are notorious for not eating and simply do not want food as often as domestic breeds.

As discussion continued, it became clear to the committee that Dan needed to educate the public more on the sled-dog business and, primarily, the health, care and uniqueness of sled-dogs. Anne agreed to work with Dan on producing a more informative educational sheet than what Dan currently has.

The discussion turned to the dogs’ exercise. Dan informed the committee he had been in touch with Planted Earth about designing a large enclosed area that will include 14 or so access gates and possibly a pond area. He noted that the improvement will take a lot of time, land and money and he cannot afford to bear the burden of all three. Relating to specific exercise, he informed the group that even the Iditarod racers only train 3x per week and that Huskies do not want or need exercise in the summer. Seth noted that he would feel more comfortable if the dogs did have some time off their chains as their bodies need to move in areas and ways they cannot do when tethered. Dan remains adamant that the dogs should not be exercised too much in June, July and August as it is too hot and the dogs’ could, and some likely would, suffer heatstroke. However, he does not object to a supervised exercise program using trained volunteers, especially for the older dogs and socialization for the puppies. Lee Ann, Seth and Justin will work on putting together a volunteer training program and a dog exercise program before next summer. Dan agreed to move the older dogs to the top kennels so they would all be easily accessible for the volunteer walkers. Dan further noted that all the dogs are different and he will have to experiment with the dogs prior to approving the formal exercise program. (Note: During the meeting, a litter of puppies had the free run of the facility around us. They seemed healthy, happy and were working on socialization within the group. Dan noted on several occasions the socialization of the puppies as they wandered close to or within the sled-dog populations and kennels, submissively "checking things out.")

The volunteer program was discussed, specifically the liabilities that Dan would be left open to by agreeing to the program, including loose dogs and volunteer injuries. Seth will get Dan a form he can use to protect himself and Krabloonik from any liability and all volunteers will be required to sign it prior to joining the volunteer program.

A spay/neuter program was discussed and Dan informed the committee he does not feel he has a population problem and therefore is not willing to spend money on spaying or neutering. Lee Ann was adamant that she would like this area explored further and would like to see at least some of the dogs spayed/neutered. Scott noted that a big benefit to Dan in spaying some of the females would be behavior issues, as the females would not go into heat and thus there would be less aggression and fighting amongst the dogs. Dan agreed to explore spaying some of the dogs and the discussion was tabled until a subsequent meeting when more information and input could be given.

Dan agreed to the formation of the following:

1. Veterinary care program: Scott will work with Dan in implementing a program whereby vets and, possibly, vet techs do regularly scheduled walk-thrus and check-ups. Records will be kept on the dogs’ health.
2. Volunteer program: Lee Ann, Seth and Justin will put together a program and proposal to be discussed at a future committee meeting.
3. Education program: Anne will work with Dan and Seth to produce informative literature and, possibly, a future education program for visitors to Krabloonik.
4. Improvements: Dan will work with the committee to make improvements to the facility in the Spring of 2009.
5. Retirement/Rescue program: Dan agreed to work with the committee members to formalize a program for all retired sled-dogs. This will include a link to Aspen Animal Shelter’s web site on the Krabloonik site.

The first vet care walk-thru was tentatively scheduled for October 15th at 9:00 a.m. This is the soonest the walk-thru could be scheduled, due to scheduling conflicts.

Lee Ann voiced concern that some of the thinner-coated dogs get too cold in the winter. Dan agreed this is a problem and agreed to work on a solution. In the interest of time, the discussion was tabled for the next meeting.

The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at Krabloonik. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m. Russ Forrest and Art Smythe left the meeting at approx. 10:00 a.m., due to schedule conflicts. Dan and Scott started checking on dogs that were ill or injured and the remaining committee members walked around and inspected the kennel areas before leaving the facility

Minutes of Krabloonik Advisory Board September 9, 2008

The first meetingof the Krabloonik Advisory Board was held on September 9, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. at the Cheryl and Sam Wyly Animal Shelter, 101 Animal Shelter Road, Aspen, Colorado.

The following committee members were present: Bill Boineau, Scott Dolginow, Bill Fabrocini, Ed Foran, Anne Gurchick, Dan MacEachen, Justin Layman, Seth Sachson, Laura Van Dyne and Lee Ann Vold.

The meeting opened with Dan expressing disappointment in the recent activities of the Voices for Krabloonik Dogs committee, as he felt he came out of the prior meeting with Bill Fabrocini (“Bill F.”) and Lee Ann, (which Seth moderated), with an understanding they would work together going forward. Dan reiterated that he was not doing anything illegal and advised the group that if the Voices campaign was to continue as it had been, he had no interest in working with the group. Voices representatives, Lee Ann and Bill F., assured Dan there was a genuine misunderstanding in how each left the prior meeting and it was their intention to go forward in good faith. The committee agreed to work together to ensure the dogs were given better care, socialization and exercise.

There was discussion on the overall issues at Krabloonik, which included the following:

ß Off-leash and exercise time for all dogs;
ß Feeding the dogs every day (including Sundays) and giving fresh water twice daily;
ß A spay program for a least some of the females;
ß Proper, timely veterinary care;
ß Socialization for all dogs, especially puppies;
ß Educating the public on dog-sledding and the care of sled dogs.

Dan gave a brief overview of the land deal between the Town of Snowmass Village (“TOSV”), Dan MacEachen (“Dan”) and The Divide Homeowners Association (“Divide”), which resulted in Dan selling land to TOSV, Divide giving Dan an area to build a parking lot, Dan receiving the right to sell the parking lot and a developer purchasing the top parking lot from TOSV.

After further discussion on the Krabloonik issues, it was agreed that both sides have valid arguments but the care of the dogs and the perception that the dogs were not being cared for were strong arguments for change. The committee will presently focus on improvements in the following areas, based on Dan’s agreement to look further at these items at Krabloonik:

ß The formation of a volunteer program which will allow trained volunteers to walk the older sled-dogs and socialize the puppies;
ß Additional staffing/volunteers in order to provide better care for the dogs;
ß Improvement to existing shelter conditions;
ß A population control program that ensures no dogs are inhumanely culled;
ß Timely and proper vet care, including a program whereby a vet or vet tech performs scheduled visits to check on the health and welfare of all dogs;
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 8:00 a.m. at Krabloonik. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

A Letter from Holly Tarry of The Humane Society of the United States regarding conditions at Krabloonik

(Holly Tarry of The Humane Society of the United States above.)

August 25, 2008

Dear Council members,

As the Colorado Director of the Humane Society of the United States I work to help concerned citizens appropriately address cases of animal cruelty and neglect in their communities. The HSUS is the nation’s largest animal protection organization with over 10 million members nationwide and 166,000 members in Colorado alone.

I was contacted regarding the conditions at Krabloonik by Snowmass citizens and began investigating the facility’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) file in May of this year. I was shocked and saddened to learn than Krabloonik has been in violation of several minimum standards of care for the dogs the entire time it has been licensed in this state. PACFA regulations are clear on issues of housing and protection for animals as well as addressing basic necessities like food, water and veterinary care for ill or injured dogs.

I’ve attached a list of regulations Krabloonik has a history of violating and I believe it is clear that these violations impact the welfare of the animals in Krabloonik’s care. Beyond the minimum standards of care laid out in PACFA regulations, the Krabloonik dogs’ welfare is also tremendously impacted by the lack of exercise and socialization the dogs receive during the off-season. Additionally, as local animal control records will indicate, the dogs have been found without water on several occasions. It seems the dogs are given a coffee can full of water once in each 24 hour period regardless of whether the water spills before the dogs have a chance to drink it. As Alaskan breeds on Colorado summer days I am certain this dramatically affects the dogs’ welfare and on hotter days puts their lives at risk.

I hope that the Town of Snowmass Village will closely consider the details of this case and take action to reform the way Krabloonik operates. For at least the last seven years that Krabloonik has been licensed by the state it has not been compliant with the minimum standards of care and the dogs have suffered as a result. On their behalf I ask that you please take action and deliver the dogs much needed relief.

Thank you,

Holly Tarry
Colorado Director

Unresolved PACFA Violations at Krabloonik

1) Puppy Housing- Krabloonik was found in violation of 12.00 B.1.c.(a) “No female dogs in whelp or with puppies shall be tethered” in 2007 and again in the most recent inspection 5/5/2008. Additionally, the most recent report 5/5/2008 indicates a violation of 12.00 C.2.d. “puppies under the age of 4 months shall not be housed in the same primary enclosure, run, or exercise area with adult dogs other than their dam or foster dam, unless under director supervision” This was deemed a “critical violation” and resulted in a “failed” inspection.

2) Tethering Dogs- 12.00 B.1.c. (1) “The use of dog houses with chains (tethering) as a primary enclosure is prohibited.” There is an exemption for sled dog facilities but it requires an annual waiver and is up to the discretion of the commissioner to grant that waiver. Krabloonik has been licensed by PACFA since 2001, has always tethered all of its adult dogs, and as of 5/5/2008 had never applied for, or been granted, that waiver. This violation is noted in the most recent PACFA inspection report 5/5/2008 with a “due date” of 5/6/2008. Krabloonik applied for the waiver on 7/16/2008 for the first time in 7 years.

3) Tether Length and Tangling- Within the tethering exemption 12.00B.1.c.(2).(b) states “chains used shall be so placed or attached that they cannot become entangled with the chains of other dogs and any other objects. Such chains should be at minimum of 6 feet….All tethering chains shall have a swivel.” PACFA recorded complaints of the tethers being too short and tangled beginning in 2003. PACFA Inspectors directly noted violations of this rule in 2005 and 2007. PACFA has still not received compliance on the tether length. This violation was again noted in the most recent inspection 5/5/2008.

4) Fence Perimeter- 12.00 B.1.c.(2).(c) within the tethering exemption states “a fence perimeter shall surround the entire tethering area to protect the tethered dogs from predators, stray animals and humans.” There is no indication that this required fence has ever been in place. It was noted in inspection reports starting in 2005 and is still not resolved as it was cited again in the most recent inspection 5/5/2008. The dogs at Krabloonik, without the safety of a perimeter fence, are literally bait for the large number of wild predators that live in that area.

5) Storage- 12.00 E.1.e. states “supplies of food and bedding shall be stored off the floor or in waterproof closed containers and protected against infestation or contamination by vermin”. Krabloonik was found to be in violation of this regulation on 5/5/2008.

6) Veterinary Care- pursuant to 12.00 F. 1.c. veterinary records were requested for a dog with a bite wound during the 5/5/2008 inspection. A due date of 7/1/2008 was placed on this item but as of today, 8/25/2008 these records have still not been submitted to PACFA. Additionally, during the 5/5/2008 inspection the inspector noted a violation of 12.00 C. 2. h. and mandated veterinary care for a dog with a “prolapsed uterus” and a dog with a lesion near right hip. While the “due date” on this violation was noted as 5/6/2008, as of today, 8/25/2008, no follow up has been completed to ensure care for these dogs.

7) Feeding and Watering- According to 12.00 C. 1. c. “open food and water containers shall be accessible to the pet animal”. A violation of this regulation was found during the 5/5/2008 inspection and although it wasn’t mentioned in the PACFA report, several submitted photos show dogs and puppies without water at Krabloonik. Since random checks of the dogs’ water over a week 2 week period revealed no water 100% of the time it’s hard to imagine the dogs are being cared for properly. The issue noted on the inspection report is one of the dogs being fed directly on the wooden platform with no dishes allowing for unnecessary risk of parasite infestation.

8) Shelter-12.00 B.1.e. (3) requires “shelter shall be provided which is a moisture-proof structure”, but Krabloonik’s dog houses are constructed of plywood. This issue must be addressed as an important basic sheltering need for dogs already left to fend for themselves against the elements more than dogs housed inside would be. Additionally, the most recent PACFA inspection (5/5/2008) lists a violation of 12.00 B. 1.e.(4) stating “outdoor enclosures shall be so designed and constructed to suitably demonstrate drainage to eliminate natural or other excess water, regardless of surfacing material.”

9) Yearly Reports- 12.00 F.1.f. states “the licensee shall report to the commissioner on a yearly basis the numbers of transfers and litters to accurately determine licensing status.” These records are absent from the PACFA file for every license year.

(Left to Right) Holly Tarry, Colorado Director of The Humane Society of The United States and Voices co-founder Bill Fabrocini.





Attend the Nov. 3rd Town of Snowmass Village Council Meeting

Town of Snowmass Village Council Meeting
Monday, November 3rd 4:00 pm

Speakers: Lee Ann Vold & Bill Fabroccini

I. History of How Voices for Krabloonik & Krabloonik Advisory Committee Formed

II. Voices For Krabloonik Mission Statement
To improve the living conditions for the Krabloonik dogs and ensure they are provided a higher standard of care on a daily/year-round basis. To establish a healthy, safe, and stable environment for the sled dogs.

III. Krabloonik Advisory Committee Mission Statement
To expand upon the “Voices” mission by identifying the challenges and implementing solutions to uphold the standards of care and to oversee the continued and regulated care of the Krabloonik sled dogs.

IV. Review the Ten Standards of Care Needing Improvement Outlined in the September Town Council Mtg.
1. Rectify all Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) violations cited against Krabloonik from the Colorado Department of Agriculture immediately.
2. Improve shelter, water, and feeding conditions.
3. Implement a regular exercise regime year-round, resulting in time off the chains.
4. Document and control the population and breeding of the dogs.
5. Implement a spay/neuter program.
6. Ensure proper and timely veterinary care for injured and ill dogs.
7. Provide socialization for the dogs.
8. Additional, year-round, educated staff for the care of the dogs and their surroundings.
9. Create a Retirement/Rescue program for old or non sled dogs.
10. Establish an Advisory Committee to monitor year round care and conditions of the dogs and their environment
V. Current Accomplishments/Successes
a. Advisory Group
b. Vet Day
c. Adoptions

VI. Continuing Challenges
a. Lack of Exercise
b. Consistent Watering Daily
c. Population/Size 290 dogs

d. Adequate Staffing Year-round
e. Educating the Public
f. Flawed Business model

VII. Future Plan of Action
a. Continue Bi-monthly Advisory Committee Mtgs
b. Establish Deadlines/Time Frames for Appropriate Funding Needed for Challenges (ie:fencing, staffing)
c. Improve Public Awareness/Education on Current Status of Krabloonik Dogs
d. Expand Committees Knowledge on How Dogs Cared for at Other Dog Sled Operations
e. Continue Adoptions
f. SM Town Council Remains Active in Process via Town Manager, Animal Control, Police, Concerned Citizens
g. Schedule Future Town Council Mtg to Review Progress/Challenges


1. CALL SNOWMASS VILLAGE ANIMAL CONTROL-Laurie Smith and/or Tina White at (970) 923-4794

*Please make sure you request they document your complaint

2. CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE'S PET ANIMAL CARE FACILITIES PROGRAMS (PACFA)-PACFA licenses and inspects pet animal facilities throughout Colorado. First-hand animal care complaints should be filed with PACFA online at:


A general one-time complaint regarding the way PACFA has handled Krabloonik can be made to:

Dr. Kate Anderson, PACFA Administrator: Kate.anderson@ag.state.co.us  

Dr. Keith Roehr, Assistant State Veterinarian: Keith.roehr@ag.state.co.us 

Dr. John Stulp, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture: John.stulp@ag.state.co.us 

3. CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND STATE SENATOR: Each person has one of each based on the address where they are registered to vote. You can look them up at 


4. CONTACT THE GOVERNOR OF COLORADO about concerns through his online comment form at: