Iditarod, Yukon Quest racers charged with neglect
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2004:
WASILA, Alaska–Animal control officers from Mat-Su Borough,
Alaska, on October 16 removed 28 allegedly starving dogs from the
property of three-time Iditarod musher David Straub near Willow and
charged him with 17 counts of cruelty.
Competing in the 2000, 2001, and 2002 runnings of the
Iditarod, Straub in 2002 recorded the fastest time ever for a
The Straub dogs were seized three weeks after former Yukon
Quest contender Sigmund Stormo was charged with neglecting 15 dogs on
Kodiak Island. Stormo turned the dogs over to former Iditarod musher
Tim Osmar for care, pending resolution of the case. The same dogs
were impounded on June 11 by the Alaska SPCA, after they were found
without food at Stormo’s home near Soldotna. State police reportedly
found more than 50 marijuana plants, but did not find Stormo, who
was in Kodiak. The Alaska SPCA returned the dogs to Stormo and did
not charge him, after he averred that the dogs were neglected by
someone else who was to look after them in his absence.
The ANIMAL PEOPLE files indicate that no prominent musher has
ever been convicted of neglect while in good standing with racing
Twenty-three dogs confiscated in April 2003 from musher
Clayton “Tom” Sheperd, 62, of Wood County, Ohio, were returned to
him in November 2003 after he was acquitted of neglecting them while
traveling with them in a homemade trailer.
Warren County Judge John Austin in September 2000 ordered the
SPCA of Upstate New York to return 13 dogs to Mark and Lisa
Labrecque, of Chester, after they were acquitted of allegedly
allowing five puppies to starve and freeze to death. The Labrecques
surrendered 32 other dogs to the SPCA.
Cheer V. Painter, a 15-year competitive musher, was in 1990
found not guilty of neglecting as many as 100 dogs in Wheeler County,
Oregon, but she was suspended by the International Sled Dog Racing
Association, and apparently never returned to racing. Similar
charges were filed against Painter in 1993, but were later dropped.
Four allegedly neglected horses were seized from her by the Humane
Society of Central Oregon in September 1999.