On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 12, the Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston received a call from the Park County Sheriff's Office about a situation with sled dogs at a property in Paradise Valley.

The Sheriff’s investigation determined the dogs had been neglected and abandoned. The dogs were transported to the Stafford Animal Shelter with the help of the Sleeping Giant Animal Clinic.

Upon arrival, it was evident that 17 dogs were in various stages of emotional and physical distress. One of the Alaskan Huskies had already passed away. Another was in such critical condition it was determined by the Veterinarian that the compassionate choice was to humanely euthanize.

Most dogs were tethered outside on 6-foot chains and lived in plastic barrels, several had broken free and had signs of injury. Though highly stressed and unsure of our intentions, once caught these dogs were extremely gentle & sweet and demonstrated no aggression towards us. We loaded them in crates to transport back to the shelter where each dog was given a thorough intake examination, vaccinations & medications. They were fed dinner, given a cozy bed and we played soft music to calm them for their first night's sleep in the shelter.

The Stafford Animal Shelter has secured authorization to put these dogs up for adoption through their “Foster 2 Adopt” program pending legal resolution to the case.

In total, 12 Alaskan Huskies, 2 Jack Russells, and 1 Australian Cattle Dog/Heeler were taken in by the shelter. If you have previous experience with retired sled dogs you will receive priority,  but anyone who is patient enough to work with these deserving pups will be able to adopt..

They are no longer working dogs. Adopters will need to remember these dogs are accustomed to being outside, and they have not been trained to walk on leashes.

Available dogs will be posted on the Stafford Animal Shelter Facebook page in the near future,  and will begin accept applications at that time.