Chocpaw Kennel has Closed: Where are the dogs?

Activist chains herself to dog house at Chocpaw Expeditions in South River, Ontario.

On Thursday, July 18 I got a call from a friend telling me to check my facebook. Jenny McQueen had chained herself to a sled dog’s house  at Chocpaw Expeditions. This was the same kennel I had worked at that initiated my own journey into whistle blowing and creating It’s thanks to this sort of activism that the dog’s story were finally getting media attention. There are now many published articles on cruelty in the sled dog industry.


SOUTH RIVER – Police removed two animal activists from Chocpaw Expeditions on Thursday, July 18 following a first person live stream in which one individual tethered herself to a dog run and another walked the property meeting and filming the dogs the remaining dogs be released to Dog Tales Sanctuary in King City.

The activist who tethered herself, identified as Jenny McQueen, used a bicycle chain and lock to attach herself to the run on private property and stated that she would stay until their demands were met. -(Danielle Marr, North Bay Nippising)


A little Earlier in May, McDowell, adopted three Chocpaw dogs — Burk in 2018 and, this past Friday, Brute and Bria, Clifford. Which he surrendered to a shelter so they wood receive vet care, and get adopted into homes. CBC covered his experience.


One of the dogs, Clifford, died on the operating table. Which caused a backfire giving fuel for the people in the sled dog industry to use against activist. It is to be noted, while Employed at Chocpaw, this dog had a large open wound on his back that lasted for several months.

He never got vet care for this wound, staff just used old bicycle tires on the opening of his house so wounds wouldn’t be scrapped open as Clifford scratched his back. He would get a daily spray of blue antiseptic spray.


You can read more about Micheal McDowell’s story at

There was no transparency from Chocpaw Expeditions as to where all their dogs have gone. Mushers made sure to  try once again to make it seem like this is just an issue of people not understanding they are “working dogs”, not pet dogs. and doing whatever they can to save face.

“While Redstone acknowledges there is always room for improvement when it comes to animal industry standards, she also feels as though the approach many within the animal activist community are taking is not appropriate.”

Even the  Fetterleys of North Ridge Ranch, people I had first reached out to about the mass culls and neglect have taken dogs in, and tried to get many of them into new homes- in a bitter sweet attempt to help disperse the dogs rather then give them up to a sanctuary willing to rehabilitate the dogs for a better transition into house life.



Recently, I was made aware that there are still dogs remaining in the very back of the kennel “behind all the junk”. There is speculation that these dogs are going to the Ex Staff of Chocpaw in the area.

anonymus who has been following the story closely

*update Nov1 *all the dogs are gone. but we don’t know where.**

The village of South River has some kennel regulations but there is no enforcing agent to look into the serious allegations of abuse and neglect. 

there are unorganized townships nearby (ex: Lount). This means that someone can start a kennel, with any number of dogs, without any need for permits or licensing which is clearly an option for the ex-kennel workers of Chocpaw Expeditions.


On a personal note, watching all this take place from a distance has been rather aggravating. As someone who has worked there numerous seasons, been told to “feed them as little as possible to save money”and has endured quite the trauma from the realities of this industry. I am well aware that no one wants my story to get out and be taken seriously.

People will be outraged, and disgusted when they hear my experience. Peoples values on animal protection just aren’t reflected in Canadian Law.

In all of this, I myself was Gifted a Dog, Cargo dog. He was on my team every winter season I worked there. He is going on 14- and a big ball of anxiety, but he’s worth it.


it’s 2019, it’s legal to kill and eat your pet in Canada– knowing this, do you really believe sled dogs are protected by law?


Animal Justice’s Voiceless for the Animals


Dog Sledding is an unregulated industry, kennel owners worry more about protecting their business image. If the word gets out, tourist might stop supporting this industry.

There’s an easy solution to that, and that’s getting a provincial anti-chaining legislation in Ontario.

Sign the Petition:


Chantal Dostaler

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