Chantal Dostaler, Virtuous Musher

My story has value. That’s why I have to be blunt.

I used to work here, in rain, shine, minus 40 and plus 40. Everyday, showing up, and caring for these dogs in these pictures. To you they are a dog, to me they have a name.

I worked at this dog sledding kennel for several years. I lived 3 hours north of Toronto, On or 45 mins south of North Bay, On. The more years I worked there, the more things- awful things- I witnessed and was part of. Like a frog in a pot of cold water. Boiled to death. Not having felt the water’s temperature, slowly heating up.

I got in the industry thinking everything was great and slowly, somehow, my mind numbed out. And I broke.

This blog recounts such awful things, for the purpose of learning from the past, to improve the future. The steps I’ve taken to try and find out why and how these happenings are sanctioned or brushed aside in the Sled Dog Industry.

My experience speaks to the lack of animal protection laws in Ontario. How it harms the animals, and the people in charge of their care.

How does a person like me, who started the job, in their early 20’s with good intentions,  find themselves with nowhere to turn in a poisoned environment.  Fearing for the safety of animals that were under my direct care, this experience broke me. If I tried to move on with my life, what would happen to the dogs?

Now I’m here, telling you that speaking from first hand experience, these types of kennels do, in fact, exist and there’s no law set in place to protect the dogs against this.

Dogs in the sled dog industry are essentially farmed but rather than being consumed, the dogs are put to work, running for tourists and races. Many Canadians have a dog in their home which they considered part of the family and would do anything to protect their well being. My experience speaks not only to the lack of animal protection laws in the farming industry, but also for peoples pets.  The animal protection laws in Canada are overdue for reform.

Follow me as we Blow the Whistle and Take Action as we give these dogs a voice.

There is a need for reform in animal protection laws in canada.

Chantal Dostaler – Virtuous Musher


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