A sled dog was hurt in an apparent hit-and-run with a snowmobile near Bayfield, Wisconsin, over the weekend.
Ryan Redington, a John Beargrease and Iditarod sled dog race veteran, posted on Facebook on Jan. 9 to say while he was out with his dogs on Saturday, Jan. 8, when a snowmobile sped up and steered into his sled dog team, hitting multiple dogs.
Two dogs, Willy and Wildfire, were hurt and taken to Blue Pearl emergency vet in Duluth, a Go Fund Me page said. Willy suffered lacerations and a bruised foreleg, while Wildfire's left back leg is broken in three places.
Wildfire has since been taken to a vet in the Twin Cities, Mission Animal Hospital, Redington said on Monday, which will surgically repair Wildfire's leg on Tuesday instead of amputating it.
Sarah Keefer, Redington's training partner, started a Go Fund Me for Redington and Redington Mushing. The fundraiser had a goal of $9,000 and by Tuesday afternoon it had raised more than $33,000.
Willy led Redington's team to victory in the 2021 Kobuk440 and Wildfire, who is 3, is a "young rock star" and was on the winning team of the 2021 Junior Iditarod and finished the 2021 Iditarod on Redington's seventh-place team.
"Both of these dogs love to run, and seeing someone try to take that away from them is heartbreaking," the fundraiser says.
Redington says he filed a police report. A report filed with the Bayfield County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened on the Tri-Counties corridor between Hughes and Iron River, KBJR 6 states.
The incident happened about 3 miles from home, the Go Fund Me said.