Ryan Redington has a special relationship with his dogs. Redington is an Alaskan who regularly races with his dogs in northern Wisconsin. Most snowmobilers and mushers in the area are respectful of other dogs and will keep them away from each other. Redington was shocked by an incident he didn’t expect.
Redington was training Sarah Keefer with her sled dogs when a reckless snowmobiler stopped him. The person sped up and turned away from their path to hit Redington’s canine companions. Redington and Keefer believe the incident was intentional. Dog lovers rallied around to save one of the puppies who was in critical condition.
Redington said that Redington’s dogs love racing. Redington says that his dogs love to race and they always get excited when their dad takes them out on snowy trails. Redington also takes extra precautions to make sure they’re safe. He attaches lights at night to their harnesses. Redington believes that they are safe unless someone is drunk or deliberately trying to hit them.
First, the snowmobiler ran towards Redington and hit his dogs with no pause. They flew past Keefer who was also not far behind. Luckily, none of Keefer’s dogs were hurt, but several of Redington’s were.
“All the other snowmobiles I had been encountering were slow,”Keefer stated. “This guy came straight down the middle of the trail at a high speed and only veered off away from the team at the last second before hitting the dogs.”
The majority of dogs sustained minor injuries that could be treated by the vet right away. Wildfire, however, had his leg broken in three places. He had flown into the air when he’d been hit, so he needed intense surgery.
Will He Run Again?
Redington is hopeful that Wildfire will get to race again one day if he’s up for it. Being part of the team allows the dogs to bond with their owners and release their energy. Wildfire needs to heal before he can return out on his own. Vets had to fix his left tibia with a metal plate, 11 screws and a splint.
Medical care costs will amount to approximately $9,000. Keefer set up a GoFundMe account to help Redington pay all of the expenses. Dog lovers went above-and-beyond to help Redington reach their goal. They raised over $36,000 for the dogs. Redington is thankful that all his furry friends will be fine in the end.
“These guys are super athletes, but they’re my family,”Redington stated. “I spend every day with them and it’s heartbreaking to see what they’ve had to go through. It’s very, very sad and it shouldn’t happen.”
Redington made a police report. However, there are currently no suspects. Redington knows that the odds of finding the responsible person are slim, but he is determined to do all he can to prevent more dogs from being hurt.
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