Official Statement on
Animal Policy

WHEREAS sled dogs are a unique breed whose primary loves are to run, pull, and work together in a team; and

WHEREAS the proper treatment of dogs includes compassionate bonding and care from their owners; and

WHEREAS every living being has a fundamental right to respect, a place to call their own, shelter, and a food and water


The Board of Directors of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has established the following points as our official animal policy:

  • All dogs are entitled to adequate and balanced nutrition.
  • All dogs deserve humane handling, respect, and care from their owners.
  • All dogs deserve adequate regular exercise.

Animal welfare has been the single most important aspect of this event from its inception.

The relationship between sled dogs and humans is one of the oldest bonds of its kind. The Beargrease is proud of its role in helping to enhance this bond by continuing to uphold the virtue that no dog will be allowed to run beyond its natural ability. The Beargrease is sanctioned by the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association (ISDVMA) and is run under its guidelines.

We continue to be a leader in animal welfare in the mushing community. If we are ever to make a decision regarding race safety, it will be in favor of the dogs.

Instated by the Beargrease Board of Directors in 1999

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