The Jamaica Dogsled Team

January 30, 2008 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

In another nod to the effects of global warming, dogsled racers are turning to new styles of racing because of the lack of snow in many parts of the country.  Rig racing, canicross, dog scootering and bikejoring events can be run in areas where there is no snow at all.

So it shouldn’t be a great surprise that one of the teams competing in events across the United States and Canada this year comes from Jamaica.  Featured in the documentary “Sun Dogs”, the Jamaica Dogsled Team is made up of twelve stray mutts rescued from the streets and shelter of Kingston Jamaica.  Danny Melville, the chairman and CEO of Chukka Adventures started the team in 2005.

According to promotional material on their website, the “Sun Dogs” DVD includes four mini-documentaries: “Jimmy Buffett and the Jamaica Dogsled Team;” “How to Teach Your Dog to Pull in Harness;” “The Jamaica Dogsled Team Taking on the World;” “The Work of the JSPCA;” and “Dog-ography: Meet the Mutts.” The documentary was filmed in Jamaica, Scotland and Minnesota.

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The team, led by mushers Damion Robb, Devon Anderson and Oswald “Newton” Marshall, has competed in several major events where they have finished as high as second place. This year they are attempting to qualify for the 2008 Yukon Quest International – a harrowing 1000 mile mountain race.

To purchase the documentary or other nifty Jamaica Dogsled gear; check out the teams racing schedule or find out more about the Team visit their website at www.jamaicadogsled.com. A portion of the sales proceeds go to the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

There’s a lot of interesting information on the website, including a short history of the sport of sled dog racing. Kudos to this group not only for taking in a pack of stray mutts and turning them into a competitive dog sled team, but also for promoting the plight of stray dogs without falling into the animal rights movement’s party line of bashing the sport.

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