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Sledge dogs

Sledge dogs in East Greenland

Greenland is associated with ice, snow and Innuit romance, a place where humans and animals try to win the fight against the cold. Sled dogs, icebergs, endless landscapes, untouched nature, that’s how you would imagine Greenland.

The reality is different. The 20,000 sled dogs, the so-called Greenland dogs, vegetate under unbelievable bad conditions. They spend their short lives in chains, were hardly supplied with the basic necessities of life, water and food are rare, there was also no human attention at all. Many died of dehydration, puppies died on rocky ground – the sled dogs of Greenland suffered and died unnoticed.

In August 2007, an official veterinarian asked me for help. The situation for the sled dogs in Greenland was very bad and here I don`t mean the hard life that the Greenlandic dogs are used to, I don`t mean the chain keeping, but the terrible neglect. Most dogs get hardly any water in the summer, almost no food, and the chains are so entangled that mothers cannot suckle their puppies, and there are almost no huts for the puppies, although they are required by law.

For the sled dogs in East Greenland, there is no single vet.

Robin Hood wanted to help these dogs and has elaborated a unique relief project.

We have already achieved a lot.

In 2012, with the help of Roar Heine Olsen, the kennel project began. Unemployed, young Inuit build dog kennels as part of a social program. For the dog owners, the kennels are available for little money. Meanwhile, there are already more than 100 white huts in Tasiilaq, we would like to expand this project to the remote villages.

The water supply at the large dog place in Tasiilaq was largely solved, we were able to build a water system and bring containers from Kulusuk airport. Although this project still needs to be developed and expanded.

Also because of the import of food from Denmark there were positive changes. Lars Anker Möller produces high-quality food in Denmark; Robin Hood pays the freight costs. So several tons of dog food can be sent to East Greenland twice a year, the dog owners can buy it cheaper, because the freight costs are covered. With boats they come from the villages to pick up the food. Since then the dogs really look much better.

Another important issue is medical care. In East Greenland there is no vet, dogs are shot, although a cure would be possible, often only because of wounds and injuries. In 2017, Dr. Borka-Vitalis Levente from Romania travelled to Greenland. He is regarded in his country as a luminary in the small animal and wild animal medicine.

Now it`s important, in cooperation with the authorities in Greenland, to achieve a permanent medical assistance for the sled dogs.

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