Abuse alleged at Snowmass dogsled operation
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Snowmass Village police are investigating a report of animal cruelty at Krabloonik, the embattled commercial dogsledding operation at the resort.
A former employee of Krabloonik gave a statement to police Monday regarding an incident of alleged cruelty, police Sgt. Brian Olson confirmed.
The police department intends to interview other individuals at Krabloonik who may have witnessed the alleged incident, Olson said.
“We’re looking for anyone who can corroborate what he witnessed,” the sergeant said. The investigation may take a week or two, he said.
Eric Glukowsky said he watched Krabloonik owner Dan MacEachen mistreat a dog on Nov. 1 after the animal snapped at MacEachen’s young grandson. The child was not hurt, according to Glukowsky, who contacted The Aspen Times. MacEachen did not return a telephone message left at his business Wednesday.
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MacEachen punched the dog, yanked its chain as if to choke it, and threw a piece of pipe at it multiple times, striking it perhaps twice, Glukowsky said.
“I thought he was going to break its neck,” Glukowski said. “He also said he was going to put a bullet through [the dog’s] head.”
The dog was not killed, he added.
Glukowski said several employees witnessed the incident but that only he finally objected. Others feared losing their jobs, he said.
“He [MacEachen] pretty much said, ‘If you don’t like it, get the hell out,'” Glukowski said.
Glukowski, 29, said he was hired as a musher at Krabloonik, which offers commercial dogsled rides, and that it was to be his first season there. He lost his job Sunday, he said, after he received a speeding ticket that Glukowsky contends was used as an excuse to fire him because he confronted MacEachen during the alleged incident. He went to police the following day.
Sgt. Olson said Glukowski’s statement to police will not be made public while the investigation is ongoing.
The Krabloonik operation has come under fire repeatedly over the years. A public outcry about the conditions in which the dogs were kept led to upgrades to the dog kennels and clean-up of the area, and an agreement to limit the number of dogs at the site.
The Snowmass Village Town Council declined to enact sanctions against the operation last August, citing the positive changes at the facility.