2017-01-19 / Letters

Animal abuse in Biddeford? Cancel dog sled team at WinterFest

To the editor:

I was taken aback when I learned that this year’s WinterFest would include sled dogs from Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience out of Oxford pulling people on city streets in downtown Biddeford.

I don’t believe animals should be used for entertainment. Period. Companies such as the one you’ve hired say dogs “love” pulling humans along in the snow. How does one know that? It’s not the dog’s choice. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization I have been employed by, sled dogs who race can suffer from pneumonia or “exertional myopathy,” or running to death. I challenge you to read about the documented abuses inflicted on dogs who have raced in the Iditarod and the horrors they suffered at the hands of their breeders.

The city of Biddeford is promoting animal abuse by including the use of sled dogs in its winter festival. I am a Biddeford native – I graduated from Biddeford High School in 2014 – and am ashamed that my city is promoting this “entertainment.” I urge you to cancel the appearance of Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience.

Emilee Orsi Gorham

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