Iditarod finisher fined for animal cruelty
World News, PALMER, Alaska: An Alaskan man who tried "to have a 30-dog team on a 20-dog team budget" has been convicted of animal cruelty.
David Straub of Willow, a four-time entrant in the legendary Iditarod race, was fined $300 by a magistrate in Palmer, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Authorities say that they seized 28 of Straub's 32 dogs because they were underfed and dehydrated. One dog died of lung disease, and nine were euthanized.
During the trial, four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser testified for the prosecution. Buser said he became involved in the case at the request of Straub's friends but was "appalled" when he saw the condition of the dogs.
Straub, who won the Red Lantern for finishing last in the 2002 Iditarod in the only time he completed the tough course, reportedly fell on hard times after a construction accident.
"His only problem was that he was trying to have a 30-dog team on a 20-dog team budget," Steve Heinrich told the newspaper.
Straub defiantly said he would rebuild his kennel and promised to sue authorities for taking his dogs.
(04-07) 13:22 PDT Anchorage, Alaska (AP) --
A three-time Iditarod musher has been found guilty of animal cruelty after officers found some of his dogs dehydrated and so emaciated that their spines and hip bones showed.
A judge fined David Straub $300 on Wednesday for violating Matanuska-Susitna Borough code. The borough north of Anchorage already had withdrawn the license that allowed him to keep more than four dogs.
Animal control officers seized 28 of David Straub's 32 dogs in October from his property after receiving complaints. One dog died at a shelter in November of illness.
Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser testified he saw the dogs at the shelter after Straub asked him for help.
"I was appalled," Buser said. "It does not take a few days of not feeding your animals to look like that. It takes many months of neglect."
Friends said Straub tried to care for his dogs, but had money problems.
After the verdict, Straub vowed to rebuild his kennel.
Straub finished the Iditarod for the first time in 2002, when he received the Red Lantern prize awarded to last-place finishers.
$300, SOME justice.