Some Alaska villagers are warning that they may have to kill their sled dogs because a bad year of salmon fishing left them without enough food for the animals.
Lester Erhart, who owns a large dog yard at Tanana, on the Yukon River west of Fairbanks, said he had to put down 12 mostly young dogs.
There are approximately 40 communities along the Yukon and its tributaries, which stretch across central Alaska. Approximately 4,000 to 5,000 dogs live in the region, usually mutts with lots of husky in the mix and generally between 35 and 60 pounds. They are considered more reliable in Alaska's vast interior than snowmobiles, for which parts are sometimes hard to get.