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Snowmobiler injures 2 sled dogs in hit-and-run in Bayfield County, police seek driver

Wheel dog Wildfire broke his leg in three places.
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 17:44:18-05

WASHBURN, Wis. — Authorities are searching for a snowmobile driver who veered into a highly touted sled dog team in northern Wisconsin and injured two of the dogs, including one that ran the Iditarod last year.

Ryan Redington, the Alaskan musher and two-time winner of the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, was out with his dogs on the Tri-County Corridor trail in Bayfield County at 6:45 p.m. Saturday when a snowmobiler veered near him, sped up, and ran into the dogs. The driver then sped off. According to a police report that was filed, the snowmobile driver was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the trail between Hughes area and Iron River.

All the dogs were either wearing blinking or reflective harnesses.

Wheel dog Wildfire broke his leg in three places.

Another dog, Willy, suffered a bruised foreleg.

There was no registration or description of the driver. The police report states due to the lack of description, there is "no way to find this machine or the operator."

Redington's training partner Sarah created a GoFundMe for donations. The fund says its goal is to give the dogs the care they need to recover, which includes the cost of surgery and rehabilitation. On Wednesday, over $38,000 was raised.

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