Musher whose dog team was hit by a truck last week has pulled out of Iditarod, Willow 300

Jaye Foucher, the musher whose dog team was hit by a truck last week has pulled out of Iditarod and the Willow 300.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 2:58 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:27 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Musher Jaye Foucher, whose sled dog team was hit by a truck along the Parks Highway last week, has officially pulled out of both the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the Willow 300 Sled Dog Race.

Foucher’s dogs were struck on Jan. 19 when her team veered mistakenly onto the road near Willow. One dog died and three other dogs are still recovering from their injuries. Due to those injuries and trying to recover mentally from the accident, Foucher has pulled out of both races, she said Monday.

Despite all the trauma of the past week, Foucher says she will race again — it is just a matter of when.

“So far I’ve stood on the runners and that was fine,” Foucher said. “I don’t think the problem is going to be mushing again, I think the bigger problem is going to be mushing past that spot again.”

Related: Musher still in shock after tragic accident on Parks Highway

Since the collision, a GoFundMe account has been set up and has already raised thousands of dollars to go toward the dogs medical bills. Something that the Urgent Care Coordinator at Tier 1 Veterinary Medical Center in Palmer says only happens in Alaska.

“I’ve never had an area where crowdfunding is so successful. You know, (in) other states (with) GoFundMe’s people just kind of just roll their eyes or they know they’re not going to get anything or it is going to take months,” said Paige Wallace, urgent care coordinator at Tier 1. “And the outpouring of support from the community locally, from people that support the sled dog community across the country, across the world, has just been substantial and has really helped with the multiple care needs of all of Jaye’s dogs.”

Unfortunately Wallace said that this sort of incident happens around once a year. She said if this does occur, that people should make sure to call in ahead of time so their veterinarians can be ready to help the dogs.

During the accident, two dogs were spooked and ran off from the scene. Since then one dog was found and returned and the other dog, Felicity, made her way back to the house a few days later. Right now Foucher is waiting for a surgical consult on one of her dogs, Kona, that has a serious pelvic injury. Foucher says that if Kona does end up needing surgery that she may have to take him back to New England, where she is from, to get him in to a vet that can perform the surgery.“

“The support has been amazing and really, really heartwarming. God I cannot thank people enough for — there have been so many generous donations,” Foucher said. “Which is, it’s allowing me to get these guys the care that they need, not just immediately after the accident but I’m suspecting that Kona and Flint at the very least are going to need some, you know, long-term rehab.”

However, Foucher is planning on staying in Willow until the end of spring, like she planned before the accident, before heading back to her home in New England. She said that it has always been her dream to run the Iditarod and even though many people have reached out offering up dogs to run, she wants to run the race with her own dogs whether that be next year or the year after that.

Editor’s note: Alaska’s News Source makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of any GoFundMe campaign. Any donations you make to such campaigns are strictly at your own risk. If you have any questions related to the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of a GoFundMe campaign, please contact GoFundMe directly or consult the GoFundMe Guarantee Policy.

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