ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A pack of sled dogs owned by an Iditarod veteran and reality TV star killed a family pet in Alaska, officials said.
Authorities in Wasilla are investigating a March 30 incident involving dogs owned by singer Jessie Holmes, who finished third in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race of the year. and the stars of “Life Below Zero: Alaska” on National Geographic.
Holmes, who lives in rural Alaska, is staying with his team of dogs at a Wasilla hotel in the back yard of the adjoining landlord. He let the dogs loose to amuse themselves when they attacked a pet dog named Lucky, which had a lead attached to it in the yard.
When Lucky’s owner, Liza McCafferty, went out to retrieve 8-year-old Havanese, she saw a black dog darts from under her deck. It was part of a swarm that suddenly appeared in her yard, she said Anchorage Daily News.
She said that it looked like the swarm could attack her as well, so she retreated. Holmes then went down the hill to retrieve his sled dogs before returning home.
“He walked in and was very, very apologetic,” McCafferty said. “He’s about to cry.”
Lucky was taken to a veterinary clinic but died.
“It was just a really terrible accident due to my negligence,” said Holmes.
Holmes said he has stayed at the hotel more than a dozen times and has never had a problem letting his dog out for entertainment. He suspected the two new dogs he’d ventured into came to McCafferty’s yard, and the rest of the pack followed.
“There’s no way not to worry about this,” Holmes said. He said he took full responsibility for this and wanted everything to be right.
Holmes said a Wasilla city official told him he would receive 10 loose quotes about the dog and possibly another accusation of cruelty to animals, which could may affect his contemplative career.
Wasilla Mayor Glenda Ledford said in a statement that the incident was under investigation.