Support Shaynee

Where can you help support the team?
The amazing sport of dog mushing is extremely expensive. Many races do not typically have a large purse to pay out to top finishers...teams are lucky if they get their race expenses paid by what they earn.  In the thirteen years since Howling Ridge Kennel was born, Shaynee has never actively tried to seek out sponsors or asked for financial help.  She hasn't wanted to ask for help for something that is her “hobby” and lifestyle choice.  But the Iditarod is not only a huge undertaking and dream for musher and team, it is a huge financial devotion.  Many veteran Iditarod mushers agree that the cost for racing the Iditarod alone is approximately $20,000. To maintain a 40-dog kennel is one commitment, but to train for and race 1,000 miles is another.  If you feel like you would love to be a part of this team and help the kennel as they chase their snowy dreams, please let us know!  Send us something from the “Contact” section, Shaynee can help you figure out where your donations would best be spent, or you can let us know what you have in mind!  Below are some facts, figures, and suggested gift-giving ideas.  ANY help in ANY way, big or small, is beyond appreciated...we can't do this without YOU!

Individual Contribution Opportunities

  • Iditarod Entry Fee:  $4,000

  • The kennel will be doing a couple other mid-distance races prior to Iditarod, entry fees range from $50-$500

  • Dog Food:  Roughly $3/dog/day 

  • For a winter, we will spend  $17,000+ in kibble and meat alone

  • Booties:  We will need roughly 5,000 booties for training and racing at $1/bootie

  • Dog Jackets:  We will need new jackets made for the team for Iditarod as over the years we have just collected hand-me-downs and the dogs need something warmer and in better condition!  Jackets will cost approximately $45-$60/jacket

  • Miscellaneous Personal Gear:  Hand/toe warmers (we have tested many brands over the years and have found that “HeatMax, HotHands” makes the warmest and longest lasting chemical warmers, so we prefer these), trail food, gloves and socks for each checkpoint, batteries for headlamps

  • Miscellaneous Kennel and Racing Supplies:  Vaccines (yearly 5-way and Kennel Cough, required by race rules), probiotics and supplements for the dogs, runner plastic for the sled (will need to send out multiple sets to different checkpoints, $45/set of plastic), straw (we use in dog houses, on camping trips with the dogs, and sometimes need to provide our own for races, $8/bale), Heet (fuel used in our “cookers” to melt snow/heat water for the dogs when out on the trail), Air kennels (used to fly dogs back to Anchorage after race finish)

  • Travel Expenses:  There will be many travel expenses for the team before and after Iditarod.  Here are a few of the costs...Gas to travel from Fairbanks to Anchorage for race start and home again after race (roughly 360 miles one way), Hotel in Anchorage, Iditarod Start-Anchorage, Flight for Jeremy to Nome to welcome Shaynee and the team, Hotel in Nome, Return flight for Jeremy, Shaynee, and team (yes, all of the dogs fly commercial airlines home!), plus sled and gear

Harness your very own "HOWLER" 

This is YOUR opportunity to have a special connection with one of Howling Ridge's athletes!  Follow your favorite dog down the trail and track their progress as they perform.  "Lead dog donors" will receive a photo of “their” howling athlete and have their names listed on our website and mentioned on social media.  You can choose to be a “wheel”, “team”, or “lead” dog donor.  Wheel donors may share a dog with another person whereas swing and lead donors will solely support their dog.  You get to choose the dog you have fallen in love with and want to connect with! 


To pick out your favorite dog, go to the “Meet the Kids” page and click on the photos of the dogs to learn about each individual athlete.  

  • Wheel Dog Donor ($50): Feed your dog for a week + supply your dog with booties for a week's worth of training 

  • Swing Dog Donor ($250): Feed your dog for two months + supply your dog with booties for 17 training runs 

  • Lead Dog Donor ($500): Feed your dog for the winter (4 months) + supply your dog with booties for 35 training runs

"Handler" Donations to Support us During the Iditarod

Handle for the Start/Halfway Checkpoint/or Finish...or your Favorite Checkpoint!
Handlers are extremely important in dogsled racing.  In many races, they meet the teams at checkpoints to provide moral support and clean up after the musher once the team has hit the trail once again.  In the Iditarod, handlers are typically not at checkpoints, as they are all remote and cannot be driven to.  So this is your opportunity to act as a “financial handler” and support in another way!  At each checkpoint, all of the dog and human food and gear is sent out in bags for the mushers to resupply.  If it's not in those bags, too bad!  One of the most stressful parts of the race is buying, sorting, packing, and planning all of these bags that will be shipped to 24 different checkpoints.  Help us make sure we can fund all of these resupply stops along the beautiful, wild Iditarod Trail!


Suggested for families or individuals interested in donating:

Pick Your Favorite Iditarod Checkpoint:  Have a favorite checkpoint along the trail?  Maybe the beautiful mountain vistas at Rainy Pass or the windswept Bering Sea Coast of Shaktoolik?  You can choose a checkpoint you would like to support and the amount you pay will be the distance from the previous checkpoint to YOUR checkpoint!

  • Yentna: $42   Checkpoint at the confluence of the Yentna and Susitna Rivers

  • Skwentna: $30  Checkpoint is a cabin on the Skwentna River

  • Finger Lake: $40   Beautiful checkpoint on Finger Lake surrounded by mountains

  • Rainy Pass: $30  Upon leaving checkpoint, will climb to highest point in race (3,160 ft) and drop down into the infamous Dalzell Gorge

  • Rohn: $35  Little log cabin nestled in the spruce trees below the mountains, populaion:  zero

  • Nikolai: $75   Reaching this checkpoint, the toughest part of the race is behind the team!

  • McGrath: $48  A favorite checkpoint for teams to take their mandatory 24-hour rest...will Howling Ridge spend their longest rest here?

  • Takotna: $18   Small village of 75 people, great hospitality

  • Iditarod:  $80     During the gold rush days, was a booming mining town of 10,000 people.  Now a ghost town comprised of an abandoned cabin.  Extremely remote and lonely.  Halfway to the finish line!

  • Shageluk:  $55  Hilly run coming into Shageluk.  Village sits on the Innoko River.

  • Anvik:  $25   Upon leaving Anvik, the team will run upstream on the Yukon River.

  • Grayling:  $18  Checkpoint on the Yukon River, village of roughly 200 people.

  • Eagle Island:  $62   This checkpoint is held at the only cabin in the area, there is no village or town here.  There will be a tent for mushers to warm up in.  And that's it.  As the Iditarod website description relays, mushers and race officials will be the "only living humans in an area larger than many entire states". 

  • Kaltag: $60   Last checkpoint on the Yukon River

  • Unalakleet: $85  Largest town between the start and finish, 800 people

  • Shaktoolik: $40   Windy-upon leaving the checkpoint, will hit the sea ice on Norton Bay

  • Koyuk: $50  Village on the wide-open Norton Bay

  • Elim: $48   Upon leaving this village, teams will head onto the sea ice

  • White Mountain: $46   Mandatory 8-hour rest for teams, checkpoint on the bank of Fish River

  • Safety: $55   Last checkpoint of the race at the Safety Roadhouse

  • Nome: $22   Finish line on Front Street underneath the burled arch

    Some descriptions of trail, checkpoints, and distances used from

Sorting gear into piles to pack in drop bags for a 300 mile race-notice blankets for the dogs, extra boots, jackets, bibs for musher, runner plastic for sled

Site Title

Help us pack those bags! 

Photo by-Gary Bekoalok

Drop bag items-food/water
for musher, booties/creams/
ointments for dogs, hand and
toe warmers
The best part of drop bag packing...having it done!

Iditarod drop bag packing...and this is just the dog food!

© 2017 by Howling Ridge Kennel. Proudly created with