A winter staple: Door County Sled Dogs celebrate birthday, last weekend giving rides in Whitnall Park

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FRANKLIN (WITI) -- Sunday, February 22nd was the final opportunity to take advantage of the Door County Sled Dogs at Whitnall Park in Franklin.

The Door County Sled Dogs have been offering rides all winter. They're a recreational dog sled team whose mission is education and fun for children, adults and families year-round!

The team began with Mushers Rick Desotelle and Bonnie Ulrich (retired educators) training in the city of Milwaukee and outback areas of Door County.

The sled dog team (all rescues) consists of nine purebred Siberian Huskies, two Alaskan Huskies, one very special collie/husky mix and two human mushers.

After much volunteerism and local interest in the rescues, dog-powered sports, good pet care and obedience as well as leadership and team qualities, the Door County Sled Dogs partnered up with Milwaukee County Parks and other civic groups to provide presentations and fun-filled rides and other experiences.

The sled dog team participates in races, fun runs, leisurely trail rides, and many special community events. In addition, since the huskies are also pets who love children, people, and running, they provide dog sled rides to the general public on weekends.

Although the team is not a general racing team, they do race for charities such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Adopt-a-Husky.

"People have been great. We really have a great time with everyone we meet. People are really amazed at the opportunities to come out and take this ride. And we have a good time too, so it's good for everyone. Our dogs, they love it!" Rick Desotelle said.

Sunday, the Door County Sled Dogs also celebrated their birthday. Since all of the dogs are rescues, their birthday is on Valentine's Day, but they celebrated on Sunday.

Proceeds to sustain the team and all of their activities is entirely dependent on donations and sponsorships. All of your donations go directly to the care of the rescues.

The Door County Sled Dogs offer rides at either Milwaukee's McKinley Marina or Whitnall Park in Franklin on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. starting in December.

If you didn't get a chance to catch a ride this winter, the dogs will be back next year! Meanwhile, the Door County Sled Dogs have an event scheduled for March 28th at Serb Hall.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Door County Sled Dogs and that March 28th event -- or to make a donation.

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