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Balto Hero Dog



Balto was an animated movie that came out in 1995 restored interest in the life of a real dog. It was the last film produced by Amblimation, Steven Spielberg’s animation studio before he joined DreamWorks. However, this was not the first film about the real life hero,  Balto, who with the rest of his dog team, delivered crucial serum. The dramatic rescue saved countless lives in a diphtheria epidemic in Nome. They carried the serum over 260 miles through an Alaskan blizzard in 1925. A French film crew that happened to be in Nome when they arrived helped propel the story to international stature. Balto and the team were sold and made the carnival rounds for awhile, even starring in a movie about their own story. Eventually their heroics were forgotten and they were often mistreated. They were finally rescued by a vet and the school children of Cleveland, Ohio who raised the funds to purchase the remaining team members so they could live out their lives at the Cleveland Zoo.  Statues of Balto are found today in Central Park in New York City and Anchorage, Alaska.

See the statue in New York City:

http://www.nyhistory.org/node/62954

See the statue (almost universally called Balto, apparently it isn’t specifically based on his likeness) in Anchorage, Alaska:
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM4N50_Sled_Dog_Anchorage_AK

The Iditarod Race is considered a celebration of Balto’s run and its ceremonial start is at this statue. There is apparently some doubt how much credit should be given to Balto as opposed to the other dogs on the team, but his is the name that seems to have garnered the most attention and memory over the years.



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