Cleveland Museum of Natural History Celebrates the 100th Birthday of Hero Sled Dog Balto

Sat 3/2 @ 10AM-2PM

Balto was a husky, a sled dog who led a team that brought life-saving serum to Nome, Alaska during an outbreak of diphtheria in 1925, making the month-long trip in six days.

Sadly, the heroic dogs were slated for exploitation on the vaudeville circuit and later a cheesy museum in Los Angeles. A nationwide fundraising drive to rescue them, promoted in the Plain Dealer, brought them to Cleveland, much as a similar drive brought the Rock Hall here in the 1980s, and the seven dogs lived out their lives in peace and comfort in what became the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. When Balto died at the age of 14 in 1933, his body was preserved and remains on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

The museum will be celebrating Balto’s 100th birthday this weekend with a special Balto Day. There’ll be a “Hero Dog” presentation in Murch Auditorium, a junior Iditarod in the Discovery Center, Guiding Eye service dogs, and — warning! warning! — the APL Mobile Adoption Unit will be on site!

It’s all free with regular admission, except for that dog your kids are going to cajole you into adopting. Or maybe they’ll have some cats too. Try hitching one of them to a sled!

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