At the time, Nome, Alaska was experiencing an outbreak of diphtheria, which had the potential to kill hundreds if they did not receive medicine. Other routes to Nome, which had a population of 1,429, were cut off by a winter storm that left the citizens stranded. With no other safe way to Nome, sled teams were dispatched with twenty pounds of serum for the affected population. Twenty sled teams with over 200 dogs made the journey to Nome. The final stretch was difficult, and Kassen could barely see a few feet in front of himself. Luckily, Balto knew the route and led the team through the blizzarding snow. Gunnar Kasson, with his sled dogs, which were led by Balto, made it to Nome in an astonishing five days and seven hours. The time for this 674-mile trip was at the time a world record.
Balto's statue was unveiled on December 17, 1925. Balto was actually present for the unveiling of his very own statue. The statue was created by Frederick George Richard Roth. The bronze Balto statue stands, looking out over a rock outcropping. Directly below Balto is a plaque with all the names of the sled dogs who saved the lives of the people in Nome in 1925.