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The Balto Monument is located in Central Park near East Drive 67th street in New York City. The monument is dedicated to the heroic acts of Balto, a Siberian husky. In 1925, Balto led a sled team carrying a serum for an outbreak of diphtheria in an Alaskan city called Nome. Other rescue efforts could not reach the area because of a winter storm that hit Alaskan at the time. Thanks to the efforts of Balto and other dogs in the relay team, hundreds of lives were saved.

  • "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards, from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925.
  • The monument is surmounted by a large statue, in bronze, of Balto.
  •  Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park-Click the link below to learn more about this book

Balto was born in 1923 in the Chukchi Inuit tribe. Prior to this expedition, Balto pulled freight sleds for the Pioneer Gold Mining Company. He would have been a breeding dog, but Balto was considered an unfit breed of Husky because of his odd stature. However, that misconception was soon put to rest when Gunnar Kassen, who organized the sled team that was to run the last leg of the journey to Nome, Alaska, decided to use Balto as his lead dog.

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. 

Balto History. NYC Parks. Accessed 4/25/17.

The Story of Balto. South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue Inc. Accessed 4/25/17.