Balto was the lead dog at the end of The 1925 Serum Run to Nome. While Balto did not lead most of the run, he received most of the credit.

Owned by musher Gunnar Kaasen, Balto lead 53 miles of the serum run. Another team, lead by Togo, deserved most of the credit, for leading 93 miles of the total run. Historian Bill Hunt described balto as "a blocky hauling dog not noted for his speed."

In Anchorage, Alaska, you can find a statue of balto downtown, and a restaurant named after him. There was a second statue erected in New York's Central Park to honor Balto.

As interest faded in the famous dogs, Kaasen sold Balto, and the rest of the team, to a vaudeville promoter. Balto went around the United States on the vaudeville circuit, until schoolchildren in Cleveland donated money to have him rescued from a carnival in Los Angeles. Balto lived out the last of his days in the Cleveland zoo until his death in 1933.

Togo and Balto were not a part of the same team, as the total Serum Run consisted of more than a dozen sled dog teams.


Balto's story also inspired a 1995 animated movie by Don Bluth, which has since become a favorite of the furry fandom and community.
The film takes many liberties on the real story, much like Disney's Pocahontas or Bluth's next movie Anastasia.

The film opens in modern day (live action) New York City, in which an old woman, her granddaughter, and their dog go to Central Park to find the Balto statue. While they are looking for the statue, the grandmother tells her granddaughter, the story of Balto.
In 1920s (and animated), Nome, Alaska, Balto, a wolf-dog hybrid (though the real Balto was a full-blooded purebred dog) is an outcast, hated and feared by both humans and other dogs, especially Steele, the leader of a sled team, who constantly torments Balto, because of his wolf heritage. Full bred wolves also reject him as well because of his domestic dog heritage.
Balto's only real friends are his best friend Boris, a Russian goose and Muk and Luk, who are polar bears.
There are only two citizens in Nome who actually care about Balto and they are Jenna, a dog that Balto has a crush on and Rosy, the little girl who owns Jenna.

When Rosy and many other children in town, become sick with Diphtheria, there is a shortage of serum. The only way to get the serum is by dog sled, so a team lead by Steele is sent to get it, but on the way back the team is lost. Balto, with the the help of his friends, must rescue the sled team and get the medicine to Nome before the children die.
Balto comes to the rescue and helps the team get the serum to Nome and all the children are saved. Balto is no longer an outcast, but a hero and now respected by both human and canine citizens of Nome.

Cut back to the present, the old woman, her granddaughter, and their dog find the Balto statue.


It is revealed that the grandmother is in fact, Rosy and at the statue she thanks Balto again for saving her.

End Spoilers

The film was only a modest success, but it developed a cult following among both furries and fans of Bluth's film, the film’s popularity among these groups lead to a small fandom and two direct to video sequels

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