Written by Michelle Kretzer
Soon, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
mushers will begin driving dogs on a grueling 1,150-mile journey through frozen
being forced to run an average of 100 miles a day for two weeks, many dogs will
be suffering from conditions such as pneumonia, hypothermia, bruised and lacerated
paws, upper respiratory infections, frostbite, inflamed wrists, and shoulder
injuries. Nearly 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod
since records started being kept, and that doesn't include dogs who died after
the race was over. Some dogs die of "sled dog myopathy"—literally being
run to death.
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they won't call it what it is—cruel—even mushers admit that the dogs suffer.
During last year's race, top contender Hans Gatt reported that half his team
was "sick and eating poorly," likely because of upper respiratory
infections. Four-time champion Lance Mackey said that he didn't know what was
wrong with his dogs but that he had watched his "world-class dog team
falling apart before my very eyes." Paul Gebhardt had to forfeit the race
when his dogs couldn't continue because of dehydration, cramps, and injuries. And
Zoya DeNure had to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation on one of her dogs, who
had collapsed in his
why do mushers continue to subject their dogs to the abuse of the Iditarod? Because
thousands of dollars in cash and prizes are at stake. But the good news is that
the purse is dwindling as corporations withdraw their sponsorship after
learning about the Iditarod's cruelty. Last year, thanks largely to PETA, the Transportation Security
pulled the plug on its $85,000 donation, and Chevron and Cabela's both called it quits
prior to 2010's race.
Please share this
with friends and family who may not realize how much dogs suffer for the
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.