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Iditarod Racer Disqualified for Abusing His Dogs

Written by PETA | March 20, 2007

If you read my posts on the Iditarod in the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that this particular issue gets me kind of riled up. Not only do people seem to think that the fact that it’s a “tradition” somehow justifies the cruelty inherent in the event, but I’ve even heard people try to claim that these dogs actually enjoy the experience. I wonder if all the dogs who are killed because they don’t make the cut enjoy that experience too. Anyway, here’s the most recent, and (mercifully) last little piece of sadism served up by this year’s Iditarod participants. As the race was coming to an end, musher Ramy Brooks, who was caught attacking his dogs with a trail marker, and one of whose dogs later died from apparently unrelated causes (call me crazy but my guess is that it was from being forced to run hundreds of miles in the freezing cold) has been disqualified from the race. Yup, ol’ Ramy was actually disqualified from an event that is inherently abusive to dogs for being too cruel to the dogs. Sounds like a real winner. You can check out the story here, and if you want to write to some of the race’s sponsors and ask them to make this the last year they support this debacle, just click some of the fancy buttons to the right.

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  • dannii says:

    These dogs DO love to run, its what they were born to do. they will run forever if they could. you obviously dont know anything about the breed. would you say it was cruel if they were kept in a house and taken out for half an hour a day? THAT is cruel. For most mushers the dogs are their priority but unfortunetly there are some that are more interested in money and winning. If the dogs did not want to run they would not get excited when they see a harness. I think PETA needs to speak to the responsible mushers to get some insight into the sport rather than just judging it through a few very bad examples. But obviously there needs to be more checks on the dogs and the mushers to prevent this happening in the future.

  • drew says:

    sled dogs are getting sick between races and dying. they also get parylisis penile frost bite bleeding ulcers and bleeding diareah

  • Kaelyn says:

    I completely agree with the Iditarod! I think it is wonderful! Everyone on here who posted posotive comments about the Iditarod I am totally with you! Everyone says how much it must hurt the dogs and how they hate running. Well Have any of the PETA read Gary Paulsen’s Woodsong? It shows how much dogs love to run. And a blind dog ran in the Iditarod. Don’t any of you say that was cruelty. That dog saved the team! And led them into Nome! that story has inspired millions! People eat. Dogs run. It’s nature.

  • dude1818 says:

    In response to Donna Stevens The dogs don’t get all that the mushers do.

  • C-mac says:

    When were we not omnivorous? I never said anything bad about being a vegitarian or vegan. I did say it wasnt for me..I stand by that. I eat meat because I like the taste. In bush alaska we live a subsitance lifestyle. This includes the hunting of animals. Most families here cant afford to buy their food from the stores all year. Prices are doubled or more compared to what you see downstates. I have looked at it from the perspective of the animals when it comes to dog mushing. I grew up with around the culture as I have said before. Dogs are happy to be running. There are vets at every checkpoint in most races and they look over all dogs and tell mushers if they need to drop dogs. YOu think these people care about mushers winning the race. You should watch the finish of lance makey in the iditarod. He has his leaders with him…these dogs are cuddled up to him licking his face. They didnt seem miserable or not taken car of in any way. Listen I am an educated individual who has lived around dog mushing my whole life. I know the differnce between right and wrong. If Dog mushing was truely cruel I would be on your band wagon…have any of you guys ever been to an actualdog mushing event…or are just going by what other people have told you? Have a good cinco de mayo…drink lots of beer…meat beer..hahaha just kidding

  • Michele says:

    Cmac you might want to do a bit of research… Humans have not been omnivorous since the “beginning of time”. Eating chickens IS bad for the chickens because of the abuse they suffer just check out some of the video footage on PETA’s website it’s real and it’s happening all over the world for the environment because the pollution from their waste is a major contributor to global warming more so than SUVs and for YOU because you are eating growth hormones antibiotics and feces yum doesn’t that sound delicious?. And as for my reference to you suffering I was trying to make the point that if you show kindness to animals by not eating them and by not supporting abusive practices like the Iditarod you may have positive things happen to you you know “do unto others…” which should include animal beings not just human beings. I do not understand what could be bad about being a vegetarian or vegan you may be surprised to find that you can eat a wide variety of delicious foods and still get all of your nutrients. You will also discover that you don’t have to feel deprived of junk food when you feel like believe it or not Fritos and Oreos are completely vegan! and you would be saving over 95 lives per year by doing so. Is that not a good thing? Of course dogs want to run but let them choose when they want to stop let them be warm when they are cold and just enjoy having them as a companion. I was not trying to be critical or callous but was hoping you might look at things from the perspective of the animals and make some changes in your life that could benefit animals and the world and at the same time you get to feel really good about what you are doing. Anyway you are ultimately the one in control of your choices but I do hope you really consider the issues. Best of luck!

  • c-mac says:

    Do you guys just think of the worst things that you can to do a dog and put it down as fact…dead dogs as fur would be no good for that…you want to kill a beaver to make mittens…geez don’t ya know. Hey moderator…thanks for not posting me trying to stand up for my ideals…thats awesome..make some good points and just dont post them. I dont think eating chicken is a bad thing. Humans have been omnivorous since the beginning of time…who am I to deny millions of years of evolution. Whether I go out and kill some Ptarmigan to put on my table..or run to the Deli for some fried chicken…I dont see it as cruelty. I see it as me satisfying my need to feed. I like a good salad as much as any vegan…but I need meat! quickly..since they dont post any of my rebuttals The reason the “retard” is in dept is because he puts way more than 69K into care for his dog team every year. I don’t think I should suffer for the rest of my life because of my ideals. I do not wish that on any of you In fact I wish the opposite…have a good one. But if you still want me to suffer for the rest of my life you suck! caring individuals my a! Quit watching Hollywood movies…no one uses whips anymore. And when they did use whipsway back in the day..the dogs werent even whipped. it was the crack of the whip meant to motivate…which I along with the majority of the mushing community agree sucks still. and a question on my part…what do you people feed your dogs? If its all vegetarian ..thats just cruel. Dogs are predators by nature…to deny them their nature is slavery as much as anything else. And if you feed them meat….why is it bad if I eat meat? Geez!! You put a nice piece of chicken in front of them and a bowl full of vegetarian dog food..I wonder which the dog is going to go to take a bet? Well back to work..thanks for all your brilliant insight Cmac

  • Eden Courtney says:

    Everytime PETA champions a cause and exposes the abuse of animals to the spotlight someone will drag out the old refrain…”PETA has gone too far this time…”You just don’t understand” etc. ad nauseum. When was the last time you saw a pack of dogs line up in pairs 5 or 6 deep and voluntarily run several hundred miles a day in subzero temperatures and in blizzard conditions until their paws bleed they suffer internal injuries and collapse panting and exhausted. It may be true that they are “bred to run” just like pitbulls are “bred to fight”?? but who are you trying to kid without the humans whipping them and not allowing them to stop when they don’t want to or can’t run I just don’t think you’d ever see these dogs racing each other like this stupid forced race. If it’s such a wonderful cultural tradition let the humans race each other for days in the worst possible weather until they fall over. If it’s such a wonderful cultural tradition let the humans harness themselves in pairs and run in the worst possible weather conditions under their feet bleed and they fall over from exhaustion. Now that’s a race I’d like to see!!

  • Eden Courtney says:

    Everytime PETA champions a cause and exposes the abuse of animals to the spotlight someone will drag out the old refrain…”PETA has gone too far this time…”You just don’t understand” etc. ad nauseum. When was the last time you saw a pack of dogs line up in pairs 5 or 6 deep and voluntarily run several hundred miles a day in subzero temperatures and in blizzard conditions until their paws bleed they suffer internal injuries and collapse panting and exhausted. It may be true that they are “bred to run” just like pitbulls are “bred to fight”?? but who are you trying to kid without the humans whipping them and not allowing them to stop when they don’t want to or can’t run I just don’t think you’d ever see these dogs racing each other like this stupid forced race. If it’s such a wonderful cultural tradition let the humans race each other for days in the worst possible weather until they fall over.Now that’s a race I’d like to see!

  • sarah says:

    I find it really bizarre that CMac would say that there are many good causes that should be fought when it come to fighting animal cruelty… and then leave a p.s saying “I enjoy KFC”. It’s obviously intended to irritate peta supporters but i dont think he realises how stupid and hypocritic it is to say that. Really makes the end of his post look quite pathetic. Anyway.. perhaps he will realise one day that what he said isn’t funny or clever it just highlights our ignorant and arrogant society.

  • Donna Stevens says:

    What happens to dogs during the Iditarod ? Death paralysis penile frostbite bleeding ulcers bloody diarrhea lung damage ruptured discs viral diseases and pneumonia. Since dog deaths have been recorded 130 have died no one knows how many dogs die after this race or during training. Mushers also cull unwanted dogs including puppies. They are either shot in the head clubbed to death with a baseball bat or dragged to death. Some unwanted dogs are skinned to make mittens. Now anybody who thinks this is ok is either stupid or insane.

  • JAM says:

    Wow a whole $69K and the retard is still in debt…almost sounds kinda pointless huh? LOL

  • C-Mac says:

    I can’t believe your trying to compare those human atrocities to the Iditarod. Rape and incest…come on. Get it through your brains that its what these dogs want to do. These dogs live much better lives than the majority of dogs anywhere else. Quit talking about the freezing conditions that they have to go through…you ever hear of a dog freezing to death or getting frostbite on the Iditarod…they are animals built for this type of weather through millions of years of evolution. Whats next you going to try to save the wolves up here from the cold? Sled Dogs live a very nice life and are loved by their owners. Please quit talking out your aes about the way the dogs are treated. Of course there are a few mushers who treat their dogs poorly…but I would have to say its much less of a ratio than house pets that are treated poorly. They are no more slaves to their owners than any other pet out there. They love and live to runlike your dogs do when you let them out of your house…you would see that if you would just bother to look. Just for my own curiosity. what do you people feed your dogs or cats? If you feed them as vegetarians are denying them their true nature as carnivores…enslaving them to a life of vegetables. If you feed them are being true hypocrites….they like to those poor defenseless chickens and cows just as much as I do. The only reason they eat the vegemite crap you put in front of them is because they are at the mercy of the ones who are supposed to protect them If they were a couple steps up on the food chain they would have no problem eating you or I. Oh yeah…don’t try and judge me as a person because of my way of life and beliefs…just because you disagree with what I say doesn’t mean you think I should suffer through the rest of my life. Caring individuals my ass.

  • Michaela Loudova says:

    If somebody want to race just do it but without dogs. The dogs cannot to choose their life way but we can. Let for dog his a nice life like for us! Michaela Czech Republic

  • visions for a kinder world says:

    Some who comment here may know something about the race and they may know some race participants personally but they are very naive about human behavior and human nature. They don’t have a clue or they may prefer denial about the nature of an addict and the extremes heshe will go too to satisfy their craving. Just look at history Men of the cloth who are into porn and prostitution fathers who rape their children the addicts who sacrifice all for the “fix” teachers who sexually abuse their young students parents who kill their children respected community leaders who are rapists or serial killers the Enron mentality spouses who kill and injury the ones they claim to love many who claim to love animals but abuse them sports and entertainment personalities who do not practice constraints. The list goes on I’m sure you get the message. No doubt some racers treat their animals better than others but for the addicted competitor the Iditarod becomes a do or die craving. While they may attempt to prepare the dogs for the race by whatever means it is during the race that qualifies these dogs as slaves not athletes. Only a slave master would push the defenseless far beyond its limits. The person who has a true heart for animals understands the responsibilities and constraints that go along with dominion they know animals do not understand the medical consequences of their actions they do not buy into the popular belief that cruelty can be called a “sport” they know the extent dogs will sacrifice themselves for their human guardians they would never think of exploiting animals for machismo and they would never put them on the same level as humans who can make informed choices and decisions. Dogs are trainable but like infants and children they are at the mercy of the ones who are supposed to protect them. The people who support these races have been indoctrinated to absent themselves from any thoughts of cruelty and they all parrot each other with the same meaningless adjectives. The Iditarod is an industry whose injuries and lethal consequences to the dogs are well documented. Many people choose to remain blind because they have been suckered into believing that the Iditarod is a wholesome tradition. But some traditions are simply too cruel to live on. And for the one who loves KFC he is a perfect example of the many who prefer to be a party to horrendous cruelty to animals because they are addicted to taste and they would not consider sacrificing for the compassionate cause.

  • Michele says:

    CMac I truly believe that people eventually get what is coming to them. It may not happen immediately maybe not for years but when you are feeling sorry for yourself someday because of whatever bad thing has happened to you remember how you treated animals and remember how you directly supported animal cruelty by eating KFC despite having the knowledge of what these chickens are going through. You may think you can get through life with your attitude because you are SO much smarter than these animals. Does that mean that you are above disabled people? elderly people with Alzheimer’s? young children? I only wish I could be around to see whatever suffering you have to endure in your lifetime.

  • C-Mac says:

    I was up at the Iditarod finish this year. This is one of the greatest events on this earth. It is very sad to hear your org. and people involved dumping on a culture they know nothing about. I grew up with a dog team and continue to enjoy the sport of Dog Mushing. Most of the comments posted are beyond ignorant. After the race I helped with some of the finishing teams. After less than a days rest these dogs were barking jumping and just eager to get back on that trail I couldnt say the same for the mushers. To say these dogs are forced to run is like saying we as humans are forced to do some of our most enjoyable personal activities. Its what these dogs love and live for. We had a great leader that we had retired after a well over a decade of running. To his dying day he was over 14 he would still be barking and jumping just wanting to get hooked up and lead his team again. If dogs didnt want to run they wouldnt and they definitely wouldnt be excited. And sorry to say this because I didnt want to stoop to the level of bashing someone else but whoever posted the comments of the dog mushers having whips to force their dogs to run down the trailnevermind..I wont say it but just some advice. Quit watching Hollywood movies and go to an actual race. The community of Dog mushing was very sad to hear what Ramey Brooks did. The stories have been blown way out of proportion by this point of what he did to his dog. I know Ramey Brooks personally and I know nobody feels worse than him. He made a mistake and now his career as a professional musher is tarnished and more than likely over now. Mushers in general treat their dog teams with much better care then the vast majority of dog owners and way than they treat themselves. Mushers with bloodied faces and broken limbs on this years trail would put booties on each dog to prevent the tiniest of scratches on one of their dogs feet. I know this is a far cry from what you would see from some of your own members with their dogs who are blindly ripping at the Iditarod. In no way are the dogs a meal ticket for mushers bank accounts as some of you state. There are maybe 5 mushers that make living just dog mushing for a career. The winner of the Iditarod this year won 69000 dollars. All of that money to a cent went to his dog teams expenses. Even with that paycheck he is still in debt for the year caring for his dogs. I could go on and on. What your organization stands for is a good thing. But what your doing is extremist in nature. You are attacking a great event and culture blindly. There are many good causes that should be fought when it come to fighting animal crueltyThe Iditarod and Dog Mushing is not one of them. PSI really enjoy KFC Thank you

  • pcb says:

    I would have to disagree with certain comments made by Ruby….. While I think that certain species of dog are bred for different purposes the point of the argument everyone is making is the needless exploitation and needless abuse of these dogs. These dogs are forced to participate in the trek and endure a 125+ mile race in blistering weather conditions and very little food or replenishments. My argument is that just because these “Iditarod dogs” can trek that far doesn’t mean they would like to. Take the vicious industry of Greyhound racing for example sure Greyhounds love to race ever wonder what happens to the dogs when they can’t ! Same principle!

  • kelly says:

    Mushers ARE cruel and abusive. The dogs are treated like livestock. All of this “dogs love to run” garbage is propaganda from the sled dog INDUSTRY and those who profit from it They would love to have the public believe these are happy doggies. NOT TRUE!!

  • Patricia says:

    I’m sure those of you who think the dogs are mistreated have not spent time with an Iditarod musher. I know mushers personally and have been with them while they care for and train their dogs. At the end of the race the mushers are exhausted not the dogs.

  • Zach Brown says:

    First Mushers have not used whips for ages not only do they not use them when whips were used it was the crack of the whip that spurred the dogs up they were not being whipped. Second the dogs do run at there own pace they do have a choice to quite. A sprint dog can run 18 Miles and hour for extended periods of time a distance dog typically runs about 108 miles and hour and you can see that in the speeds of the mushers. Many dogs just like athletes that are under trained dont finish they simple quit running. Which is why you see many mushers that scratched not due to injury but because they were under trained. The mushers were injured not the dogs. Third people keep refering to money I am quite sure no one complaining here has any idea how much it costs to run a dog kennel. A bag of premium dog food costs 50 dollars a big kennel will use 23 bags a day. The dogs all eat fish and meats of different kinds I am sure you realize that a dog cannot simple thrive on veggies. They eat nutritional supplements of various types. Sleds cost big bucks houses cost big bucks truck cost big bucks. All of this adds up to way more than all but a few mushers can afford throughout a year regardless of how much they win. A typical Iditarod caliber dog costs anywhere from 15005000 dollars due you think any mushers would intentionally hurt a dog that cost that much. Absolutly not! The dogs are the reason they do it no mushers ever stopped at a regular job and went hey I should be a dog musher so I can get rich. Mushers dont make money piles of cash on dogs racing some are break even outfits most dont make nearly enough to cover the costs and many are nonprofit LLC’s. It is simple pure ignorance to condemn a sport that you know nothing about. Mushers wouldnt win or even move if they had under fed under trained or negleted dogs.

  • misty says:

    I used to work for Daimler Chrysler. I loved it but they are getting a stern letter from me. Unacceptable in so many ways. The original run was a noble one. This is a pathetic nobrainer. Human are willing participants. Animals have no choice.

  • lindsey says:

    Comment to Zach Brown There is one huge difference between athletes and dogs. The athletes are there because they want to be no one is forcing them to play the sport. They could quit if they wanted to. The dogs have absolutely no choice. I don’t doubt that there are mushers out there that love their dogs to death. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t risk a dogs life for a big fat paycheck. Why do the mushers need whips etc. to keep the dogs moving???? Because the dogs get tired and want to slow down. How many mushers out there in the iditarod would just slow down and go the pace that the dogs wanted to???? Actually that’s a really good idea. How about we change to iditarod and have the dogs run at their own pace and quit when THEY want to????

  • kelly says:

    The sponsor for Ramy Brooks the dog beater and killer is CELLULAR ONE Here’s how to contact them httpswww.celloneusa.comECellPortalECell.portal CALL THEM if you have their service They have been supporting his dog abuse activities for three years

  • kelly says:

    So we now see that there is a coverup among the Iditarod officials? They are lying for a dog beater. What corporation could give money to support this gang of fools and lowlifes?

  • Gail Robinson says:

    Sled dogs do enjoy running but there is a huge difference between running for exercise and enjoyment and the Iditarod.

  • lindsey says:

    Update Here’s an update to all of those who helped me contact I ended up sending my letter to thank you so much for all your help. I sent the letter early in the evening on Tuesday. I will definitely keep you all updated on any response I receive I really hope they get the message.

  • Concerned_Alaskan says:

    The plot thickens… bTeacher says Brooks was slugging kicking his dogsb GOLOVIN Team had stopped on glare ice Iditarod marshal is aware of different versions of the event. By GEORGE BRYSON Anchorage Daily News Published March 20 2007 A Golovin village gradeschool teacher who observed Iditarod musher Ramy Brooks mistreat his dog team an episode that led to the veteran Healy musher’s disqualification saw something more disturbing than what Brooks or Iditarod officials have reported. When Brooks’ team refused to move said 28yearold Maude Paniptchuk who teaches kindergarten through second grade at Golovin School he kicked the dogs and hit them with his fist and a ski pole. He didn’t merely spank them with a thin piece of lath used as a trail marker as Iditarod officials said Sunday. And contrary to an earlier account reported by Brooks’ business manager it wasn’t a tangle of students that caused the dogs to stop on a patch of ice on the outskirts of Golovin a small village on the Iditarod Trail about 15 miles west of White Mountain the dogs appeared exhausted she said. Besides herself and her 1yearold son there were only two small children and a grown man who observed the incident she said. And she was not the one who initially filed a complaint about it though she did describe what she saw to race marshal Mark Nordman when word of the incident spread. Reached in Nome on Monday night Nordman acknowledged that he spoke with Paniptchuk and he doesn’t dispute her story. On her way home with her son one day last week she saw Brooks pass through the village with his team Paniptchuk said. Her little boy likes dogs so she snowmachined out to the end of town to watch the musher leave. When she got there Brooks’ dogs had stopped on a patch of ice so she halted about 20 feet away turned off her machine and watched. “I didn’t want to get too close because I didn’t want to upset the dogs” she said. “I heard him swearing at his dogs trying to get them to go. Then I saw him hit a couple. And I thought ‘OK so he’s scolding them trying to encourage them to go.’ And we kept watching … we saw him go down the line and hit each of his dogs.” She never saw Brooks hit the dogs with a piece of 14inch by 1 12inch lath used as a trail stake as first Brooks’ business manager Greg Louden and later Nordman reported. “No he used his hand” she said. “And then he kicked a couple and he used his pole like a ski pole to hit them.” At the beginning she watched the scene alone Paniptchuk said. But then two 8yearold children a boy and a girl who followed her on foot to catch up with her arrived and watched too. “They said ‘Auntie why is he doing that?’ I didn’t feel right explaining the actions of someone else. I said ‘I don’t know maybe they just don’t want to go.’ ” She continued to watch for about 15 or 20 minutes as Brooks continued without success to grab his leaders and try to pull them forward Paniptchuk said. She wanted to leave sooner but her snowmachine wouldn’t start and she had to wait for her brother to arrive to start it. In the meantime she noticed that a man from the village who was out cutting wood was watching too from the other side of the dog team. It was David Amuktoolik Jr. she said. Amuktoolik who doesn’t have a telephone and couldn’t be reached Monday to comment was also upset by what he saw she said. “He even hollered he yelled he said ‘They’re not going to go if you treat them that way … they’re not going to go if you hit them.’ ” Later the children told their parents what they saw and one of them Sherri Lewis reported the incident to Iditarod officials. Reached by telephone Monday night Lewis said everyone in Golovin loves the Iditarod and it disturbed her to hear her daughter tell her what she saw. “She just said he was kicking the dogs and dragging them trying to get them to go and hitting them with a stick” Lewis said. “Just hearing this from my 8yearold daughter … It’s just a little disappointing. … It sounded like they were tired. The conditions weren’t good. We have a lot of glare ice.” Efforts to contact Brooks or his business manager Monday night were not successful. However Nordman acknowledged that the account conveyed to Iditarod officials by Brooks himself differs from the school teacher’s. But even the musher’s version was grave enough for the three race judges to rule that he should be disqualified on those grounds alone Nordman said. “By no means am I disputing what Maude saw” he said. “This had to be dealt with and it had to be dealt with in a quick fashion.” Right now Nordman said he’s still trying to officiate the end of the Iditarod. “Once we get back to town I’m sure there will be much more discussion on it.” Daily News reporter George Bryson can be reached at

  • Me says:

    This whole thing saddens me as I have to agree with what has been said about this very long cruel race. It saddens me because although a lot of what is said is right there is also a lot of things that aren’t what people say. I myself have siberian huskies and samoyeds they were rescued from the pound or from abusive neglectful owners. I am a member of a small mushing group of friends who get together and socialise our dogs with each others dogs and yes we mush with them. The difference being that any dogs that don’t want to run don’t run. If people would just read all the books on the breed then they would know that these dogs can not be let off lead there is always an acception I know in public places as they will run and never come back this is why these beautiful dogs end up in pounds. They are very social dogs and I speak from my heart here that some of them actually do love to pull. All my dogs get regular exercise but there is no way I can run as fast as they can so this is one way they can get to run. If you attach them to a bike you will find that they will pull the bike even with you peddling it is just the way they are. I will be honest that most of my dogs are getting old now and I really only have one that enjoys it nowadays so although she isn’t a spring chicken she still wants to do it she gets so excited if she sees the harness. The others just get to meet up with their other doggy friend instead. We don’t do long distances and I’m quite regularly walking as we need to be fit as well as the dogs using a scooter. As I say I know there is a lot of cruelty involved with this sport no better than horse and dogs racing but I feel sad that the whole sport is condemned because of the extreme side of it. These dogs get very destructive if left all day in the back yard and they are escape artists. My dogs are more socialised and meet more friends than a lot of dogs around. All my dogs live in my house even though they don’t all get on same with all my friends we all have rescue dogs that have issues but we all have them as part of the family yes on the sofa and bed not in kennels outside in extreme weather like some dogs owners that don’t do anything with their dogs.

  • Ruby says:

    Unfortunately I feel as though this organization PETA has taken an irresponsible step this time. I’m wondering how much research has actually gone into the Iditarod? I believe that little to know solid evidence of abuse has been displayed and I’m not comfortable forming an opinion on a lack of facts. Growing up in Alaska and knowing many mushers including the musher in question has convinced me that claiming dog mushing is cruel to the dogs is a baseless argument. Also these dogs are bred to be sled dogs. The statement “The only explanation for this would be that those dogs had been kept in cramped cages for hours and the musher let them out right before he got there so they were so excited to be out of their cruel cramped cages that they exhibited this “excitedness” toward pulling the sled.” prooves that the author has never ever been to a musher’s house. There are acres and acres for the dogs to run in daily. The dogs have miles available to them each day and do not sleep live eat or work in small cages. They are fed consistant healthy meals and recieve more medical check ups and treatment than any other household ‘pet.’ If mushing is so ‘cruel’ I’m forced to ask “Wouldn’t it be more cruel to take these animals out of their elements cold weather and in motion? If anyone is interested in a veterinarian’s report on the health of sled dogs I implore you to research it. Sled dogs are amoung the most healthy domestic animals in America. In the interest of STOPPING ANIMAL ABUSE I suggest that you focus you’re efforts on pet owners who over feed and under excersize their animals not the people that make these animals their priorities their lives. Also I would like to point out that threatening the lives of this musher’s children as PETA members in the area and beyond have done does nothing but discredit the organization. Please think about your words and actions before sharing them.

  • Zach Brown says:

    Well I am not sure how to respond to all these comments. I live here in Alaska have mushed dogs and have been involved in the racing community for 10 years. It is clear that none of you have any idea what goes on here in Alaska or how dogs are treated. 1. Sled dogs eat better than the Majority of humans on Earth. 2. The bond and love between mushers and there animals is something you all will never understand. 3. You all always comment about people say the dogs want to run well that is the truth the dogs are born with the love and desire to run. 4. The particular musher that broke the rules obviously deserves to be disqualified and he accepts the consequences. 5. When you group over a 1000 dogs together there are bound to be some that through genetics or various other reasons are going to die that is just reality just as humans in sports. Should we pull sponsorship from athletes during the course of there sports obviously not. Well people this is no different. They are websites like that are not showing the whole picture and have gravely misconstrued the facts. I posted this on an older post before I saw a current one. I would like to add that while dogs are transported in kennels they have not been trapped in there for hours and they have plenty of room to move around. Unlike tiny little dogs that people carry around in bags around town all day you all might want to visit that. Also this does not make the dogs want to run. Have you ever seen a house dog get excited to go for a walk or go for a ride in a car this is the exact same thing.

  • kelly says:

    Suggest that you also contact the Managing Editor news editors etc as well as Sports Ignorance like that does NOT belong in a news organization and those in charge need to know

  • lindsey says:

    Great thanks so much I am going to contact them right now!

  • kelly says:

    Specifically here’s how to contact msnbc sports Let em have it!! They deserve it for such incredible ignorance

  • kelly says:

    Here’s how to contact msnbc httpwww.msnbc.msn.comid10285339 They need to be educated on the cruelties of Iditarod

  • lindsey says:

    There was a piece on today from one of their sports writers. It was so pathetic and ignorant. I wanted to write him but it didn’t give his contact. Anyway he stated that he couldn’t decided if the idtarod was cruel or not. He said he used to be cautious towards it but then he visited one of the mushers and saw how excited the dogs were to run and that changed his mind because the dogs seemed to like it. The only explanation for this would be that those dogs had been kept in cramped cages for hours and the musher let them out right before he got there so they were so excited to be out of their cruel cramped cages that they exhibited this “excitedness” toward pulling the sled. It’s too bad that people who think it might be cruel and go to see it first hand only get this kind of experience. They should really have contacts on there so I could email him to this website. Hopefully he finds it all out on his own.

  • Linda says:

    This is just terrible. Those poor dogs. Why does the newsmedia make such a big deal out of this race when the dogs suffer so?