The Iditarod Is Killing Dogs

The Iditarod—a grueling 1,000-mile race in which dogs are forced to run to exhaustion, injury, or even death over Alaska’s unforgiving terrain—has resulted in the deaths of more than 150 dogs since its inception.

Oshi, a 5-year-old dog who competed in the Iditarod as part of musher Richie Beattie’s team, died from aspiration pneumonia.

Oshi, a 5-year-old dog who competed in the Iditarod as part of musher Richie Beattie’s team, died from aspiration pneumonia.

Dogs are bred for this, and those who aren’t fast or fit enough may be killed. Countless others die during the off-season while they’re chained to dilapidated wooden boxes or plastic barrels.

worst iditarod mushers 2020 Mitch-Seavey-chained-dog-in-snow© CCI Entertainment

During the race, dogs are forced to run about 100 miles a day through biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. Many pull muscles, incur stress fractures, sustain bloody stomach ulcers, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or aspiration pneumonia. Up to half of the dogs who start the race don’t finish because they’re too exhausted, ill, or injured to go on. During this year’s Iditarod, nearly 200 dogs were pulled off the trail, leaving the rest to have to work even harder to compensate. In 2019, a dog named Oshi died from aspiration pneumonia just a day after crossing the finish line—probably from inhaling her own vomit. Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death for dogs who don’t survive the race.

Please do the following:

  • Post a comment on the Facebook page for Millennium Hotels and Resorts—whose Lakefront Anchorage hotel is still supporting the death race—and tell it to cut ties now.

  • Call Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ U.S. headquarters at 303-779-2000 and press 0 to speak with the operator. Note: The number will go straight to voicemail, but you’ll reach a live person if you press 0. They may tell you to call the Anchorage, Alaska, location, but tell the company’s corporate office that you take animal abuse seriously and that what it’s doing is wrong!

Call Millennium Hotels and Resorts

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  • Send polite comments to Austin Quinn-Davidson, acting mayor of Anchorage, at [email protected] and urge her to leave dogs out of the race. Note: This address appears to have blocked e-mails that mention PETA, so please leave the word “PETA” out of your correspondence.

E-Mail Austin Quinn-Davidson, Acting Mayor of Anchorage

  • On its Instagram account, tell telecommunications provider GCI to stop sponsoring the death race.

Comment on GCI’s instagram

  • Order our FREE leaflets to inform people about the Iditarod’s cruelty to dogs. If you live near a Millennium hotel, slide the leaflets under guests’ doors so that can learn what the company is supporting. For leaflets, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the subject line “Millennium Leaflet Request.”


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind