Does Musher Blair Braverman Think It’s Cute to Leave Dogs Chained Up?

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Kennel owner and former Iditarod golden girl Blair Braverman loves to post photos of the dogs she uses for racing and brag that she treats them well—even while numerous dogs chained to boxes are visible in most of the backgrounds.

In photos of what is believed to be her compound, nearly a dozen dogs can be seen living out their days chained in the bitter cold.

We can’t think of a crueler punishment for these social pack animals who want—and deserve—companionship. These dogs trust Braverman—all they want to do is please her and gain her love. In return, she leaves them tethered, unable to socialize with one another adequately. They’re trapped by their chains, and we can only imagine the anxiety that they must feel as a result of being unable to escape.

Braverman participated in the Iditarod in 2019, when over 230 dogs were dropped from the race—likely because of exhaustion, illness, or injury. Although she made waves as an unconventional participant, she’s not scheduled to race this year. However, her husband, Quince Mountain, is registered to participate in the 2020 Iditarod.

Mountain reportedly got his start at IdidaRide Sled Dog Tours, owned by the infamous Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey. On numerous occasions, Seavey and his workers have admitted to hitting and kicking dogs. During a recent investigation into one of his kennels, a PETA eyewitness found scores of dogs continuously chained to barrels. Some had run in circles for so long that their paw pads had become worn down or raw. One chained-up dog had paced at the end of a chain for so long that his collar had rubbed his skin raw, resulting in a pus-filled neck wound that reeked of rotting flesh. Workers left him without veterinary care, and one even tore off rotten tissue with his fingers before spraying an antifungal product on the open wound.

Dogs used for racing live and die alone on chains at Iditarod compounds.

While only a few dozen dogs raised for the race will ultimately be deemed fit enough to compete, many more will be kept tethered—in all types of weather—for most of their lives. Every hour of every day, their lives are restricted to a small circle of land, where they whimper and cry out for relief from the hellish conditions.

A PETA eyewitness worked at two kennels owned by former Iditarod champions and found that dogs there were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the harsh cold, and forced to run hundreds of miles even when they were exhausted and dehydrated. A former “champion” dog riddled with arthritis was left to live on a chain next to the frozen sea without any shelter.

Dogs at sled-dog breeding compounds have died of numerous ailments. Some have frozen to death, while others have died of complications from eating foreign objects—presumably a result of the intense frustration of spending years on a chain.

What You Can Do to Stop the Deadly Iditarod

The dogs bred, chained, and pushed past their limits for the Iditarod are exactly the same, physiologically and emotionally, as the dogs who share our homes. Could you imagine forcing your canine companion to run hundreds of miles until their body fatally breaks down?

The tide of public opinion has turned against this event—in which more than 150 dogs have died. Many companies—including Coca-Cola, Costco, Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, State Farm, and Wells Fargo—have already ended their sponsorship of the egregiously cruel race.

Using the link below, urge the few remaining companies still supporting the deadly Iditarod to cut ties with it:

Get Dogs out of the Iditarod Now

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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