A Bloody Dog in a ‘Tourism Video’? PETA Gives Travelers a REAL Look at the Sledding Industry

For Immediate Release:
August 17, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska

Ahead of the winter tourism season, anyone planning a trip to “The Last Frontier” will get an unexpected behind-the-scenes look at the suffering of dogs used in the sledding industry, courtesy of a new targeted video from PETA.

The tourism spot—which will play for people researching or planning trips to Alaska online—opens with gorgeous images of the state’s natural beauty as the video’s narrator invites viewers to enjoy the “unforgettable sights.” It then cuts to footage from PETA’s undercover investigation into Iditarod champions’ kennels showing dozens of dogs chained up in the snow and ice with only plastic barrels or drafty wooden boxes for shelter. Additional footage shows dogs in racing harnesses strapped to sleds—some obviously exhausted and one visibly bleeding. “You’d call animal control if your neighbors treated their dogs this way,” the narrator intones. “But you’re on vacation, and it’s not your problem!”

“If people knew that dogs were chained up in all weather extremes and forced to run until their paws bled, they’d never set foot on a dog sled or go anywhere near the Iditarod,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s targeted ad will help ensure that tourists see what really goes on at abusive sledding operations before they make their Alaskan travel plans.”

Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run about a thousand miles through extreme snow, ice, and wind. This year, approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging visibly exhausted dogs toward a checkpoint. More than 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod since its inception—not including breeders’ “surplus dogs,” who were killed because they were not fast or fit enough to race.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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