Blood-Stained ‘Finish Line’ to Mark Iditarod’s Start

PETA Points to 150 Dead Dogs—and Counting

For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – PETA supporters will mark the start of the Iditarod with a “blood”-spattered replica of the event’s infamous finish line—and this one has empty dog harnesses dangling from it (to symbolize the dogs who’ve perished in the race’s history) and a banner that reads, “Iditarod: 150 Dead Dogs and Counting.”

When:    Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m.

Where:    Ceremonial start, at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and D Street, Anchorage

“The trail is a graveyard for dogs who, year after year, choke on their own vomit and die during the Iditarod race,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “There’s no excuse for forcing dogs to run up to 100 miles a day until their paws bleed and their bodies give out, and PETA is calling for an end to this cruel race.”

The number of recorded fatalities doesn’t include the many dogs who’ve died during the off-season while chained to a post in the freezing snow or who were killed simply because they couldn’t run fast enough. During the 2018 Iditarod, 350 dogs suffering from illness, exhaustion, or injury were pulled from the race, and choking on their own vomit is the leading cause of death for dogs who don’t survive the event.

PETA will also screen the damning documentary Sled Dogs by Fern Levitt—who will join the group and a former Iditarod handler-turned-whistleblower for the opening morning protest—at the Z.J. Loussac Public Library (3600 Denali St.) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The group will also protest at the Willow restart event on Sunday at 1 p.m.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist view of the world that underpins the use of animals for human amusement and profit. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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