Braves Under Fire as Iditarod Punishes Mushers Who Stopped Dogs From Freezing to Death

Team’s Owner Must Cut Ties With Race in Which More Than 150 Dogs Have Died, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
April 7, 2022

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Atlanta – Braves President Derek Schiller was hit with a letter from PETA this morning calling on him to pressure the team’s owner, Liberty Media—which also owns Iditarod sponsor GCI—to cut ties with the Alaskan dog-sled race after officials demoted and imposed fines on mushers who brought dogs indoors during a potentially fatal storm.

“No one with a heart wants to be associated with an event that actually punishes people for trying to prevent dogs from freezing to death,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Braves to take a stand and help stop Liberty Media from condoning this deeply disturbing, cruel race.”

PETA notes that this year’s nearly 1,000-mile race through wind and ice was saturated with chaos and cruelty. Two dogs went missing—one of whom has still not been found and whom the Iditarod is failing to help search for—a musher was apparently forced out of the race after dogs he used were found in poor condition, and dogs were attacked and one was killed during training before the race even began. Nearly 250 dogs were pulled from the trail due to exhaustion, illness, or injury, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder to pull the mushers.

Just this year, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Nutanix cut ties with the Iditarod, joining former sponsors ExxonMobil—once a major sponsor to the tune of $250,000 a year—Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and 14 other companies. PETA’s campaign to push Liberty Media to join the pack has included howling supporters in husky masks haunting the company’s headquarters in Colorado, purchasing stock to exert pressure at Liberty’s annual meetings, and sending the company’s CEO 150 “bloody” dog collars representing the dogs run to death in the race’s history.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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