Chrysler Dealership Drops Iditarod Dog Race Sponsorship

Automaker's Move Follows Robust PETA Campaign Against Cruel Race

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – Following a vigorous PETA campaign, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has confirmed that Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Center, an independently owned FCA dealership that has sponsored the Iditarod since 2007, will cut ties with the race after this year’s event, which began last weekend. In thanks, PETA is sending FCA—which never supported the Iditarod directly—a box of dog-shaped vegan chocolates for being a top dog defender.

PETA’s campaign included more than 250,000 e-mails from supporters urging Chrysler to cut ties with the race, an ad blitz on television stations near the company’s Detroit headquarters, and more than a dozen protests across the country featuring costumed “dogs” smashing cars, activists chained to Chryslers, and protesters dragging a sled full of “dead dogs” around downtown Detroit.

“After feeling some real pressure from PETA, Chrysler put the brakes on its connection with the Iditarod and is sending the message that dogs deserve better than being run to death for mushers’ prize money,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Alaska Airlines has also withdrawn its sponsorship of this wretched race in which over 150 dogs have died, and we hope this year is the last year dogs will suffer in this way.”

Dogs used in the Iditarod are forced to run about 1,000 miles through biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. More than half of those who start the race don’t finish because they’re too ill, injured, or exhausted to go on. So far this year, more than 140 dogs have been dropped, including one kept by musher Matthew Failor who nearly died of painful bloat—and musher Nicolas Petit is continuing to force dogs on his team to run despite reports that all of them have vomited, three have gotten frostbite, and one nearly needed stitches. More than 150 dogs have died as a result of the race, not including countless others who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained up. PETA’s undercover investigation revealed that dogs were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the bitter cold and biting wind, and forced to run even when they were exhausted and dehydrated.

Alaska Airlines is also dropping its sponsorship after this year’s Iditarod, and Baird Private Wealth Management confirmed earlier this month that it has cut ties with the race. They join Coca-Cola, Costco, Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Panasonic, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, State Farm, and Wells Fargo in ending their support of the Iditarod after hearing from PETA, which is calling on Millennium Hotels and Resorts to follow suit.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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