Detroit Native Lily Tomlin Urges Chrysler to Drop Iditarod Sponsorship

TV Icon Calls On 'No-Nonsense' CEO to Stop Supporting 'Deadly, Nonsensical Spectacle'

For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

DetroitGrace and Frankie star and Detroit native Lily Tomlin has sent a letter on PETA’s behalf to the CEO of Chrysler urging him to push the company’s Anchorage, Alaska franchise to end its sponsorship of the Iditarod.

“The Iditarod has killed more than 150 dogs in its sordid history, a toll that doesn’t include those who died during training or while chained outside in the off-season,” writes Tomlin. “I’ve read that you’re a no-nonsense executive, so I respectfully urge you to distance Chrysler from this deadly, nonsensical spectacle in Alaska.”

A recent PETA exposé of two Iditarod champions’ dog-sledding operations 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 forced to run hundreds of miles despite exhaustion and dehydration.

Coca-Cola recently ended its Iditarod sponsorship, adding its name to a long list of companies—including Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Costco, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, and Wells Fargo—that have cut ties with the race.

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

Tomlin’s letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Michael Manley follows.

Michael Manley, CEO

FCA Group

Dear Mr. Manley,

As a big fan of dogs and a Detroit native, I was saddened to learn of Chrysler’s association with the Iditarod. I’ve read that you’re a no-nonsense executive, so I respectfully urge you to distance Chrysler from this deadly, nonsensical spectacle in Alaska.

More than 230 dogs were pulled out of this year’s Iditarod because of exhaustion, illness, or injury. One dog named Oshi died from aspiration pneumonia two days after finishing the grueling, nearly 1,000-mile slog—she likely got a lung infection after inhaling her own vomit, one of the race’s most common killers.

The Iditarod has killed more than 150 dogs in its sordid history, a toll that doesn’t include those who died during training or while chained outside in the off-season.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a PETA eyewitness who worked at two kennels owned by former champions found widespread neglect and suffering. Dogs with painful injuries were denied veterinary care, kept chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels—their only “shelter” from the bitter cold and biting wind—and forced to train despite being exhausted and dehydrated, running hundreds of miles in subfreezing temperatures.

State Farm, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, and Coca-Cola are among the companies that have taken note and stopped sponsoring this deadly race. Won’t you please do the same?

Sincerely,

Lily Tomlin

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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