Dog ‘Graveyard’ to Greet Educators

Former PETA 'Teacher of the Year' Will Encourage Educators to Think Critically About Iditarod Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Colorado Springs, Colo. – On Saturday, Sarah Hewson, PETA’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, and Fern Levitt, director of the acclaimed documentary Sled Dogs, will lead PETA supporters in a protest of the Iditarod Teacher Conference event in Colorado Springs. They’ll erect a dog “graveyard” in memory of the more than 150 dogs who’ve died in the Iditarod and pass out free copies of Sled Dogs to attending teachers.

When:    Saturday, February 8, 8 a.m.

Where:    111 S. Tejon St. (at the intersection with Colorado Avenue), Colorado Springs

“When dogs used by the Iditarod aren’t being forced to run until they inhale their own vomit, they’re chained to wooden boxes or barrels, only able to run in circles and howl,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA will be urging educators to look behind the Iditarod’s façade and see the suffering of these dogs.”

The death toll for dogs used for the Iditarod doesn’t even include the countless ones who were killed because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained outside in the cold. PETA’s first-ever undercover investigation of Iditarod champions’ kennels revealed that dogs’ only protection—even when the wind chill dropped to 19 degrees below zero—were dilapidated, open-faced boxes or plastic barrels to which they were chained in the ice and snow. Many had worn-down, raw, and bloody paw pads from frantically running in circles at the end of short chains, and dogs were denied veterinary care for open wounds and crippling injuries.

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
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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