Dogs Found Crippled, Chained in Bitter Cold Before Alaska Airlines–Supported Iditarod

Company to Face Protest After First-Ever Eyewitness Investigation Reveals Extreme Suffering on High-Profile Mushers' Properties

For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Seattle – Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, an Iditarod sponsor, will face protesters following PETA’s first-ever video exposé of properties tied to the annual event. Footage captured by an eyewitness who worked at Team Baker Kennel—owned by veteran Iditarod competitors John Baker and Katherine Keith—and on three-time Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey‘s land, which was managed by 2019 Iditarod musher Ryan Santiago, revealed that dogs’ only protection, even when the wind chill dropped to minus 19 degrees, was dilapidated, open-faced boxes or plastic barrels.

All the dogs were kept chained and denied contact with one another. Many had worn-down, raw, and bloody paw pads from frantically running in tight circles at the end of their short metal chains, and one dog on Seavey’s land was denied veterinary care for the open, infected wounds caused by the constant chafing of his collar. Other dogs left without veterinary care include one who’d incurred a crippling spinal cord injury that left her dragging her back legs and a former Iditarod champion with painful arthritis who was left chained up, limping and crying.

“When dogs used in the Iditarod aren’t being raced until their paws bleed and they die after inhaling their own vomit—which has happened frequently—they’re chained around the clock, only able to run in circles and howl,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Every company that cuts ties with this hideous race helps bring PETA one step closer to ending it, and we’re calling on Alaska Airlines to do just that.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a supremacist view of the world—has submitted its evidence and requests for investigations to appropriate agencies. At 12 noon on Thursday, a pack of PETA supporters will chain themselves to blue barrels like those used at Seavey’s land at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle in a call for Alaska Airlines to stop sponsoring the event.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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