Dogs Found Crippled, Chained in Bitter Cold Before Chrysler-Supported Iditarod

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

For Immediate Release:
April 9, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Detroit – Chrysler, whose Anchorage franchise is an Iditarod sponsor, is poised to face protesters following PETA’s first-ever video exposé of kennels 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 at three-time Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey‘s “kennel,” 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 at Seavey’s kennel 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 Chrysler 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. The group’s efforts to persuade Chrysler to cut ties with this cruel spectacle include numerous protests—and at 12 noon on Wednesday, a pack of PETA supporters will descend on downtown Detroit at the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Cadillac Square to urge Chrysler to stop supporting it. The protesters will display a “dead dog”—representing Oshi, who died after likely inhaling her own vomit during this year’s Iditarod—chained to a wooden doghouse.

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