Dogs Killed in the Iditarod to Be Memorialized in New ‘Mushing District’

PETA Purchases Plaque to Call Attention to Fatal Consequences of the Race

For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – After learning of plans to develop a “mushing district” in downtown Anchorage, PETA has purchased a plaque to memorialize the more than 150 dogs who’ve already perished in the race—not counting innumerable others who died tethered outside without adequate shelter or in training after being denied veterinary care or basic necessities.

“In just the last five years, dogs forced to participate in the Iditarod have died from myriad causes, including being buried alive in snow, heart attacks, internal bleeding, and acute aspiration pneumonia—caused by choking on their own vomit,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA intends to pay tribute to these individuals who didn’t want to die by displaying a memorial calling for an end to the race.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that the Iditarod forces dogs to run up to 100 miles a day across treacherous ice and in subzero temperatures. They sustain bloody paws, stress fractures, and other painful injuries. During the 2018 Iditarod, 350 dogs were pulled from the race, likely because of illness, exhaustion, or injury, and one died after choking on his own vomit—the leading cause of death for dogs in the event.

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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