Funeral March of a ‘Dead Dog’ to Haunt Iditarod

For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – As the Iditarod marks 50 years of running dogs to their deaths—over 150 so far—PETA supporters will be protesting GCI, one of the race’s few remaining sponsors, with a realistic “dog” tied to a stake, the way mushers “store” living, breathing, feeling dogs, as revealed in PETA’s exposé of Iditarod mushers’ facilities. Demonstrators will call on GCI to “disconnect from the cruel Iditarod,” as many former sponsors have done—including ExxonMobil (which used to contribute $250,000 a year) and Millennium Hotels and Resorts (the race’s longtime host).

Where:    GCI, 2800 C St., Anchorage

When:    Thursday, March 3, 12 noon

Then:    At the Iditarod’s Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage, PETA “pallbearers” will carry a dog sled piled with “bloody” dog props in a funeral procession. They’ll inform spectators that over 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod to date and that the most common cause of death is aspiration pneumonia (caused by inhaling their own vomit). Many more dogs have been killed during the off-season because they weren’t fast or fit enough to win money for the mushers who owned them.

Where:    At the intersection of Fourth Avenue and D Street, Anchorage

When:    Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m.

Finally:    PETA supporters will gather at the Iditarod’s restart in Willow with giant logos spoofing the race’s 50th anniversary:

Where:    Iditarod restart, Willow Lake

When:    Sunday, March 6, 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, PETA ads juxtaposing clips of happy canine companions with footage of lonely, shivering dogs at Iditarod mushers’ dog-sledding operations will run dozens of times on KTUU and KYES through March 16.

“Fifty years of treating dogs like snow machines or old bicycles, chained up in the ice and snow, is nothing to celebrate,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “As the Iditarod begins, PETA will be on hand to ensure that the dogs who have collapsed and died on the trail aren’t forgotten.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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