Joel Kinnaman Asks Chrysler to Cut Ties With Iditarod

Actor Teams Up With PETA to Call For End to Sponsorship of Race That Runs Dogs to Death

For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – With the Iditarod scheduled to start this weekend, Suicide Squad and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman sent a letter today urging Chrysler to direct its franchise in Anchorage, Alaska, to end its sponsorship of the race.

In the letter, Kinnaman—a longtime PETA supporter who previously partnered with the organization to speak out against fur farms in his native Sweden and recently adopted a rescued dog named Leon—points out that more than 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod, and those are just the reported numbers. These numbers don’t include those who died immediately after a race or during training or the thousands who have been killed during the off-season because they weren’t fast enough or fit enough. Last year, a total of 350 dogs were pulled from the race, likely due to exhaustion, illness, or injury. One of them, named Blonde, died from aspiration pneumonia—most likely the result of choking to death on his own vomit—which is the leading cause of death for dogs who die running the Iditarod. When not being used in the race, dogs are chained to plastic barrels or wooden boxes outdoors in the ice and snow.

“It is heartbreaking that these dogs will never know the comforts of a warm, inviting home and a loving family and are forced to run almost 100 miles a day in subzero temperatures while their paws blister and crack. Sports should not cause the suffering and abuse of others, especially those who cannot speak for themselves,” writes Kinnaman. “For the love of dogs, please do what you can to end this event by pulling your sponsorship.”

Coca-Cola recently ended its Iditarod sponsorship, adding its name to a long list of companies—including Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Costco, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, and Wells Fargo—that have cut ties with the race.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and the group opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist view of the world. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Joel Kinnaman’s letter to FCA Group CEO Michael Manley follows.

Michael Manley, CEO

FCA Group

Dear Mr. Manley,

I understand that a Chrysler franchise in Anchorage, Alaska, is one of the sponsors of the Iditarod—an event that’s responsible for the suffering and deaths of countless dogs. I’m sure we can agree that “man’s best friend” deserves so much more than to be treated as a mere commodity, and that’s why I’m writing today to request that you join the growing list of companies—most recently, Coca-Cola—and brands that have cut ties with this cruel “sport” in recent months. The public, including myself, no longer supports companies or brands associated with cruelty to animals.

More than 150 dogs have died in the race, and those are just the reported numbers. These numbers do not include dogs who died immediately after the race or during training or the thousands who have been killed during the off-season because they weren’t fast or fit enough. And thousands more who are bred to participate are forced to live outside in every weather extreme, confined to factory farm–style pens or chained with only plastic “houses” or pathetic wooden structures for “shelter.” A total of 350 dogs were pulled out of the Iditarod race last year—likely because of exhaustion, illness, or injury. One of them, named Blonde, died from aspiration pneumonia—most likely the result of choking to death on his own vomit, which is the leading cause of death for dogs who die running the Iditarod. It is heartbreaking that these dogs will never know the comforts of a warm, inviting home and a loving family and are forced to run almost 100 miles a day in subzero temperatures while their paws blister and crack. Sports should not cause the suffering and abuse of others, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. Even if the dogs survive the race, they’re often killed because they’re deemed “surplus” when they’re of no more use to the industry.

Animal behaviorists have proved that the continual chaining of dogs—a practice that is pervasive throughout the sled dog kennels in Alaska—is both cruel and inhumane. Progressive countries such as my homeland, Sweden, have enacted strict anti-chaining regulations concerning dogs.

I’m urging your company to distance itself from this cold, cruel sport. For the love of dogs, please do what you can to end this event by pulling your sponsorship.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Joel Kinnaman

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