Colorado-Based Company Must Cut Ties With Race in Which More Than 150 Dogs Have Died
For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Englewood, Colo. – The 2022 Iditarod dog-sled race has ended in a debacle over officials’ shameful decision to demote and impose fines on mushers who took dogs inside during a potentially fatal storm, and PETA fired off a letter this morning to Gregory B. Maffei, president and CEO of locally based Liberty Media, calling on him to insist that Liberty’s subsidiary GCI—an Alaskan internet service provider—stop sponsoring the deadly race.
“No reputable company would want to be associated with an event that actually punishes people for taking action to prevent dogs from freezing to death,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Liberty Media to stop propping up this deeply disturbing, cruel race.”
PETA notes that this year’s Iditarod was saturated with chaos and cruelty. Two dogs went missing—one of whom has still not been found and the Iditarod is failing to help search for—a musher was apparently forced out of the race after dogs he used were found in poor condition, and dogs were attacked and one was killed during training before the race even began. Nearly 250 dogs were pulled from the trail due to exhaustion, illness, or injury, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder to pull the mushers.
Just this year, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Nutanix joined ExxonMobil—a former major sponsor that had paid the race $250,000 a year—as well as Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and 14 other companies that have cut ties with the Iditarod.
PETA’s campaign to push Liberty Media to do the same includes enlisting a pack of its supporters to wear husky masks and howl outside the company’s headquarters on Liberty Boulevard, purchasing stock in order to exert pressure at Liberty’s annual meetings, and sending Maffei 150 “bloody” dog collars—representing each of the dogs run to death in the race’s history.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.