Millennium Faces Backlash After Hundreds of Dogs Crash Out of Iditarod

PETA Puts Pressure on Hotel Chain to Drop Support for Race That Leaves Dogs Exhausted, Ill, Injured, or Dead

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Boulder, Colo. – Hundreds of dogs were pulled from the Iditarod dogsled race this year alone—because of exhaustion, illness, or injury—and PETA is calling on Boulder-based Millennium Hotels and Resorts, whose Lakefront Anchorage hotel in Alaska sponsors the event, to follow the lead of The Coca-Cola Company and cut ties with the miserably cruel race.

“This hideous race is a grueling test—not of human endurance but of a dog’s ability to survive extreme cruelty,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Millennium Hotels and Resorts to help prevent any more dogs from suffering for this race by ending its support of the Iditarod immediately.”

PETA notes that more than 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod, and those are just the reported deaths. That number doesn’t include those who died immediately after a race or during training or the thousands who’ve been killed during the off-season because they weren’t fast or fit enough. Last year, a total of 350 dogs were pulled from the race. One of them, named Blonde, died from aspiration pneumonia—meaning that he most likely choked to death on his own vomit—which is the leading cause of death for dogs who don’t survive the Iditarod. When not being forced to race, the dogs are chained to plastic barrels or wooden boxes outdoors on ice and snow in the freezing cold.

A long list of companies—including Costco, Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Panasonic, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, State Farm, and Wells Fargo—have all stopped supporting the Iditarod.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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