New Billboards Blast Coca-Cola for Iditarod Sponsorship

PETA Calls On Company to Stop Supporting Deadly Race

For Immediate Release:
December 14, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Atlanta – Because Coca-Cola plans to sponsor the 2018 Iditarod despite the race’s recent doping scandal and a veteran musher’s revelation that trainers in the industry have killed “hundreds on top of hundreds” of dogs who didn’t make the cut, PETA plans to place two billboards near the company’s Atlanta headquarters calling on it to end its sponsorship of the race.

One billboard proclaims, “Coca-Cola Has Blood on Its Cans,” and the other shows a blood-soaked husky crushed beneath a Coke can next to the words “Coca-Cola Crushes Dogs’ Spirits.”

“No company should want to associate itself with a race that forces dogs to run until their paws are bloody, their muscles are torn, they suffer from lung damage, or they drop dead on the trail,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Coca-Cola to heed the reports of dog doping, cruel kennels, and callous killing and cut ties with the deadly race.”

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”) points out that more than 150 dogs have died since the Iditarod began, and those are just the reported numbers—they don’t include dogs who died immediately after the race or during training or while chained to plastic barrels outside. In the 2017 race alone, five dogs died in less than one week. Recently, a whistleblower released disturbing photographs and video footage of reportedly dying puppies and injured, sick dogs at a kennel owned by “Iditarod royalty” Dallas Seavey, the four-time Iditarod champion at the center of the recent dog-doping scandal.

Wells Fargo recently ended its Iditarod sponsorship, and many other major brands—including Costco, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, and Safeway—cut ties with the race years ago.

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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