For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Anchorage, Alaska – Because ExxonMobil, an Iditarod sponsor since 1978, continues to pump money—to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars a year—into the race even as other sponsors have pulled out, PETA has plastered People Mover buses downtown with ads showing a dog named Snickers chained up on Iditarod champion John Baker’s property.
The image was captured during PETA’s undercover investigation into champion Iditarod mushers’ “kennels.” Snickers had suffered from painful arthritis for years—including when she led Baker’s team to victory in 2011—but was kept chained up 24/7 by the frozen sea, where she limped and cried out constantly.
“Exxon now has the shameful distinction of being one of the Iditarod’s last major sponsors,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging it to stop supporting an evil industry in which dogs are chained up like old bicycles when they’re not being forced to run so far and so fast that their bodies break down or they die after inhaling their own vomit.”
More than 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod since it began—and that doesn’t include those who died during the off-season or who were killed because they weren’t fast or fit enough to make the grade. During the 2020 race alone, more than 220 dogs were pulled off the trail because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes. One, Cool Cat, developed twisted intestines and almost died from painful bloat. Another, Betty, had pneumonia and was in critical condition, and two others refused to eat and had fevers, diarrhea, and persistent coughs.
Following PETA campaigns, Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and several other major companies cut ties with the Iditarod, as did Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Center, Alaska Airlines, and Baird Private Wealth Management just this year.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.