New TV Spot Blasts ‘Arctic Nightmare’ of the Iditarod

PETA Runs Ad in Advance of Deadly Dogsled Race

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Bangor, Maine – A new video spot featuring footage from a first-of-its-kind PETA investigation of two former Iditarod champion mushers’ kennels will run dozens of time this week on ABC in Bangor.

The video reveals that dogs used in the Iditarod are forced to run about 1,000 miles through biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. More than half of those who start the race don’t finish because they’re too ill, injured, or exhausted to go on—and more than 150 have died as a result of the race, not including the countless others who have died during the off-season while chained up or who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough.

“When they’re not being run to injury, exhaustion, and death on the Iditarod trail, dogs are tied up in the snow with nothing to do but run in tight circles until their paws bleed,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on kind people to refuse to support the Iditarod or any other operation that pushes dogs’ bodies until they break.”

The ad’s footage comes from PETA’s exposé of Iditarod champion mushers’ operations, which found that dogs were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the bitter cold and biting wind, and forced to run even when they were exhausted and dehydrated. Many dogs used in the Iditarod pull muscles, incur stress fractures, sustain bloody stomach ulcers, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or aspiration pneumonia—which results from inhaling their own vomit—a condition that killed a dog named Oshi in the 2019 race and is the most common cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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