PETA Runs #EndTheIditarod Ad As Deadly Dogsled Race Begins
For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Anchorage, Alaska – On the heels of Alaska Airlines’ confirmation that it is ending its more than 40 years of support for the Iditarod, a new video spot juxtaposing clips of happy canine companions with footage from a first-of-its-kind PETA undercover investigation of two former Iditarod champion mushers’ dogsledding operations will run dozens of times on KTUU (NBC) over the next two weeks.
The video shows the cruelty of the race from the dogs’ perspective, with statements like “I love to run, but I want to stop when I’m tired” and “I love to go outside, but I want to go back inside later.” As the footage from PETA’s exposé reveals, dogs at Iditarod champion mushers’ facilities 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.
“When they’re not being run to injury, exhaustion, and death on the Iditarod trail, dogs—just like those who live in our homes with us—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. “All dogs deserve love, not misery and isolation, and PETA is calling on kind people to refuse to support the Iditarod.”
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. 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 often 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. More than 150 have died as a result of the race, not including countless others who have died during the off-season while chained up or who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough.
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.