For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2022
David Perle 202-483-7382
Wasilla, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in response to the Iditarod Trail Committee’s announcement today that, following appeals, the mushers who sheltered their dogs from a dangerous and potentially fatal windstorm during this year’s Iditarod will be fined $1,000 each:
This decision yet again exposes the Iditarod for the callous anti-dog spectacle it is. PETA will cover the mushers’ fines, as long as they pledge never again to put dogs in that position by forcing them to race. We urge the public not to be fooled by the Iditarod’s defense of its abusive rule, punishing people for saving dogs from dying in a storm by bringing them inside.
The 2022 Iditarod was rife with chaos and cruelty, just like all the previous races. Nearly 250 dogs were pulled from the event, two dogs went missing—one still has not been found and is presumed dead—a musher was forced out of the race after dogs he used were found in poor condition, and dogs were attacked and one was killed during training before the race even began. All this comes after dogs are left outside on chains between races, often in subzero temperatures with barely any shelter.
Sponsors are fleeing the race: This year, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Nutanix joined ExxonMobil—a former major sponsor that had given the race $250,000 a year—as well as Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and 14 other companies that have cut ties with the Iditarod after hearing from PETA. Liberty Media subsidiary GCI remains, along with a few local Alaskan businesses—and PETA has purchased stock in Liberty Broadband to push it to drop its sponsorship.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.