PETA Says Exxon Must Stop Fueling Iditarod Cruelty

International Campaign Says It's Bad Business for Oil Giant to Sponsor Deadly Dogsled Race

For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Irving, Texas – As reported by digital trade magazine Offshore Technology today, PETA and its overseas affiliates, with 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, have launched an international campaign calling on ExxonMobil to stop pumping money into the cruel Iditarod race in which at least 150 dogs have died.

Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and other companies cut ties with the race after PETA pointed out the death toll, the injuries incurred, and the hideous living conditions endured by the dogs between races. Dogs used in the Iditarod are forced to pull heavy sleds across 1,000 miles of grueling Alaskan terrain through blinding blizzards and subzero temperatures, some suffering from and dying of aspiration pneumonia, succumbing to exhaustion, and even plummeting into gorges.

“PETA wants ExxonMobil to hit the brakes on its Iditarod sponsorship and is urging consumers to step on the gas, rather than pulling into an Exxon station,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “No reputable company can prop up a race that forces dogs to run so far and so fast that they often die after inhaling their own vomit.”

During the 2020 Iditarod 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. The misery doesn’t stop in the off-season: PETA has released a video exposé revealing extreme suffering on several high-profile mushers’ properties.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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