PETA Slams Liberty Media’s Sponsorship of Deadly Dog Race With Local TV Spot

For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Englewood, Colo. – In an escalation of PETA’s campaign to compel locally based Liberty Media Corporation to end its support of the Iditarod, a grueling 1,000-mile dog-sled race in Alaska in which more than 150 dogs have died, the group is hitting local airwaves with a television spot featuring Diane Warren’s Oscar-nominated song “I’m Standing With You.” The video juxtaposes PETA undercover investigation footage of dogs chained up in the bitter cold at Iditarod mushers’ dog-sledding operations with footage of PETA supporters rallying in the dogs’ behalf.

“Liberty Media is still standing with the Iditarod even though it forces dogs to run until their paws bleed and their bodies give out, and some even die after inhaling their own vomit,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Liberty Media to stand on the right side of history and stop propping up this despicably cruel dog race.”

Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run about four marathons a day for up to two weeks through snow, ice, and wind. During this year’s race, approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging exhausted dogs toward a checkpoint. Aspiration pneumonia, which is caused by inhaling their own vomit, is the number one cause of death for dogs in the race.

Alaska Airlines, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, ExxonMobil, and many other companies cut ties with the Iditarod after learning from PETA how dogs suffer and die because of the race, but Liberty subsidiary GCI, an internet service provider, is still sponsoring the notorious event to the tune of more than $250,000 every year.

Warren, a Grammy-, Emmy-, and Golden Globe–winning songwriter, received an Honorary Academy Award this year as well as her 14th Academy Award nomination, for “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman.

The video will run more than a dozen times through the end of the month during evening and nightly news programs on KCNC-TV.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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