PETA Statement: Dog Nearly Dies, Musher Shrugs and Keeps Going

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien in response to musher Matthew Failor’s decision to remain in the Iditarod after one of the dogs he uses, Cool Cat, nearly died of painful bloat:

When Matthew Failor forced this senior dog to run hard, she developed twisted intestines and almost died, her stomach painfully distended. Instead of staying with her while she recovered, he kept right on racing for the cash prize in an event that risks—and often takes—dogs’ lives. This incident illustrates why PETA is campaigning to end this deadly race: No prize purse is worth a dog’s life.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that Failor appears to keep the dogs at his facility chained to boxes, a practice previously revealed in PETA’s exposé of former Iditarod champion mushers’ facilities.

More information about the campaign against the Iditarod is available on PETA’s website.

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