PETA Statement: Missing Dog Found After Escape From Deadly Iditarod

For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Anchorage, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in response to news that Leon, the dog who was used by rookie musher Sébastien Dos Santos Borges and who went missing during this year’s Iditarod, has been found:

It’s a miracle that Leon was found alive after escaping from an Iditarod checkpoint nearly three months ago—a wise move, given the abuse these dogs endure. While Leon survived, more than 150 dogs have died in this cruel and perilous race, and hundreds are pulled from it every year because their bodies can’t take the strain anymore—so PETA is calling for an end to the Iditarod and urging Dos Santos Borges not to endanger Leon or any other dogs by forcing them onto icy trails again.

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 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