PETA Statement: Vomiting, Frostbitten Dogs Forced to Continue the Iditarod

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Nikolai, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien in response to musher Nicolas Petit’s reported decision to force all the dogs he uses to continue running in the Iditarod:

Despite initial reports that Nicolas Petit would scratch from the Iditarod—or, at least, drop two dogs—because the dogs he was using had become ill, it now seems clear that he is forcing them all to continue. Three dogs had frostbite, one dog’s face almost needed stitches, and every dog on Petit’s team was vomiting. Everyone should be asking the Iditarod why these dogs are still being forced to run.

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 Petit also faced similar issues last year when two dogs on his team got into a fight and the rest of his team refused to continue running. Vomiting dogs are also cause for concern, as aspiration pneumonia, which results from inhaling their own vomit, is the leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.

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