For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
White Mountain, Alaska – Following complaints from concerned viewers of the Iditarod this week, PETA is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for video footage of winner Ryan Redington reportedly dragging visibly exhausted dogs into and out of a race checkpoint. PETA’s reward is in addition to the $1,100 offered by concerned citizens and dog welfare advocate Humane Mushing.
Viewers of the Iditarod’s livestream reported to PETA that they had seen Redington physically pulling dogs to the White Mountain checkpoint as the seemingly worn-out team leader repeatedly tried to lie down. Redington had removed six dogs from the race at previous checkpoints—presumably because they were too exhausted, ill, or injured to continue—and he left two more behind at White Mountain. After only the minimum required rest, Redington left the checkpoint, reportedly dragging five dogs and putting the sixth—who refused to move—in the sled basket. Iditarod rules require at least five dogs to be attached to a musher’s sled at the race’s finish.
“Ryan Redington seems to have pushed every dog on his team to the breaking point in his bid to win the Iditarod,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If you recorded the Iditarod’s livestream and have footage of this man physically forcing exhausted dogs to drag him to victory, then PETA wants to hear from you.”
Up to half of the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it, and approximately 165 dogs have been pulled off this year’s trail so far. The leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod is aspiration pneumonia—caused by inhaling their own vomit—and the race’s official death toll doesn’t include countless others who were killed because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained up in the bitter cold, a practice exposed in a PETA undercover investigation.
Cue Health and Greenbrook TMS recently dropped their Iditarod sponsorships after hearing from PETA and over 40,000 of the group’s supporters. Musher enrollment this year reached an all-time low, while the Iron Dog snowmobile race and the Iditarod Trail Invitational ultramarathon have grown in popularity.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.