For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
New York – The Seward Park statue of Togo—the dog who ran more than 260 miles to deliver a lifesaving serum to children in Alaska—is now dishing up some truth in advertising, courtesy of a PETA plaque that reads, “The Iditarod Does a Disservice to Togo’s Heroic Act.”
The sign—the latest move in PETA’s campaign against the deadly 1,000-mile Alaskan dogsled race—notes that more than 150 dogs have died as a result of the Iditarod, a number that doesn’t even include the countless ones who’ve been killed for not being fast enough or who’ve died during the off-season while chained outside in the cold.
“Togo had a lifesaving mission, while dogs used in the Iditarod are forced to race vast distances in subzero temperatures, all because humans want to win a trophy and a cash prize,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s plaque will ensure that New Yorkers know that the Iditarod is nothing to celebrate and must be stopped.”
A first-of-its-kind PETA exposé of Iditarod champion mushers’ operations found that dogs were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the bitter cold and biting wind, and forced to run even when they were exhausted and dehydrated. Many dogs pull muscles, incur stress fractures, develop bloody stomach ulcers, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or aspiration pneumonia (which results from inhaling their own vomit)—a condition that likely killed a dog named Oshi in the 2019 race and the most common cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.
PETA’s plaque sits below another one recently posted by Disney+ to promote its new original movie Togo. PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and we oppose speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.
More information about our campaign against the Iditarod is available here.