Update: PETA Members Arrested Chaining Themselves Up at Liberty Media HQ to Protest Sponsorship of Dog Death Race

For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2023

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Englewood, Colo. – Four PETA supporters—including a local mom and a college student—were arrested and have been criminally charged with vandalism and trespassing after two of them cemented their feet into concrete blocks and chained themselves up outside Liberty Media’s headquarters in Englewood this morning to protest the company’s support of the Iditarod dog-sled race, in which more than 150 dogs have died. Photos and video footage are available here.

liberty media protest - members arrested

As Liberty employees watched, police used bolt cutters to cut two protesters—36-year-old local mother Chandra Fuller and 19-year-old San Diego State University student Mason Melito—out of the chains that were padlocked around their necks (similar to how dogs used in the Iditarod are kept chained when they’re not being forced to run). Authorities drilled the protesters out of the concrete and tore down a PETA banner calling on Liberty to cut ties with the Iditarod—but when the protest was over, the protesters’ message that Liberty “Funds Dog Deaths” scrawled in “blood” remained. The two other people arrested were bystanders filming the protest.

More details about today’s protest appear below.

Breaking: PETA Protesters Chained Up at Liberty Media HQ to Blast Ties to Deadly Dog-Sled Race

Englewood, Colo. — To protest Liberty Media’s support of the Iditarod dog-sled race, in which over 150 dogs have died, two PETA supporters have scrawled that Liberty “Funds Dog Deaths” in fake blood on the Englewood-based company’s headquarters sign and are chained by the neck to concrete posts in the snow—just as dogs used in the deadly race are kept chained when they’re not being forced to run. Photos and video from the “chaining” are available here.

PETA notes that Alaska Airlines, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, ExxonMobil, and others stopped supporting the Iditarod after learning from PETA how dogs suffer and die because of the race, but Liberty subsidiary GCI, an internet service provider, has been sponsoring the notorious event to the tune of more than $250,000 every year.

“Liberty is financing a race in which dogs are forced to run across 1,000 miles of snow and ice until their paws become bloody and their bodies give out,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA won’t let up the pressure on Liberty until it joins the many companies that have dropped their sponsorship of this despicably cruel race.”

Up to half the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it. During this year’s race—which had the smallest field of mushers in the event’s history—approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging exhausted dogs toward a checkpoint.

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 simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained next to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed in a PETA undercover investigation.

Liberty Media’s headquarters—the site of PETA’s “chaining”—is located at 12300 Liberty Blvd., Englewood.

PETA—which owns stock in Liberty and whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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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