Video: Dog Rescued From Iditarod Champion’s Chains Learns How to Live

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

For over a year, Maggie the husky mix was chained out in the frozen snow alongside dozens of other dogs at Team Baker Kennel, a dog-mushing operation whose teams have competed in the Iditarod. She had almost no protection from wind chills that reached minus 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and her only source of water was frequently a foul “stew” of meat that was often rotten or moldy. But as a new PETA video released today shows, all that changed when the PETA eyewitness who worked .

The man took Maggie on a cross-country journey from Alaska to PETA’s headquarters in Virginia, and along the way, the pup got to experience everything that she’d missed out on for years, including eating nutritious food and treats, being brushed and bathed, playing with toys, and much more. A veterinarian found that Maggie was underweight, that the skin on her neck was inflamed, and that she was unable to bark—likely because her chain had been so short that she had been constantly pulling on it—but with love and care, she started to recover.

Soon, PETA was able to find her a real, permanent, and loving home. “What we would like for her to look forward to, and I think she probably is, is a long, long life of love and happiness and somebody to care for her and look after her,” said adoptive guardian Frances. “Somebody who is always going to be there, no matter what.”

While Maggie will never again have to live chained outdoors, hundreds of other dogs used by the mushers aren’t as lucky. PETA’s exposé has revealed that dogs at Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey’s operation sustain worn-down, raw, and bloody paw pads from frantically running in tight circles at the end of their short metal chains. And some dogs there and at Team Baker Kennel—including one who’d incurred a crippling spinal cord injury that left her dragging her back legs across the ice—were found to be denied veterinary care.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. More information about PETA’s Iditarod exposé is available here. For more information about problems with the Iditarod—during which more than 150 dogs have reportedly died since the race began, not including the ones who died during training or while chained outside during the off-season—see the documentary Sled Dogs.

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