VIDEO: Iditarod Death Toll Rises as Dog Collapses and Dies During Race

For Immediate Release:
March 10, 2024

Sara Groves; 202-483-7382

Anchorage, AK

Anchorage, Alaska — Today, a 2-year-old dog named Bog, who was forced to race in the Iditarod by musher Isaac Teaford, collapsed near the Nulato checkpoint and died. Three of Teaford’s other dogs had already been pulled from the race due to exhaustion, illness, or injury. Video footage, available here, shows Bog lying motionless on the icy ground and Teaford trying to make him stand before lifting his limp body. PETA is calling for Teaford to be removed from the race.

Teaford is reportedly racing dogs belonging to notorious musher Dallas Seavey, whose long list of controversies includes spending eight hours en route to the next checkpoint instead of turning back to get immediate care after a dog named Faloo was critically injured by a moose last week and a November incident in which two of his dogs were killed by a snow machine during training. Dogs Seavey has forced to race have tested positive for opioids, and his kennel has been accused of killing dogs who didn’t make the grade.

“The death count keeps climbing for dogs who are forced to run until their bodies break down, all so the human winner can get a trophy while the dogs get an icy grave,” says PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is calling for this despicable race to end before more dogs like Bog pay with their lives.”

Up to half the dogs who start the Iditarod don’t finish it. During last 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, forcing the remaining dogs to run under an even greater strain. 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.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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