Action Comes After PETA Exposé Revealed Extreme Suffering on High-Profile Mushers' Properties
For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
New York – “More than 150 dogs have died since the Iditarod began!” That’s what a protester proclaimed as she and other PETA supporters marched into a talk by an Iditarod-affiliated teacher on Sunday at The AKC Museum of the Dog. Protesters encouraged the audience to watch the documentary Sled Dogs, told them about the leading cause of death on the trail of the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska—aspiration pneumonia, which dogs develop after inhaling their own vomit—and urged the teacher to “teach compassion, not cruelty.” Video footage is available here.
“When dogs used in the Iditarod aren’t being forced to run until they choke on their own vomit, they’re chained around the clock, only able to run in circles and howl,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges all kind people to look behind the Iditarod’s facade and see the suffering and deaths of dogs who don’t want to be forced to pull a sled up to 1,000 miles in the freezing cold for prize money.”
The Iditarod’s official death toll of 150 dogs doesn’t include the scores of those who were killed for not being fast enough or those who died while being tied up during the off-season. PETA’s first-ever video exposé of several high-profile mushers’ properties revealed that the dogs’ only protection—even when the wind chill dropped to 19 degrees below zero—were dilapidated, open-faced boxes or plastic barrels to which they were chained in the ice and snow. Many had worn-down, raw, and bloody paw pads from frantically running in tight circles at the end of their short chains, and dogs were denied veterinary care for open wounds and crippling injuries.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.