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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 6 May 2005 Issue

Four dogs died in the 2005 Iditarod and countless others became sick and were injured

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition

Rachael Scdoris, the legally blind woman who raced in the 2005 Iditarod, will be grand marshal of the Starlight Parade presented by Southwest Airlines, according to an announcement made by the Portland Rose Festival. People who participate in Iditarod brutalities don't deserve honors.

Four dogs died in the 2005 Iditarod and countless others became sick and were injured. Scdoris' own dogs caught a virus with accompanying diarrhea and refused to eat.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the race do not make it across the finish line. According to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do cross, 81 percent have lung damage. A report published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Ask the Portland Rose Festival and Southwest Airlines to pick another parade marshal.

EMAIL: info@rosefestival.org, editors@spiritmag.com, kim.wren@wnco.com, dan.mckee@wnco.com

SAMPLE LETTER TO PERSONALIZE:

Dear Mr. Buttice, Ms. Bladow and Mr. Kelly:

I understand the Starlight Parade presented by Southwest Airlines will feature Rachael Scdoris, the legally blind woman who participated in the Iditarod. By selecting Scdoris, you are supporting and promoting this horrific race and the many evils associated with it. Please find another grand marshal for the Starlight Parade.

In the Iditarod, dogs are forced to run 1,150 miles, which is the approximate distance between Portland and Bismarck, ND, over a grueling terrain in 8 to 15 days. USA Today sports columnist Jon Saraceno called the Iditarod "a travesty of grueling proportions" and "Ihurtadog." Fox sportscaster Jim Rome called it "I-killed-a-dog." Orlando Sentinel sports columnist George Diaz said the race is "an illegal sweatshop for dogs." USA Today business columnist Bruce Horovitz said the race is a "public-relations minefield."

Please visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website http://www.helpsleddogs.org and be sure to read the quotes on http://www.helpsleddogs.org/remarks.htm . All the material on the site is true and verifiable.

At least 126 dogs have died in the Iditarod, including four who died in 2005 race. There is no official count of dog deaths available for the race's early years. Here's a short list of what happens to the dogs during the race: death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, broken bones, pneumonia, ruptured discs, hypothermia, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads and lung damage. Scdoris' own dogs caught a virus with accompanying diarrhea and refused to eat.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the race do not make it across the finish line. According to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do cross, 81 percent have lung damage. A report published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Tom Classen, retired Air Force colonel and Alaskan resident for over 40 years, tells us that the dogs are beaten into submission:

"They've had the hell beaten out of them." "You don't just whisper into their ears, 'OK, stand there until I tell you to run like the devil.' They understand one thing: a beating. These dogs are beaten into submission the same way elephants are trained for a circus. The mushers will deny it. And you know what? They are all lying." -USA Today, March 3, 2000 in Jon Saraceno's column

Mushers believe in "culling" or killing unwanted dogs, including puppies. Many dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason, including those who have outlived their usefulness are killed with a shot to the head, dragged or clubbed to death. "Dogs are clubbed with baseball bats and if they don't pull are dragged to death in harnesses....." wrote Alaskan Mike Cranford in an article for Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper (March, 2000).

Jon Saraceno wrote in his March 3, 2000 column in USA Today, "He [Colonel

Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death."

Please stop supporting and promoting this barbaric race. Please do not honor Scdoris by having her as your grand marshal.

Sincerely,

EMAIL ALL IDITAROD SUPPORTERS: http://www.helpsleddogs.org/sponsors.htm 

From the Sled Dog Action Coalition

Return to Animals in Print 6 May 2005 Issue

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Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane Ljbeane1@aol.com

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