Save Iditarod Dogs From Brutality:
CONTACT Sponsors and Supporters

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Status: Current
Originally Posted: 28 January 2008

Save Iditarod Dogs From Brutality:
CONTACT Sponsors and Supporters

From Kinship Circle

QUESTIONS? CONTACT: Sled Dog Action Coalition

By contacting the sponsors and supporters and asking them to withdraw their support, eventually we will end this barbaric form of "entertainment."

The Iditarod is a dog sled race held every March in Alaska. In this race, mushers (dog sled drivers) force their dogs to run 1,150 miles from Anchorage to Nome in 8 to 16 days over a grueling terrain. This is the approximate distance between Los Angeles and Seattle, New York City and Miami, Chicago and Houston. Mushers press their dogs to run at ever increasing speeds, so that the dogs get little rest or sleep.

The current speed record is 8 days, 22 hours and 46 minutes, less than half the time it took to run the first Iditarod race. No dog wants to run so far and so fast.

Imagine the cruelties these sled dog pups will experience in the Iditarod: death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. Please help end the barbaric treatment of dogs by sending protest emails to organizations that support the Iditarod.

To receive a formatted letter (word doc), email Kinship Circle to copy/paste into an email or print letter to fax or mail.



Copy/paste a group of emails into the To: or Bcc: line of your email.

Then copy-paste sample letter into your emailís body.

Personalize your letter, sign with your name, address, county.

Hit send.

Repeat these steps for each group of emails.

GROUP #1 EMAIL ADDRESSES:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

GROUP #2 EMAIL ADDRESSES:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

GROUP #3 EMAIL ADDRESSES:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

GROUP #4 EMAIL ADDRESSES:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Kinship Circle cannot guarantee validity of email addresses. During campaigns, recipients may change or disable their email addresses. Emails from government, corporate, or institute websites may be incorrect.

SAMPLE LETTER. This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue. WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER using these talking points.

Dear Iditarod Supporter:

Please end your organization's support of the Iditarod dog sled race. For the dogs, this event may include death, paralysis, frostbite, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 136 dogs have died in the race. No one knows how many dogs die after this tortuous ordeal or during training. For more facts about the Iditarod, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, <>

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 finish, 81 percent  have lung damage. A report published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said that 61 percent of the dogs who complete the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Iditarod dog kennels are puppy mills. Mushers breed large numbers of dogs and routinely kill unwanted ones, including puppies. Many dogs permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or unwanted for any reason, (including those who have outlived their usefulness) are killed with a shot to the head, dragged, drowned or clubbed to death. "Dogs are clubbed with baseball bats and if they don't pull are dragged to death in harnesses..." wrote former Iditarod  dog handler Mike Cranford in an article for Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper.

Dog beatings and whippings are common. During the 2007 Iditarod, eyewitnesses reported that musher Ramy Brooks kicked, punched and beat his dogs with a ski pole and a chain. Jim Welch says in his book Speed Mushing Manual, "A training device such as a whip is not cruel at all but is effective.. It is a common training device in use among dog mushers..."

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."

During the race, dogs do not undergo veterinary exams at each checkpoint. Mushers speed through many checkpoints, so the dogs get the briefest visual checks, if that. Rather than pull sick dogs from the race, veterinarians often administer massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running.

Most Iditarod dogs live at the end of a chain between events. It has been reported that dogs who don't make the main team are never taken off-chain. Chained dogs have been attacked by wolves, bears and other animals. Old and arthritic dogs suffer terrible pain in the blistering cold.

Please end your organization's association with this horrific race.

FOR FULL CONTACT INFORMATION FOR IDITAROD SPONSORS AND  SUPPORTERS including mailing addresses, names and phone and fax numbers,, go to HelpSled Dogs.

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*DISCLAIMER: The information in these alerts is verified with the original source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the information or for the consequences of its use. Nothing in this email is intended to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment or unlawful activity. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

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