Ask Iditarod Sponsors to Stop Funding Cruel Dogsled Race

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Originally Posted: 5 March 2010

Ask Iditarod Sponsors to Stop Funding Cruel Dogsled Race

[Ed. Note: For more actions to take, see End the Brutal Iditarod.]

FROM People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

With the Iditarod upon us, we need you to urge sponsors to end their support of this cruel event. Let them know that suffering and death is not a marketing opportunity.


Sign an online petition


The Iditarod is Alaska's annual dogsled race, which is marked by cruelty, injuries, and death. Every year in the 1,150-plus-mile race, dogs die of hypothermia, gastric ulcers, and "sled dog myopathy"—literally being run to death.

Dogs are forced to run for hours at a time, and rest is a limited luxury. They are subjected to subzero temperatures, biting winds, and blinding snowstorms, and they sometimes fall through the ice into frigid water. Their feet become bruised and bloodied, and they are cut by ice and the frozen ground. Along the seemingly endless stretch, dogs pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or become sick with diarrhea, dehydration, or intestinal viruses.

The death toll for 2009 began on just the second day of this barbaric race. Victor, a 6-year-old dog, died under musher Jeff Holt's care early Sunday morning. The cause of death is undetermined. A first-time Iditarod driver crashed two sleds before the first 200 miles, and one of her dogs went missing after the first accident. In 2008, Zaster, a 7-year-old male, died of pneumonia on March 8, and the next day, a 3-year-old female named Lorne was killed when a snowmachiner ran into a dog team on the Yukon River. In addition, two dogs were abandoned by their musher when they left the team and she was unable to locate them. In 2007, at least three dogs perished, one dog went missing for 11 days, and a musher was disqualified from the race for reportedly kicking his dogs and beating them with ski poles. Four dogs died in 2006, and at least three dogs died in 2005. More than one-third of the dogs who start the Iditarod never finish.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!