Skip navigation

no spam, unsubscribe anytime.
Skip navigation
Goal: 35,000 Progress: 21,393
Sponsored by: The Animal Rescue Site

The graceful beauty and power of a husky barreling through snow shouldn't invoke feelings of suffering and torture. But every year since 1973, during Alaska's 1,000-mile Iditarod race in early March, hundreds are forced into a state-sanctioned nightmare.

The Iditarod has long been controversial for its treatment of sled dogs. They're whipped and driven to run more than 100 miles a day in sub-zero temperatures. And while the power to keep those dogs safe lies with the State of Alaska, exemptions are actually in place precluding the dogs from protection under animal cruelty laws.

Hardly an Iditarod has been held in which a dog did not die.

In almost all of the Iditarod races, at least one dog death has occurred. According to the Sled Dog Action Commission, at least 147 dogs have died in the history of the race, with 15 to 19 falling dead from overwork in the very first, 43 years ago. At least 107 dogs were dead after the 1997 race, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News at the time. In 2009, five dogs died, leaving local veterinarians and animal rights workers helpless to do anything but watch.

"Last year, three dogs died. That is near the average for the Iditarod, and the causes of two of the 2008 deaths were quickly obvious," the Alaska Dispatch News reported the gruesome state of the race in 2009. "One dog was struck and killed by a snowmachine. The other had at some point during the race spit up intestinal fluids and then inhaled them. It was dropped at a checkpoint along the trail and flown back to Anchorage only to die here of what is called 'aspiration induced pneumonia.'"

The dogs that aren't killed by machines are killed by the effects of hyperexhaustion as they burn over 12,000 calories a day, for 9 straight days or longer. Their bodies are later tossed into the dump.

“That first race (1973), from Anchorage to McGrath, all you could see along the trail was dog blood and dead dogs," McGrath, AK resident Ted Almasy told the Wasilla Frontiersman 1986. "That's when I got into it with them. After each Iditarod, we used to see dead dogs at the dump. You’d see them poor dogs, blood coming out of both ends.'”

This is not how these dogs deserve to live.

Sign below and tell the Governor of Alaska to remove the clause exempting competition sled dogs from its animal cruelty laws.

Sign Here






To the Governor of Alaska,

There is overwhelming support by the people of your state and of the rest of the country, to end the needless deaths carried out every year at the hands of the Iditarod Race. The same animal cruelty protections afforded to the animals in our homes should be extended to the sled dogs of this race. There is simply no excuse not to.

The graceful beauty and power of a husky barreling through snow shouldn't invoke feelings of suffering and torture. But every year since 1973, during Alaska's 1,000-mile Iditarod race in early March, hundreds are forced into a state-sanctioned nightmare.

The Iditarod has long been controversial for its treatment of sled dogs. They're whipped and driven to run more than 100 miles a day in sub-zero temperatures. And while the power to keep those dogs safe lies with the State of Alaska, exemptions are actually in place precluding the dogs from protection under animal cruelty laws.

Hardly an Iditarod has been held in which a dog did not die.

In almost all of the Iditarod races, at least one dog death has occurred. According to the Sled Dog Action Commission, at least 147 dogs have died in the history of the race, with 15 to 19 falling dead from overwork in the very first, 43 years ago. At least 107 dogs were dead after the 1997 race, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News at the time. In 2009, five dogs died, leaving local veterinarians and animal rights workers helpless to do anything but watch.

"Last year, three dogs died. That is near the average for the Iditarod, and the causes of two of the 2008 deaths were quickly obvious," the Alaska Dispatch News reported the gruesome state of the race in 2009. "One dog was struck and killed by a snowmachine. The other had at some point during the race spit up intestinal fluids and then inhaled them. It was dropped at a checkpoint along the trail and flown back to Anchorage only to die here of what is called 'aspiration induced pneumonia.'"

The dogs that aren't killed by machines are killed by the effects of hyperexhaustion as they burn over 12,000 calories a day, for 9 straight days or longer. Their bodies are later tossed into the dump.

“That first race (1973), from Anchorage to McGrath, all you could see along the trail was dog blood and dead dogs," McGrath, AK resident Ted Almasy told the Wasilla Frontiersman 1986. "That’s when I got into it with them. After each Iditarod, we used to see dead dogs at the dump. You’d see them poor dogs, blood coming out of both ends.'”

Governor, this is not how these dogs deserve to live, and I demand that the State of Alaska remove the clause exempting competition sled dogs from its animal cruelty laws.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


Feb 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 19, 2018 Heather Soltesz
Feb 19, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 18, 2018 Wanda Anthony
Feb 18, 2018 Velina Ussery I wish people that say that is why animals have thick fur should stay in the say temperatures with the most warn coat they could fine and see if they didn't feel the cold anyway
Feb 18, 2018 Nicholas Chatfield
Feb 18, 2018 Judith Pelletier
Feb 18, 2018 FERNANDEZ SANCHEZ
Feb 18, 2018 Lynne Burnell
Feb 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 Bern Dra
Feb 17, 2018 Susan Shiffman
Feb 17, 2018 John Chambers
Feb 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 17, 2018 (Name not displayed) This horrific treatment of dogs has to stop!!!
Feb 16, 2018 ANA ALEMAN
Feb 15, 2018 Matías Fuertes
Feb 14, 2018 Anita Phaneuf
Feb 14, 2018 Rebecca Burnett
Feb 14, 2018 Margarida Valadao
Feb 14, 2018 SL Fleishman
Feb 14, 2018 Tara Schuneman
Feb 14, 2018 Jerri miller
Feb 14, 2018 maria lopez
Feb 14, 2018 Christine Covindassamy
Feb 13, 2018 Diane Montgomery The Iditarod allows beautiful, intelligent and graceful huskies to be whipped to run over 100 miles a day in sub-zero temperatures ... for entertainment and trophies for the human "winners." Alaska must give sled dogs protection under animal cruelty laws!
Feb 13, 2018 Alejandra Vega
Feb 13, 2018 Valerie Paterson
Feb 13, 2018 Joyce Doughty
Feb 13, 2018 Gina Lippa
Feb 13, 2018 Lynn Purdy
Feb 13, 2018 Samantha Honowitz
Feb 13, 2018 Karen Ball
Feb 13, 2018 Laura Turner
Feb 13, 2018 MariLynn Herman
Feb 13, 2018 Theresa Spurgiasz This race should be banned.
Feb 13, 2018 Rebecca Ross
Feb 13, 2018 ARTHUR WILSON
Feb 13, 2018 CONNIE MARTIN Please help these poor dogs.
Feb 13, 2018 Cynthia Brooks-Fetty
Feb 13, 2018 Brianna Kohlenberg
Feb 13, 2018 Jeannie Celaya
Feb 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 13, 2018 marcia Sochacki This cruel sport is not a sport at all. It is brutal treatment of these innocent creatures. Let mushers pull their own sleds and see how they like it
Feb 13, 2018 Joyce Papp “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Gandhi
Feb 13, 2018 Paul Pugliani It's time for this cruel tradition to end.
Feb 13, 2018 Shayne Fischer Cruelty to animals should be a crime. They give unconditional love and in return are not protected from abuse. How many deaths does it take before people recognize this is no better than any other blood sport?
Feb 13, 2018 Elaine M
Feb 13, 2018 Maureen Cole

back to top

Paw Prints Garden Stepping Stone Collection
Share this page and help fund food & care: