• July 21, 2024

PETA Statement: At Least Two More Dogs Dead as Iditarod Death Toll Climbs

For Immediate Release:
December 12, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Cantwell, Alaska – Below, please find a statement from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in response to reports that at least two dogs belonging to the kennel of notorious Iditarod musher Jim Lanier were killed and others were injured last night when a snow machine struck them during training:

Even when the Iditarod is over, the dogs’ misery never ends. At least four dogs from the kennels of Jim Lanier and Dallas Seavey have been killed by snow machines in the past month, and many dogs who survive this year’s training season will be forced to drag glory-seeking mushers nearly 1,000 miles until their bodies break down. PETA is calling on GCI and its owner, Liberty Media, to cut ties with the Iditarod before its death toll, both on and off the trail, rises any higher.

Lanier was initially banned from the 2020 Iditarod over concerns for his health and ability to care for dogs during the race. He ended up competing anyway but had to withdraw. Since then, other mushers have raced dogs from his kennel, including Hugh Neff, who notoriously had to quit the 2022 Iditarod after the dogs he was forcing to race—who were described as “skinny” and were apparently suffering from diarrhea—were reportedly found in such poor condition that they couldn’t continue.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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