Urge Jack Daniel's to Stop Sponsoring a Death Race

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Update: A whistleblower has come forward with disturbing photographs and video footage that apparently reveal dying puppies and injured, sick dogs at a kennel reportedly owned by Dallas Seavey, the four-time Iditarod champion who was recently implicated in a dog-doping scandal. According to the whistleblower, operators at the Willow, Alaska, kennel allowed severely injured and ailing dogs to suffer—sometimes fatally—without veterinary care. The whistleblower reported finding a litter of seven newborn puppies who had died within the past month without any veterinary intervention. Many other dogs reportedly suffered from bloody diarrhea and vomiting, puncture and bite wounds, and torn ears. The whistleblower reported that handlers allegedly picked up dogs by their throats and threw them to "punish" them for fighting or not obeying commands.

This follows a veteran musher's revelation that she believed that some trainers—including those at Seavey's kennels—have killed "hundreds on top of hundreds or more dogs" because they were deemed slow or unfit for races. She wrote, "Sadly, this has been going on in the family 'dynasty' for decades."

PETA has urged Alaskan authorities to investigate all allegations.

© Sled Dogs Film

This sponsorship needs to be stopped in its tracks.

Five dogs died in less than one week at the 2017 Iditarod. One got away from his handler and was hit by a car, another died of hyperthermia on a plane, and three others died on the trail, one likely from choking on his own vomit. More than 150 dogs have been killed in the race's history—not counting those who died during the year while kept on chains or who were killed because they simply didn't make the cut—but Jack Daniel's (owned by Brown-Forman) continues to sponsor the cruel race.

Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run nearly 1,000 miles—roughly the distance from Orlando, Florida, to New York City—in under two weeks. On average, they must run 100 miles a day, with only a few brief periods of rest. They're subjected to biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. Their feet may become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice, and worn out because of the vast distances that they cover. Many pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or aspiration pneumonia, which is caused by inhaling their own vomit and likely happened to the dog Flash this year. Up to half of the dogs who start the race don't even finish.

© Sled Dogs Film

Every one of these dogs deserves to run free. Instead, some people feel entitled to force them to work far beyond their capacity, without an explanation of what they're running from, or where to, or why they're treated like they mean nothing more than the labor they can give. But even if we spoke their language, how would we begin to explain that we're enslaving them—intelligent, selfless, and incredibly generous beings—just for our amusement?

Wells Fargo and State Farm ended their Iditarod sponsorships. Many major brands—including Costco, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, and Safeway—cut ties with the Iditarod years ago. Please join PETA in urging Brown-Forman to end its sponsorship of this abusive race in which dogs are run to their deaths.


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