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Despite the growing list of ex–Iditarod sponsors, Alaska's Northrim Bank has become a new supporter of the bloody race, in which dogs are forced to run while pulling heavy sleds approximately 1,000 miles—roughly the distance from Orlando, Florida, to New York City—in under two weeks, through whiteouts, subzero temperatures, and biting winds.
These puppies, seen chewing on Pedialyte-soaked sponges, later reportedly die.
Five dogs died during the 2017 Iditarod, and PETA commemorated them at the 2018 race with a protest featuring headstones engraved with the name, age, and cause of death of each dog. In 2018, a total of 350 dogs were pulled out of the race, likely because of exhaustion, illness, or injury. One of them, Blonde, later died from aspiration pneumonia, meaning that he probably choked to death on his own vomit. More than 150 dogs have been killed in the race's history—not counting those who were killed before it even started because they lacked the speed and stamina to make the cut.
One veteran musher alleges that some trainers—including those at the kennels of four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey—have killed "hundreds on top of hundreds or more dogs" because they were deemed slow or unfit for races. Another whistleblower produced disturbing photographs and video footage showing apparently dying puppies and injured, sick dogs at a kennel owned by Seavey.
© Sled Dogs Film
Alaska has some of the worst weather on the planet, and the ill-fated Iditarod dogs must run through whiteouts, sleet, subzero temperatures, and biting winds while pulling heavy sleds. They're forced to run approximately 1,000 miles—roughly 100 miles a day, with only a few brief periods of rest. 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 is likely also what happened to the dog Flash in 2017. Up to half of the dogs who start the race don't finish.
As a relatively new Iditarod sponsor, Northrim Bank shamefully replaced Wells Fargo, which severed all ties with the race after hearing from PETA last year. This sponsorship flies in the face of the growing list of companies—including Costco, Jack Daniel's, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, and State Farm—that are no longer sponsoring this death race. Please join PETA in urging Northrim Bank to end its sponsorship of this abusive race in which dogs are run to their deaths.