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For the Iditarod, dogs are forced to run approximately 1,000 miles—roughly the distance from Orlando, Florida, to New York City—with little rest, while pulling a heavy sled in some of the most grueling conditions on Earth. Many pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or are afflicted with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, ulcers, or pneumonia. Up to half the dogs who start the race don't finish, leaving the remaining to shoulder an even heavier burden.
A PETA eyewitness worked at two dog kennels owned by former Iditarod champions and found widespread neglect and suffering. Dogs were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the bitter cold and biting wind, and forced to run even when they were exhausted and dehydrated.
The leading cause of death for dogs who don't survive the Iditarod is aspiration pneumonia, which is likely caused by inhaling their own vomit. More than 150 dogs have died in the race's history, not counting those who died while languishing on a short chain during the off-season or were killed because they lacked the speed and stamina to make the cut.
Many companies—such as The Coca-Cola Company, Costco, Jack Daniel's, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, State Farm, and Wells Fargo—have already severed ties with the Iditarod.
Tell Millennium Hotels and Resorts—whose Lakefront Anchorage hotel is still supporting the death race—to cut ties now.