Letter to the Editor: Iditarod harms sled dogs

The following letter was submitted in response to the article “Lynden becomes Iditarod sponsor.”


Lynden’s sponsorship of the deadly Iditarod is baffling. Why would any reputable business support an event in which dogs routinely suffer and die?

Dogs are subjected to biting winds, blinding snowstorms, subzero temperatures, and falls through treacherous ice into frigid water. Their feet become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice, and just plain worn out because of the vast distances they cover. Many dogs pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or become sick with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or bleeding stomach ulcers. The official Iditarod rules require that the dogs be provided only 40 hours of rest — in total. More than 150 dogs have died since the event was founded.

Times change and so do sensibilities about what we as a society find acceptable, as they should. Forcing dogs to run to their deaths in the Iditarod should be roundly condemned by both businesses and anyone with a conscience.

Jennifer O’Connor
PETA Foundation

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