Is Iditarod Dog Racing Animal Cruelty?by Karyn Zoldan on Mar. 09, 2013, under Animal Cruelty, Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged
Here’s another kind of dog racing that is no better than dog fighting because dogs die and are put through senseless cruelty in the name of winning money. Where’s the transparency? The person who leads a the dog team is called a musher and they have a choice as to whether or not they want to participate in this grueling competition; the dogs have no choice.
Lately, the purses are smaller and some sponsorships have withdrawn. I looked at the current sponsorships and see Wells Fargo. I have been a Wells Fargo customer for decades and waffled through the banking escapades. Now that I see Wells Fargo sponsoring animal cruelty — that just sealed the nail on my financial coffin with them. If you are angry that Wells Fargo sponsors animal cruelty — please tell them!
How many dogs die after the race? The Iditarod Trail Committee does not release information about dogs who die after the race. (similar to greyhound racing)
From the Sled Dog Action Coalition – At least 142 dogs have been run to death or have died from other causes in the Iditarod. There is no official count of dog deaths available for the race’s early years.
Here are a few FAQs
How do the Iditarod dogs live when they are not racing?
The Iditarod Dog Sled Race has led to an increase in the number of husky dog kennels in Alaska. In these kennels, many dogs are treated cruelly. Many kennels have more than 100 dogs. Some have as many as 200 dogs. None of the kennels is inspected or supervised by the State of Alaska. Mushers raise many dogs hoping that a few will be strong enough to run in the race.
Do these mushers cull or kill unwanted dogs?
Culling is a common practice among mushers. The Iditarod mushers breed many dogs, hoping to get a few who will be fast enough to race. According to an article in the Anchorage Daily News, “Killing unwanted sled-dog puppies is part of doing business” (October 6, 1991), most of the mushers cull by shooting their dogs in the head. (not unlike greyhound racing).
An animal who is not properly restrained when the musher shoots may suffer an agonizing death. Mushers also cull dogs who are injured in the Iditarod, old but otherwise healthy dogs, or any dog who is not wanted for any reason.
Most recent – Iditarod mushers kill thousands of dogs. (Care2.com)