Written by Michelle Kretzer
Soon, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
mushers will begin driving dogs on a grueling 1,150-mile journey through frozen
being forced to run an average of 100 miles a day for two weeks, many dogs will
be suffering from conditions such as pneumonia, hypothermia, bruised and lacerated
paws, upper respiratory infections, frostbite, inflamed wrists, and shoulder
injuries. Nearly 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod
since records started being kept, and that doesn't include dogs who died after
the race was over. Some dogs die of "sled dog myopathy"—literally being
run to death.
dweekly | cc by 2.0
they won't call it what it is—cruel—even mushers admit that the dogs suffer.
During last year's race, top contender Hans Gatt reported that half his team
was "sick and eating poorly," likely because of upper respiratory
infections. Four-time champion Lance Mackey said that he didn't know what was
wrong with his dogs but that he had watched his "world-class dog team
falling apart before my very eyes." Paul Gebhardt had to forfeit the race
when his dogs couldn't continue because of dehydration, cramps, and injuries. And
Zoya DeNure had to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation on one of her dogs, who
had collapsed in his
why do mushers continue to subject their dogs to the abuse of the Iditarod? Because
thousands of dollars in cash and prizes are at stake. But the good news is that
the purse is dwindling as corporations withdraw their sponsorship after
learning about the Iditarod's cruelty. Last year, thanks largely to PETA, the Transportation Security
pulled the plug on its $85,000 donation, and Chevron and Cabela's both called it quits
prior to 2010's race.
Please share this
with friends and family who may not realize how much dogs suffer for the
Written by PETA
What has 1,200 legs, lives in several countries, and
runs, swims, and bikes to stop animal abuse? It's the 2011 PETA Pack team, a
group of committed
individuals who were
able to wildly surpass their fundraising goal and raise $120,000 for PETA's Investigations &
Rescue Fund! On behalf of
the PETA Pack, a special thank-you goes out to this year's team sponsor, Nasoya, as well as to all the donors who contributed.
PETA Pack members receive 14 weeks of valuable coaching tips from team leaders to help them meet their
running goals, whether they are beginning runners or experienced triathletes.
Each member ultimately participates in a race of his or her choice in early autumn. Top
fundraisers receive great prizes, in addition to the satisfaction of getting
into shape while helping animals.
To join the PETA Pack and make next year's team
another resounding success, e-mail
Congratulations to the 2011 PETA Pack team!
by Heather Faraid Drennan
When the racers in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race crossed the finish line last week, the press reported that six dogs had died on the bitter, involuntary trek from Iditarod to Nome. Now we have received a whistleblower report alleging that two more dogs may have died because of the 2009 race.
Here's what we're told: Lou Packer, a 55-year-old musher, struggled to finish the race, and even after two of his dogs died, he continued to push his team until he eventually scratched. It now appears that two more of his dogs may have perished after he was removed from the trail. The whistleblower claims that Packer may have denied his dogs food and left them out in the open throughout the night during a bitterly cold storm, while other mushers took their dogs to the tree line to protect them from the wind. If true, that would have been a death sentence.
Now that the death toll may have reached eight, we have renewed our request to Col. Audie Holloway, Director of the Alaska State Troopers, to launch a vigorous criminal investigation into all the deaths related to this year's Iditarod. Alaskan cruelty-to-animals laws specifically prohibit people from knowingly inflicting "prolonged suffering on an animal." The conditions under which the Iditarod is run are no secret. Anyone with half a brain and one ounce of compassion knows that no dog chooses to struggle to survive for days and nights in the freezing cold while being pushed to or beyond his or her physical limits. Or are Iditarod racers exempt from anti-cruelty laws—or the laws of human decency?
Written by Liz Graffeo
Well, Rudy Giuliani’s office hung up on us when we offered the once presidential hopeful an ambassadorship last week, but Omar Osama Bin Laden (the estranged son of the more notorious OBL) and his wife are talking to us. We sent a letter yesterday urging the bin Ladens to cancel plans to organize a “grueling” endurance horse race across the Sahara Desert as “a way to promote peace.” That’s a 3,000-mile horse race across North Africa, scheduled to begin in March. We didn’t think that sounded like a barrel of laughs for the horses. As PETA’s president puts it, "If this were a rally in which cars were in danger of overheating and breaking down, I'd be all for it. But horses are flesh and blood. Such a grueling race will mean fatalities, not peace. Animals have not declared war on us - they should be truly left in peace."
The bin Ladens got back right away and some important assurances have already been given. More on this later. You can read our letter to bin Laden here.
If you were following the Super Bowl ads closely this year, you would have noticed an advocacy ad for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which depicted a drug dealer lamenting his recent lack of customers, because “kids are just getting high out of their medicine cabinets nowadays.” Which, well, no problem with that specifically—it’s a perfectly sound message reminding parents to be careful about their prescription drugs. Some big question marks do arise, however, when you consider the email that PETA received from FOX Television last month when we submitted our own series of ads to run during the Super Bowl:
“Time will not be sold on FBC network facilities for viewpoint or issue advocacy, and advertisers may not use their commercial time for addressing viewpoints or issues.”
So what’s going on here? Was FOX outright lying to us to get us off their case, or is there something I’m missing here? To make FOX’s double standard even more obvious, one of the three ads that we submitted (the series was designed to raise awareness about KFC’s cruel treatment of chickens) specifically addressed the issue of drug abuse. I’ve posted that ad below.
Here’s the letter we sent to FOX Broadcasting Company's VP of Advertising Sales today, asking him, essentially, WTF?, and you can watch the entire series of ads that were banned from Super Bowl consideration here.
Last night, PETA's Lisa Lange made an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor to talk about the "racy" alternative to Pamplona's hideous Running of the Bulls. The story brought tons of new people to the Running of the Nudes website last night to see what all the fuss was about, just in time to see all the amazing new pictures that’ve been put up there.
You can click the image above to check out the updated site, and if you let me know what you think of the new pics, or of the Running of the Nudes concept in general, I'll pick one commenter to win one of the highly coveted Running of the Nudes novelty pens, starring a naked (depending on which way up you hold the pen) Annamarie Lytle.
Just as an FYI, while all comments are welcome, if you leave a rant about Running of the Nudes being a shameful display of skin that's corrupting our nation's youth, I will assume that means you don't want a nudie pen.
P.S. I just got word from those laugh-a-minute party animals up in our Legal Department that if you want to be entered to win the pen it means you’re down with our terms and conditions.
The Running of the Nudes took place today in Pamplona, and, well, wow. This is the sixth year that PETA Europe has been organizing this fun alternative to Pamplona’s archaic bull run, and the thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I’ll be posting more news and pictures from the event as they come in, but here are the first shots from today’s naked “Human Race.”
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.