2 dogs die during Iditarod, prompting call from PETA to end the 1,000-mile race

Trending 2 months ago

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two dogs died complete nan play during Alaska’s annual Iditarod sled canine race, marking nan first deaths during nan title successful 5 years and renewing calls to extremity nan 1,000-mile title that sees mushers and their canine teams traverse upland ranges, a stiff stream and oversea crystal — often during treacherous weather.

Bog, a 2-year-old antheral connected musher Issac Teaford’s team, collapsed Sunday greeting astir 200 feet short of nan checkpoint successful nan colony of Nulato, a erstwhile Russian trading station located 582 miles into nan title crossed nan Alaska wilderness. He died contempt a veterinarian performing CPR for astir 20 minutes.

A 2nd dog, George, a 4-year-old antheral connected musher Hunter Keefe’s team, besides collapsed and died contempt attempts to revive him, a title connection said.

George died connected nan way astir 35 miles extracurricular of nan colony of Kaltag, which is 629 miles into nan race.

A necropsy did not find a origin of decease for Bog, and nan Iditarod said further testing will beryllium conducted. A necropsy connected George will besides beryllium conducted.

Keefe, of Knik, and Teaford, of Salt Lake City, some voluntarily discontinue nan Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race connected Sunday. Under nan title rules, they risked being withdrawn by nan title marshal otherwise.

The past canine to dice during nan yearly title was Oshi, a 5-year-old female on musher Richie Beattie’s team, successful 2019. At a post-race checkup, veterinarians recovered signs of pneumonia successful nan dog. She was flown to Anchorage for attraction but later died.

Both Keefe and Teaford are reasonably inexperienced successful moving nan Iditarod, 1 of nan world’s longest sled canine races. Teaford is simply a rookie and Keefe was successful his 2nd title aft finishing 11th past year.

The dogs’ deaths connected Sunday prompted People for nan Ethical Treatment of Animals, agelong nan Iditarod’s biggest critic, to telephone for race’s end.

“The decease count keeps climbing for dogs who are forced to tally until their bodies break down, each truthful nan quality victor tin get a trophy while nan dogs get an icy grave,” PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien said successful a statement. “PETA is calling for this bad title to end.”

PETA has claimed much than 150 dogs person died successful nan Iditarod, but title officials person ne'er provided an charismatic count of dogs that person died since nan first title was held successful 1973.

The statement conducted a protestation extracurricular nan normal halfway wherever nan mushers’ banquet was held earlier nan ceremonial commencement of nan title March 2 successful Anchorage.

An Iditarod spokesperson did not instantly respond to a connection seeking remark connected PETA’s call.

PETA has also targeted title sponsors to extremity their support of nan title successful caller years. Companies that person discontinue sponsorship see Alaska Airlines, ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo and Chrysler, done an Anchorage dealership.

The statement earlier called for musher Dallas Seavey to beryllium removed from this year’s title aft his canine Faloo was injured successful an encounter pinch a moose shortly aft nan title started. PETA claims he delayed attraction for nan dog. Seavey was given a two-hour clip penalty for not decently gutting nan moose aft he changeable it.

“Mushers’ prioritization of triumph complete dogs’ wellbeing is everything that’s incorrect pinch nan Iditarod,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said successful a statement.

In nan months starring up to this year’s race, five different dogs died and 8 were injured after snowmobiles deed nan canine teams during training runs.

Despite nan clip penalty, Seavey had a patient lead Monday morning. GPS search connected nan Iditarod Insider webpage showed him pinch a 16-mile lead complete nan second-place musher, Jessie Holmes.

Seavey, who was astir 155 miles from nan finish, is trying to triumph his sixth championship. He’s presently tied pinch Rick Swenson for nan astir wins at 5 each.

The grueling race, which takes astir 10 days, started pinch 38 mushers astatine nan ceremonial commencement successful Anchorage. Since then, 5 person left.

The way takes mushers complete 2 upland ranges, on nan stiff Yukon River and nan Bering Sea crystal earlier ending successful nan Gold Rush municipality of Nome.

The victor is expected by mid-week successful Nome.