Local vets share Iditarod race experi...

Local vets share Iditarod race experience - The Park Record

There are 1 comment on the Park Record story from Apr 15, 2011, titled Local vets share Iditarod race experience - The Park Record. In it, Park Record reports that:

Dr. Kim Henneman checks on a dog early in the morning at the Finger Lake checkpoint, the third checkpoint and 131 miles from the official start in Willow, Alaska.

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Lucy Shelton

United States

#1 Apr 18, 2011
These veterinarians should be helping to stop the Iditarod sled dog race, because the dogs are put in harms way when racing and kept on chains.

The Iditarod routinely kills young, healthy dogs and it has to stop. Six dogs died in 2009, bringing the total known to 142. The dog deaths average nearly 4 a year. Although no dogs died in this year’s Iditarod, more than half did not finish. Of the 992 dogs who started, 542 did not finish, which is 55%. They are among the best-conditioned dogs in the world due to their training year-round, yet they are dropped due to injury, illness, exhaustion, or just not wanting to continue. One musher scratched after one of her dogs collapsed while running.

The distance is too long, and the conditions and rough terrain too grueling for the dogs. There are laws in at least 38 states against over-driving and over-working animals, which is exactly what the Iditarod does. The Alaska cruelty statue that would apply to the sled dogs was changed in 2008 to exempt them.

When the dogs are not racing or training they are each kept on a short chain, attached to their small enclosure. This is considered inhumane and illegal in many communities. Mackey’s Kennel is just one example (scroll down): http://www.mackeyscomebackkennel.com/Kennel.h...

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Friends of Animals, In Defense of Animals, PETA, and Sled Dog Action Coalition want this race to end. People concerned about animals should boycott this cruel race and contact the sponsors to end their support of it.

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