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Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy FAX: 907-269-7463

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PETITION TARGET: Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy

Three young dogs died during the 2024 Iditarod. Several other dogs suffered injuries, illness, and exhaustion during the gruesome two-week, 1000-mile race that forces dogs to haul a sled while racing through treacherous Alaskan territory in sub-freezing temperatures.

Five additional dogs died and eight more were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training for the 2024 event.

The 1,000-mile Iditarod has a 50-year history of pushing dogs to race through exhaustion, allegedly causing the death of over 100 dogs and illness and injury in hundreds more.

The Iditarod boasts dangerous conditions, including “jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate tundra” that must be crossed in below-zero temperatures with “winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness, and treacherous climbs and side hills,” according to the Iditarod’s website.

The dogs must remain in the icy outdoors at all times unless they are being seen by a veterinarian — treatment that could otherwise be considered animal cruelty.

Race rules require that mushers start with 12 to 16 dogs, and must complete the race with at least five.

Hundreds of dogs are taken out of the race along the way due to exhaustion, injury, hypothermia, and illness — especially pneumonia. Additionally, thousands of dogs have allegedly suffered from lung damage and ulcers.

The Iditarod has also been steeped in controversy over mushers’ treatment of their dogs.

In 1990, a former race winner was banned for life after dumping one of his dogs without telling veterinarians the dog was hurt.

In 2007, a musher was disqualified for hitting his dogs in an attempt to force them to run through what appeared to be exhaustion.

In 2023, the race winner, Ryan Reddington was caught on camera forcibly dragging his dogs — who were nearly limp with exhaustion — towards the finish line. The dogs appeared to struggle forward, trying desperately not to collapse due to severe overexertion. 

But dogs are not the only animals that have suffered due to this inhumane race.

The Iditarod also has a history of harming local wildlife – including a moose who was shot and killed in the most recent race. The encounter also resulted in critically injuring one of the dogs. 

It’s time to end this abusive race that brutally drives sled dogs to injury and even death – all for the sake of the musher’s financial gain and fame.

Sign our petition to protect sled dogs — and Alaskan wildlife — by calling for the end of cruel Iditarod race.