Calling all those with wanderlust! Alaska is home to rolling hills of snow and diverse ecosystems but also to tourist traps that will have you rethinking all your travel plans. PETA’s new “must-see” Alaska tourism ad exposes kennels in which dogs used for sled races are exploited and abused.
The ad—which is playing for people researching or planning trips to Alaska online—opens with gorgeous images of the state’s natural beauty, as the video’s narrator invites viewers to enjoy the “unforgettable sights.” It then cuts to footage from PETA’s undercover investigation into Iditarod champions’ kennels, showing dozens of dogs chained up in the snow and ice with only plastic barrels or drafty wooden boxes for shelter. Additional footage shows dogs in racing harnesses strapped to sleds—some obviously exhausted and one visibly bleeding. “You’d call animal control if your neighbors treated their dogs this way,” the narrator intones. “But you’re on vacation, and it’s not your problem!”
Dogs Used for Sledding Suffer Every Day—Even When You’re on Vacation
Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run about 1,000 miles through extreme snow, ice, and wind. This year, approximately 175 dogs were pulled off the trail due to illness, injury, or other causes, leaving the remaining ones to work even harder. The race ended in controversy after the winner was caught on video dragging visibly exhausted dogs toward a checkpoint. More than 150 dogs have died during the Iditarod since its inception—not including breeders’ “surplus dogs,” who were killed because they weren’t fast or fit enough to race.
No race is worth a dog’s life. Help us urge the remaining sponsors of the Iditarod to do what’s right and best for dogs by ending their support of this death race.