More disturbing details are coming out about someone in the 2017 Iditarod dogsled race drugging dogs. News outlets report that a team of dogs tested positive for tramadol, a Class IV opioid used to manage severe pain. The dogs forced to pull sleds nearly 1,000 miles through the frozen Alaskan wilderness in this race often sustain paw injuries, strained muscles, stress fractures, stomach ulcers, damaged lungs, and other injuries—and some die. It’s no surprise that someone used the prohibited drug to mask their pain and force them to keep running.
PETA has contacted the Iditarod Trail Committee and urged it to strip all mushers found to have drugged dogs of their titles and awards. And because injuries and deaths in the cruel race are inevitable, we’re also renewing our call for the race to stop using dogs altogether and replace them with snowmobiles or willing human athletes, such as cross-country skiers.
Here’s the letter we sent to Stan Hooley, the CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee:
Five dogs died in less than one week during this year’s Iditarod. It’s time for this deadly spectacle to end. Join PETA in calling on the Iditarod Trail Committee to replace the dogs with snowmobiles or willing human athletes to test human endurance, not the longevity of sick, drugged dogs.