For Immediate Release:
February 3, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Anchorage, Alaska – After hearing from PETA and more than 40,000 concerned dog defenders, local healthcare companies Capstone Clinic and Greenbrook TMS Centers of Alaska—as well as San Diego–based Cue Health—have ended their Iditarod sponsorships. All three were new sponsors ahead of last year’s race, in which nearly 250 dogs were pulled off the trail because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes, forcing the remaining ones to work even harder to pull the mushers.
“These companies read the writing on the wall and rightly decided that they didn’t want their names attached to a dog-killing blood sport,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the race’s few remaining sponsors, including Liberty Media subsidiary GCI, to follow suit or continue to remain notorious for propping up cruelty to dogs.”
Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run about four marathons a day for up to two weeks through snow, ice, and wind. More than 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod since it began, with aspiration pneumonia (i.e., inhaling their own vomit) the number-one cause of death. This official death toll doesn’t include countless others who were killed simply because they weren’t fast enough or who died during the off-season while chained to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels in the bitter cold, a practice exposed by a PETA undercover investigation.
Capstone Clinic, Greenbrook TMS Centers of Alaska, and Cue Health join ExxonMobil—a former major sponsor that paid the race $250,000 a year—as well as computer software company Nutanix, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Alaska Airlines, and dozens of other companies in cutting ties with the Iditarod. In thanks, PETA is sending the companies a box of delicious dog paw–shaped vegan chocolates.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.