Help Sled Dogs

  • Dragging Sled Dog
    A dog is being dragged on the ice. He may be dead or unconscious. The musher lies comfortably on the sled.
  • exhausted
    Dogs are exhausted after a training run.
  • Traininginmud
    The dogs train in stagnant water, which they often drink. This can be dangerous. Stagnant water may contain harmful bacteria and parasites.
  • Training over rocky ground
    During training, dogs pull an ATV over hard, rocky ground. This injures their paws and tendons.
  • Triangular Shelters
    Dogs live in triangular structures.
He cannot speak for himself but you can. This dog's picture was taken at the kennel of a leading musher.

He cannot speak for himself but you can. This dog’s picture was taken at the kennel of a leading musher.

The Iditarod is a dog sled race that begins the first Saturday in March each year in Alaska. In this race mushers (dog sled drivers) force their dogs to run 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome in 8 to 16 days over a grueling terrain. This is the approximate distance between New York City and Miami. Mushers press their dogs to run at ever increasing speeds, so that the dogs get little rest or sleep. Dallas Seavey holds the speed record of 8 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes. This is less than half the time it took to run the first Iditarod race. No dog wants to run so far or so fast, or can do it without enduring great suffering.

At times, Iditarod has been described as an exciting contest of man against nature. These descriptions do not tell us about the dogs’ untold suffering. Dog deaths and injuries are common in the Iditarod, and when they are not racing, the dogs live under inhumane conditions.