With the death of Iditaroder Susan Butcher, the race has lost its lone honest voice. Although she ran the race many times, Butcher was forthright about the cruel conditions for the dogs who are forced to participate in this grueling event. At a 1991 mushers’ conference, Butcher admitted, “There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in mushing. We wouldn’t, as a group, pass anybody’s idea of humane treatment of animals. As a group, we don’t pass my standards of humane treatment of animals.” Shortly after one of her dogs died from exertional myopathy (exhaustion) during the 1994 race, a disheartened Butcher conceded she was ready to move on.
The Iditarod causes immeasurable suffering for dogs, and Butcher was one of the few participants who acknowledged it. To find out more, please visit www.PETA.org.
Animals in Entertainment Campaign People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
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