A cruel race | AspenTimes.com
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A cruel race

Dear Editor:While it’s wonderful that the Snowmass Golf Course wants to promote literacy, it’s unfortunate that it’s also promoting dog sledding and the cruel “IditaREAD” Trail Sled Dog Race (“Mushers storm Snowmass,” Jan. 9).At least one or two dogs die during the Iditarod each year, usually from hypothermia, gastric ulcers, or “sled dog myopathy” – literally being run to death. More than one-third of the 1,500 dogs who start the race are flown out every year because they become sick, injured, or exhausted from being forced to run for hours in biting winds, blinding snowstorms, and subzero temperatures. Their feet become bruised and bloodied, cut by ice, and just plain worn out from the incredible amount of ground they cover. Many pull muscles, incur stress fractures, or become sick with diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or bleeding stomach ulcers. In 2002, an Oklahoma State University study found that 81 percent of dogs who had completed the arduous race had “abnormal accumulations” of mucous or cellular debris in their lower airways. The lung damage was classified as moderate to severe in nearly half of the dogs. For more information about the Iditarod, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.Heather MooreNorfork, Va.senior writerPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)


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