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USA Network glorifies Iditarod dog sled race

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  • SledDogAC@aol.com
    From the Sled Dog Action Coalition, http://www.helpsleddogs.org: USA Network aired a program that glorified the cruel Iditarod dog sled race. The show s
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2000
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      From the Sled Dog Action Coalition, http://www.helpsleddogs.org:

      USA Network aired a program that glorified the cruel Iditarod dog sled race.
      The show's producers gave the public a false impression by not reporting
      that
      a dog died in this year's race, that countless dogs became ill from a
      widespread virus or were injured so that mushers could pursue their dreams
      of
      winning prize money. This year, the Iditarod Trail Committee handed out a
      record purse of more than $525,000 divided among the top 30 finishers - not
      just the top 20, as in years past.

      The Iditarod dog sled race is condemned by animal cruelty groups across the
      United States, because dog deaths and injuries are common in the race. In
      the
      last four years, ten dogs have perished in what USA Today sports columnist
      Jon Saraceno calls "a mad marathon of canine misery." No one has any idea
      how
      many dogs are destroyed in the weeks after the race because of debilitating
      injuries that renders them useless. Mushers believe in "culling" or killing
      unwanted dogs. Dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are
      unwanted for any reason, are killed with a shot to the head.

      Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have anti-cruelty laws that
      would make the Iditarod illegal because of overworking an animal. George
      Diaz, sports columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, referred to the Iditarod as
      "illegal sweatshop for dogs."

      A sample letter and contact information are provided below:

      Dear

      Your company sponsored a USA Network show in April that glorified the
      Iditarod and I would like to bring some facts to your attention about this
      brutal dog sled race. The Iditarod is condemned by animal protection groups
      across the United States, because dog deaths and injuries are common in the
      race.

      In the Iditarod, dogs are forced to run 1,150 miles over a grueling terrain
      in 9 to 14 days, which is the approximate distance between Denver and LA.
      Dogs in the Iditarod die from such causes as stress pneumonia, gastric
      ulcers, or "Sudden Death Syndrome"--literally running to death. About a
      third of the 1,500 dogs who start the race fail to finish because they
      become
      sick, injured, or exhausted. Many of the dogs collapse at the finish line,
      and many cannot rise to a standing position to eat for days. Jon Saraceno,
      sports columnist for USA Today, called the race "Ihurtadog" and "an
      outrage."
      George Diaz, sports columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, referred to the
      Iditarod as "illegal sweatshop for dogs."

      Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have anti-cruelty laws that
      would make the Iditarod illegal because of overworking an animal. Please
      visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website http://www.helpsleddogs.org to
      see pictures and for more information.

      The Iditarod Trail Committee wants people to think of the Iditarod as a
      commemoration of the 1925 Anchorage to Nome diphtheria serum run. However,
      there are very few similarities between the two events. Half of the 1925
      serum run was done by train. Dogs ran in relays for the remaining 500 or 600
      miles, with few dogs running more than 100 miles. In the Iditarod, dogs run
      1,150 miles over terrain far more grueling than the terrain found on the
      serum run route.

      The race has led to the proliferation of husky dog kennels in Alaska. In
      these kennels, many dogs are treated cruelly. Many kennels have over 100
      dogs
      and some have as many as 200. None of the kennels is inspected or supervised
      by the State of Alaska or by anyone else.

      It is standard for the dogs to spend their entire lives outside tethered to
      metal chains that can be as short as four feet long. In 1997 the United
      States Department of Agriculture determined that the tethering of dogs was
      inhumane and not in the animals' best interests. The chaining of dogs as a
      primary means of enclosure is prohibited in all cases where federal law
      applies. A dog who is permanently tethered is forced to urinate and defecate
      where he sleeps which conflicts with his natural instinct to eliminate away
      from his living area. Being close to fecal material, a dog can easily catch
      deadly parasitical diseases by stepping in or sniffing waste.

      In their kennels, the dogs are never given the opportunity to run free even
      in a fenced in area. Many of them drink water from hard-to reach rusty cans
      that are bolted to their doghouses and are rarely cleaned or disinfected.

      Injured and old, arthritic dogs are kept outside in the winter when the
      average daily minimum temperatures range from -24 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
      It is painful for these dogs to be in the intense cold. Some kennels have
      few
      employees, so that each dog gets little attention.

      Mushers believe in "culling" or killing unwanted dogs. Dogs who are
      permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason,
      are
      killed with a shot to the head.

      Please do not sponsor programs that promote this cruel race or make light of
      the suffering the dogs endure.

      Sincerely,

      Contact Information:

      Michael Eisner, Chmn and CEO
      The Walt Disney Company
      500 S. Buena Vista St.
      Burbank, CA 91521-9722
      Phone: 818-560-1000
      Fax: 818-560-1930
      Email message box: http://disney.go.com/DisneyWorld/index2.html (Click
      "email" at the bottom then select "Investor Relations."

      Ralph Larsen, Chmn./CEO
      Johnson & Johnson (Makers of Neutrogena, Roc, Mylanta, etc.)
      One Johnson & Johnson Plaza
      New Brunswick, NJ 08933
      Phone: (732) 524-0400
      Fax: (732) 214-0332
      Email message box: http://www.jnj.com/feedback.html

      Brian K. Devine - Chairman
      PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
      9125 Rehco Road
      San Diego, CA 92121
      Phone: (858) 453-7845
      Fax: (858) 453-6585
      Email: investor@...

      John F. Smith, CEO
      General Motors Corporation
      100 Renaissance Center
      Detroit, MI 48243
      Phone: 313-556-5000
      Fax: 313-556-5108
      Email message box: http://www.gm.com/tools/feedback.htmlw

      Jeff Bezos, CEO
      Pets.Com/Amazon.Com
      1200 12th Ave. South, Ste. 1200
      Seattle, WA 98144-2734 (Map)
      Phone: 206-266-1000
      Fax: 206-266-4206
      Email: ir@...

      Zan Guerry, CEO
      Chattem, Inc. (Makers of Dexatrim, Gold Bond Foot Powder, etc.)
      1715 W. 38th St.
      Chattanooga, TN 37409
      800-366-6077 (toll free)
      Fax: 423-821-0395
      Email: gary.galante@...

      Chris T. Sullivan, CEO
      Outback Steakhouse
      550 N. Reo St., Ste. 200
      Tampa, FL 33609-1209
      Phone: 813-282-1225
      Fax: 813-282-1209
      Email message box: http://www.outback.com/html/email/contact.htm

      Alan Citron, CEO
      Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Inc.
      790 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 200
      Pasadena, CA 91101
      Phone: 626-405-0050
      Fax: 626-405-9929
      Email: info@...

      GoRVing
      Email message box at bottom of page:
      http://www.gorving.com/newsroom/orderform.cfm
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