PETA protests treatment of dogs in Iditarod race at Brown-Forman

PETA Campaign Specialist Matt Bruce. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
PETA Campaign Specialist Matt Bruce. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protesters gathered in front of Brown-Forman on Thursday, asking the parent company of Jack Daniel's to stop its sponsorship of the Iditarod dog race.

PETA claims the dogs are forced to compete in the race and that more than 150 dogs have died since the race began.

"With so many great causes that Jack Daniel's could support, it's baffling that it would align itself with an event that's tainted by doping and that kills dogs in horrible ways," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. "PETA is calling on the company to cut ties with the Iditarod and all the drugs, death, and abuse that come with it."

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The protest included a dog graveyard with stuffed dogs to illustrate PETA's stance on the Iditarod race.

"PETA is urging Jack Daniel's to pull its sponsorship of the cruel Iditarod race. In the Iditarod, dogs like the ones that we share our homes with  run over 1100 miles through some of the world's harshest and coldest terrain," PETA Campaign Specialist Matt Bruce said. "So we are encouraging Brown-Forman to put pressure on Jack Daniel's as well to distance themselves from the dog abuse that's inherent with the Iditarod race."

Wells Fargo recently ended its sponsorship of the Iditarod sponsorship, and other major brands - including Costco, Maxwell House, Nestle and Pizza Hut cut ties with the race years ago, according to PETA.

Jack Daniel's sent this statement in response to the protest:

"Jack Daniel's has been a sponsor of the Iditarod for 15 years and we have been impressed with the care in which the animals are treated by the race veterinarians, the dog sled teams and everyone associated with this event. We would not associate ourselves with an event in which this was not the case."

Photographs and videos allegedly showing mistreatment of dogs and puppies owned by "Iditarod royalty" have recently been circulating on social media .

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