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Are you against the Iditarod?

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Discussion Starter #1
I was going to put this in the companion animals forum but I figured it probobly more appropriate here<br><br><br><br>
Have any of you seen the website "helpsleddogs.org"?<br><br>
I believe in animal rights and welfare and all , but this is, for lack of a better word, ridiculous! this website is against the Iditarod.<br><br>
They say that in the Iditarod, mushers "force" their dogs to run the 8 to 14 day course over "a grueling terrain" with "little rest or sleep" When you put it that way, of course it is going to sound bad! But what they convienently "forget" to mention is that these dogs LOVE to run. And along the course there are a couple dozen<br><br>
checkpoints where the dogs are given a "check-up" by a veterinarian who makes sure the dogs are okay to continue.<br><br>
If the vets think a dog is not okay, then the dog will not be allowed to go on. There are three mandatory stops, one 24 hour stop and two 8 hour stops where the musher and dogs are required to stop and rest. they are not allowed to continue the race untill the time is up.<br><br>
And most of the terrain is not "grueling", only a few spots are.<br><br><br><br>
This organization takes all the worst pictures they could find and puts them on the website. Yes, I admit there are some mushers who treat their dogs like crap, but that doesn't mean that EVERYBODY involved is bad! this website claims that they convinced the company Avon to cancel Susan Butchers', a famous<br><br>
Iditarod musher, speech. But Butcher is one of the most decent mushers! She is nice to her dogs!<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
Is anybody with me on this?
 

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and if they put all the worst pictures on their websites, what makes you think that every other AR website doesn't do the very same thing?<br><br><br><br>
personally, I have no problem with dog sled racing- but I also don't have a problem with the general use of animals, as long as welfare is maintained- but I can see why an AR person wouldn't agree with dog sledding.<br><br><br><br>
the whole philosophy is "animals are not ours to use, no matter how well they are treated."
 

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Everyone's biased. Most people don't reveal pictures or arguments that run counter to what they want to tell you. Dairy farmers do it... factory farmers do it... I was researching once awhile ago about the conditions of the chutes and corraling areas that guide animals around, and the only pictures that this factory farm had on their site were of clean, sparkling facilities. I mean, COME ON! I find it hard to believe that that is the normal state of those pieces of equipment. Things get dirty, and most likely they don't get cleaned every day.
 

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I think dogs are about the only animal that actually likes humans...and like to "work" for them. I think it's fine so long as the dogs aren't gotten rid of once they can't race anymore...what happens to old dogs?
 

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And what happens to the dogs that the breeder didn't think could run well in a sled dog race?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Skylark and mushroom -<br><br>
The same could be asked of breeders who breed purebred dogs, cats, horses and other animals for show, greyhound and horse racers, "hobby" breeders<br><br>
who breed their purebreds for profit, hunting dog breeders, even some people who breed their dogs for "sports" like agility. In every one of these,<br><br>
there will be some people who don't give a care what happens to the animals if they are not "good enough" or "too old", and there will be people who take the time to find homes for these "retired" animals. But what "Help Sled Dogs" is doing is going after everyone involved in the Iditarod. An example of this is what they did to Susan Butcher.<br><br>
That, in my opinion, is going not going to be very effective. Instead, what they SHOULD be doing is going after the "bad guys" of the iditarod, the people who treat the dogs like crap, and SUPPORTING the "good guys" like Susan Butcher. This will put pressure on the bad guys, and hopefully, make them change their ways.
 

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<i>Is anybody with me on this?</i><br><br><br><br>
'Help Sleddogs' and most of the other drivel you see posted around the net this time of year is largely put out by one Margery Glickman; a ner-do-well woman in Florida with no direct knowledge or experience with the Iditarod. It's her obsession. Most of her pics are phonied up with misleading captions, and she loves to quote people out of context. I haven't looked at her website in awhile, but there used to be a few outright lies there.<br><br><br><br>
Here's a site put up by someone who used to ride the fence on some boards they both visited, became disillusioned with Ms. Glickman, and did her own research:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://sunhusky.com/Facts/" target="_blank">http://sunhusky.com/Facts/</a><br><br><br><br>
FYI- I own 13 sleddogs, including a few of those 'culled' from Iditarod teams.
 

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When people start to use animals for pleasure I tend to think its wrong.<br><br><br><br>
So maybe they are used to the circumstances, and maybe its not so hard on them.<br><br><br><br>
They might even like it.<br><br><br><br>
Like horses like to walk with a person on its back, but if I see how horses are trained to accept a driver, I get serious doubts.<br><br>
When a horse is happy to go for a ride: is that because it likes to ride with you, or is the horse simply happy that it is no longer restrained in the meadow or box?
 

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okay, now i am really confused. on direct action new mexico i have gotten some messages about the iditarod and how cruel it is. i.e. dogs run to death, beaten by their owners, bleeding and frozen paws, dragged to death by other dogs on the team if they can't keep up... they seemed like decently researched messages...was i duped. now i must head to the great google on the net and research for myself. btw they were not from that florida woman you mention...anyone know more about this?
 

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I just received a reply to an email i sent to Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper and also from Mike Cranford who was mentioned in the article on HelpSledDogs. They both said that the things they mentioned and that were printed were not only factual but also so norm and not the occasional thing.<br><br><br><br>
The paper guy said their is big money involved with the race mostly in the way of endorsements so it is pretty serious business. Only a handful of the contestants are actually there for their love of the sport.<br><br>
I acidentally deleted todays emails but i will see if i can recover the email addresses i used in case anyone else would like to email them.
 

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I also dont believe dogs like to work for humans, thats just a way of justifying what we have them do. They work for humans because it gets them the positive attention they crave, which is why they do what they do for no more than some loving attention. Thats what they love, not the work. And sled dogs do love to run, but I don't think nature intended for them to do it draggin a pile of wood with some big goober on board, yelling and hitting them!
 

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I agree veggiemyte, well said! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> and welcome to the board BTW.
 

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Thanks for the welcome. Not to sure what kind of impression I have made so far though!<br><br><br><br>
If anyone wants to see the history of the Iditarod and just how cruel it has become, you will get a ton of links from google or ask jeeves.<br><br><br><br>
By the way, SilverC, that is an adorable little face your Pig has there. I had Guinea Pigs some years ago and I used to love the whistling they did. They are great companions.
 

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I'm sorry, but this is just the sort of nonsense that turns 99% of Americans off from any consideration of animal wellfare. My guess is none of the critics of sled dog races actually live in Alaska or know anything about sled dogs. A musher who is cruel to his or her dogs is not only going to lose the race, they are going to be in very hot water with the scores of vets who supervise the races! Working dogs like to work. It's what they're bred to do. Forcing them to stay indoors and function as enormous lap dogs, or twisting their genetics like the AKC does, is the real cruelty.
 

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And I have'nt noticed anyone here suggesting that the dogs should be turned into enormous lap dogs. I also do not support the AKC. All that was suggested was to look up the history, accounts of respected journalists who have witnesses the race and done investigation and past participants. Having all the information and not just one side makes it possible to form an objective opinion.
 

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Well I've watched races first-hand, and seen the dogs train up and down the roads where I live. I also know several mushing families. Sled dogs are extremely high-energy animals. They not only want to pull the sled, they need to. Simply leaving them in a yard or kennel is far more cruel than racing them. When the team is set up, it functions like a pack, with a set hierarchy. As with any dog pack, they want to run. The mushers aren't mule-skinners. They don't beat the dogs into moving. Indeed, if the dogs decide they're finished, that's the end of it. You cannot get them to move and the race is over for you.<br><br><br><br>
Dogs do die during the big races, but given their short life spans and the sheer number of dogs involved, statistically you're going to have deaths. The vets work closely with the race officials at the mandatory rest points to ensure that sick or weak dogs don't continue. But obviously some dogs are going to unexpectedly blow a gasket from the excitement. They operate on an energy level that's far beyond anything a human is capable of.<br><br><br><br>
The wole anti-dog-racing movement strikes me as yet another attempt by outsiders to force the entire nation to become just like suburban LA.<br><br><br><br>
No thanks!
 

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I , too, have friends in Anchorage and they also see what happens to the dogs that are not fast enough and to the one's whose careers are over. I don't think anyone is saying everyone who takes part abuses their dogs but, it has become an industry not that different from dog racing in Florida with many of the same cruelties. Perhaps on a smaller scale but not that different.<br><br><br><br>
Sorry to differ but wherever there is a large amount of money to be made, there is also a large amount of not so caring people looking to cash in at any cost. Just please, take the time to look at some of the information. With a race of over a thousand miles, I am quite sure no one can see what happens every step of the way and the greater problems are what happen long before and long after the race itself.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by veggiemyte</i><br><br><b>wherever there is a large amount of money to be made, there is also a large amount of not so caring people looking to cash in at any cost.</b></div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Great point VM! I totally agree.
 

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Dog racing is NOT a money-making business. Most racers even in the Iditarod are going to lose a lot of money. They do it for the love of mushing. Do you see massive coverage of this race on ESPN? A major network? I think not. Is anyone selling broadcast rights for anything approaching the kind of money earned by major league spots? No.<br><br><br><br>
The victor gets a purse of $54,000. That's it! The rest of the roughly half million in prize money is spread out as much as possible and given to winners of various portions of the race and the other finnishers. It barely covers vet bills, food and transportation even for those who do win.<br><br><br><br>
I have three words for outsiders who want to screw with Alaskan traditions: LEAVE US ALONE!
 

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If you wanted to be left alone and don't feel like participating in the back and forth of opinions, I have three words for you:<br><br><br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">LEAVE US ALONE</span><br><br><br><br>
Or might I suggest not being so abrupt in your comments before anyone even gets to know you?
 
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