Letter: What Avon speaker won’t say | VailDaily.com

Letter: What Avon speaker won’t say

Margery Glickman, director
Sled Dog Action Coalition
Vail CO, Colorado

Iditarod tortures dogs?

Karen Land, the musher who is scheduled to speak at the Avon Public Library about her Iditarod experiences, charges between $300 and $350 for each visit. With libraries increasingly short of money, why should they pay her to hype this cruel race?

Land doesn’t tell people that dogs in the Iditarod routinely die and suffer from paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, lung damage, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, diarrhea, vomiting, hypothermia, fur loss, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads, ruptured discs and anemia.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the Iditarod do not make it across the finish line. According to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do finish, 81 percent have lung damage. The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine reported that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Iditarod veterinarians don’t give dogs physical exams at every checkpoint. Being an integral part of the Iditarod’s culture of cruelty, veterinarians give dogs massive doses of antibiotics to keep them running. In 2007, the veterinary staff gave its Humanitarian Award to a musher who raced his dogs for four days even though all of them had diarrhea.

For the dogs, the Iditarod is torture.

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