Animal rights in the Iditarod

By Grace Shao

With increasing awareness of animal rights and their welfare, how has the treatment of dogs changed in the Iditarod?

The treatment of dogs have definitely changed for the better for dogs and trainers.

The cruelty of dogs is often a problem in the Iditarod.

A rule put in place that applies to the Iditarod is that official vets can disqualify mushers that mistreat their dogs. This will warn the musher to take better care of their dog team and acknowledge their needs.
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Many dogs are wounded and hurt from the perilous Iditarod.

A law put in place that all mushers start with 16 dogs and must pass the finish line with at least 5 dogs to pass the Iditarod. This encourages mushers to choose their best trained and experienced dogs who have already adapted to the harsh conditions of Alaska. This limits the injuries and accidents that occur. This also encourages trainers to take better care of dogs since they need at least 5 to pass.
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