Posts Tagged With: Alaska Dispatch

PETAPOLOGY: PETA Apologizes to Iditarod Musher Paige Drobny

Paige Drobny and her dogs

Apparently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has a heart for animals of the human variety as well. Either that, or it’s trying to avoid a lawsuit.

A few weeks ago, I posted about the death of Iditarod musher Paige Drobny’s dog Dorado and PETA’s subsequent letter to the Nome District Attorney asking that Drobny and race organizers be held criminally responsible. The full text of the letter was published on PETA’s website.

A few days later, Drobny’s attorney sent a letter to PETA demanding it retract the accusations against Drobny or face a possible lawsuit.

Yesterday, the Alaska Dispatch reported that PETA has issued an apology to Drobny:

PETA has learned that Ms. Drobny had no way of knowing that a sudden storm was coming to the checkpoint area and is not culpable for Dorado’s death. PETA apologizes for suggesting that she was. PETA thanks Ms. Drobny for asking the Iditarod to make changes so as to supply shelter for all dogs dropped off at collection points along the race route in the future and is pleased that the Iditarod has agreed.

The statement goes on to say that “this cruel race should end—but until then, Iditarod organizers need to enact further reforms, including time limits on dogs’ participation and better supervision to prevent abusive training methods.”

Drobny is not impressed. In an email to the press, she takes issue with the way PETA places the apology within a general condemnation of the Iditarod. “We are bothered by the obvious attempt to bury this release in a larger piece of PETA propaganda, released on the weekend,” Drobny’s email states.

It is not clear if Drobny and her attorney are planning to move forward with a suit against PETA. “We are considering our options in light of this weak effort,” Drobny says.

Interestingly enough, PETA has still not removed from its website the original letter condemning Drobny.

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More on Cindy Abbott

Craig Medred is an award-winning journalist who has written about the Iditarod and life in Alaska for decades. On Sunday, Medred reported in the Alaska Dispatch about Cindy Abbott’s ill-fated Iditarod run, and he corrects a couple of factual mistakes reported in the Orange County Register piece I linked to earlier.

Abbott did indeed fall on the ice and break her pelvis early in the race and eventually had to be rescued outside the Kaltag checkpoint 600 miles later. However, according to Abbott, she was not suffering from extreme hypothermia as originally reported.

Medred also reveals what the race cost Abbott, not only physically but financially.Yet through it all, Abbott is surprisingly upbeat about her experience: “I had a great experience. It was fabulous. It’s all good.”

The fact that Abbott was able to continue for another 600 miles after such a terrible injury is mind-boggling. has video of Abbott coming into Takotna checkpoint, 329 miles into the race, and you would never guess by looking at her what she had suffered. At this point, no one actually knew what had happened to her, and apparently she wasn’t complaining. Talk about tough!

Here’s a link to Medred’s article:

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DeeDee Jonrowe Goes Hi-Tech

There’s an interesting article in today’s Alaska Dispatch about DeeDee Jonrowe, one of the Iditarod’s most popular mushers. Jonrowe mushed her first race in 1980. She has completed 28 Iditarods, with 2 second place finishes and 15 top ten finishes.

The article describes how she’s working with a medical imaging service called Raven Infrared to “map” her dogs and create a digital library of them showing areas of increased blood flow. Such areas could suggest the early stages of injury–for example, where a dog is pulling too hard or having some other difficulty. Such information allows a musher or veterinarian to catch problems early and address them before they become serious.

Full story here:

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