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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) spy Iditarod musher says worked on his 2019 team/Mitch Seavey, Facebook

Like the late actor Peter Finch in the hit 1975 movie “Network,” three-time Iditarod Sled Dog Race champ Mitch Seavey is “mad as hell…and not going to take this anymore.”

While new Iditaord CEO Rob Urbach is talking about The Last Great Race trying to make peace with the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the 60-year-old Seavey on Saturday went to war.

In a lengthy Facebook post, he called the organization “bat sh*t (sic) crazy,” accused it of engaging in “corporate espionage,” and suggested, though did not say, Iditarod shouldn’t be talking to the such an organization.

“If the Iditarod Trail Committee is serious about dealing with them, then I have a tale to tell,” he wrote.

Seavey is not the only dog musher to question Iditarod’s attempt to make peace with PETA, an anti-trapping, anti-hunting, anti-fishing organization. Trapping, hunting and fishing are traditional Alaska activities engaged in for sustenance.

Seavey’s post appeared to hit a chord in the 49th state where PETA members are few, even if it did contain a hint of a veiled threat against a former employee.

“Well, I know who he is, and I know where he is,” Seavey wrote. “He’s a liar, and his boss, PETA is dishonest. He lives out of country now, but until about a year ago, at age 37, his address was the same as his parents, here in the U.S.”

Seavey said he wasn’t going to name the former handler though requests for him to do so were popping up among the many supportive comments and links on Seavey’s web page.

PETA started it

Seavey’s post stems from a story that appeared on the PETA webpage Thursday titled “What I Saw as a PETA Observer at Iditarod Champions’ Dog Yards.” The story focuses mainly on the kennel of one-time Iditarod champ John Baker of Kotzebue and spouse Katherine Keith.

But Seavey gets a mention about halfway through. The criticisms of Seavey’s kennel by the PETA operative were rather bland compared to those earlier levied against Baker and Keith. The most significant were that “there were dogs who needed veterinary care and didn’t get it,” and that the training for the grueling, 1,000-mile Iditarod was, well, grueling.

“One dog was reportedly dragged to death,” the story added but there was no suggestion of eye-witness evidence of that reported death. The story also contained several factually inaccurate statements, the most significant being that “a  lot of dogs die on the trail.”

One dog died on the trail in 2019. One dog died the year before. Twenty-seventeen was a particularly bad year with four deaths on the trail, but the only death in 2016 involved a dog killed in a motor-vehicle collision on the trail. 

Before that came a string of years with no dog deaths. Dogs sometimes die while running Iditarod, but there are not “a lot dying.”

PETA also charged Seavey’s dogs “were all frighteningly skinny” by the end of the race. Seavey defended himself against that observation by observing that “like a triathlete, dogs are hungry after their big race.”

The PETA shot at Iditarod on Thursday and the Seavey counter-punch on Saturday makes it appear unlikely the two entities will be able to find common ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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34 replies »

  1. Rob Urbach would do better avoiding wasting time & effort on PETA and invest time in routing the dopers, abusers and egoists that have infected Iditarod.

  2. PETA is the same group that decided a friend of mines horses were being mistreated by being kept in lush green 20 plus Acre pasture lots, so they decided to cut the fences to let the horses be free. Awwww how sweet, except they were let free onto Highway 97 and 4 of them were hit and killed, because they weren’t safely in their pastures.

    PETA is also the group that wanted the Omak Suicide race stopped, so they called in a bomb threat to the people running the Omak Stampede and stated they planted bombs under the stands where the roping and rough stock were being penned. Awwww, kill the cattle and horses under the stands to save the horses that willing run down a hill. Kicked their butts off the res.

    No more than a home grown terrorist group, without a lick of animal sense lingering in their heads. Go cuddle a shark.

  3. Steve Stine:
    “ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Mat-Su Borough officials said Wednesday night that a complaint against musher Dallas Seavey’s kennel was investigated last weekend, but no violations were found.

    A press release emailed by borough spokesperson Patty Sullivan said, “On Sat. Oct. 28, an Animal Care officer with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough investigated a complaint at the dog kennel facilities owned by Iditarod Sled Dog Race champion Dallas Seavey. Officer Nick Uphus closed the investigation after finding no evidence of any violation—no evidence of failure to provide humane animal care and no evidence of cruelty to animals.”

    The press release also said the person who complained, who was not named by borough officials, gave the complaint to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, before it was filed with Mat-Su Animal Care. Sullivan wrote that PETA emailed Animal Care about the complaint.

    The statement from Mat-Su officials did not contain any specifics about the complaint.

    In a press release issued Tuesday, PETA said that a “whistleblower had come forward with photographs and video footage showing injured dogs, as well as purportedly dying puppies and on-site burial grounds at a dog kennel reportedly owned by Dallas Seavey.” PETA said it forwarded the evidence to state police and local animal control authorities.

    “Mat-Su Borough Mayor Vern Halter said the Seavey kennel facilities give a high standard of care for their sled dogs with proactive health, including homeopathic care, acupuncture, and even dog massage,” Sullivan wrote Wednesday night.

    The borough press release also quoted Mayor Halter as saying “This complaint is absolutely false”

    • Sure Bryan,
      …an ex-Irod musher (vern halter) who runs his own “dog lot” is not an unbiased source by any standards of animal care.
      And just so you know the whistleblower at Dallas’s lot had no contact with PETA before she came forward…she like many of the whistleblowers turned to PETA after AK media refused to print their statements…
      This refusal of printing the truth (by Alaskan Media) has been going on for years…ever since ADN refused to print Jane Steven’s story of Mitch beating a dog on the trail.
      PETA is a platform for support and support is one thing that local media personalities are not giving to handlers who speak out on animal abuse.

      • I personally know that the Mat Su animal “control officers” called ahead before they visited the Seavey Kennel…
        When you have over 100 “heads” of livestock to play with, it is easy to pass a scheduled visit from animal control…think move all the sick dogs out of here.
        I will just say that I personally spoke with the handler who left the Seavey kennel (before any media heads or peta) and there was absolutely no malice on her part…she felt extremely overwhelmed in caring for multiple sick puppies at once (as well as nearly 100 on chains) and boy was there evidence of sick puppies at that time…lots of evidence of sick puppies!

  4. Ok, I went and read the mushing-kennel exposé on PETA’s site, and ya know I don’t think so.

    Two bland pictures, a rickety ol’ dog that just got up (old operant conditioning still kicking-in when someone approaches … “AwRight! – let’s go Run!!), and a sprawled-out puppy stayin’ outa trouble.

    Was this really PETA’s operation, their Eyewitness/Observer? I fear they’d go out of business, lobbing softballs like this.

    Where are the pics of the reported gory wounds? Video of mushers & workers being mean, or at least audio of their trash-talk? All MIA.

    PETA are seasoned pros who know what they’re doing … this author doesn’t seem like he did, and wasn’t properly prepared. PETA trains their ops, decks them out with state-of-the-art recording equipment. Or, if he was a competent PETA-plant, after toughing it out in two kennels, he could come up with nothing beyond bits of hearsay.

    Still, though it isn’t much to work with, I’d say Mitch Seavey did a pretty good job with his lines. Hollywood might want to give him a second look.

  5. I can see why Mitch is pissed…
    The new PETA story does not make his operation sound humane:
    “…Again, there were dogs who needed veterinary care and didn’t get it.
    One of the dogs, Bedlam, had a wound on his muzzle that had become so infected that his entire neck was swollen.
    Seavey didn’t take him to a vet, though.
    He made him keep running.
    Another dog, Captain, had open, infected wounds on his neck, too—apparently caused by his collar, which chafed his neck constantly.
    The smell coming from his neck was terrible, but instead of taking him to a veterinarian, one of the workers just squeezed out the pus and yanked out pieces of infected tissue while telling me that the dog yard manager, Ryan Santiago, “hates this dog.”

    • Steve,

      It’s good to see you comment on the point of the article finally. Although if Mitch is to be believed, and I’m not saying he is, the entire quote you provided is a lie.

  6. If Seavey was more proactive with his animal husbandry both at kennel and race it would reduce petas ammunition. Him and son attract peta like flies on poop . That duo has sure damaged Iditarod. Why did he even give peta a moment of publicity? Urbach trying to make peace with peta talk is akin to offering yourself to tyrannosaurus in an attempt to satisfy their hunger. Not going to work. Their financial model is drama . The sad fact is they require enemies to exist. Irrational organization. Bryan’s statement is accurate. Insane. It’s to bad because if they rationally fought for animal rights in a positive fashion they could do so much good . Instead they just give the fringe element a bad name . Bryan totally has it figured out .

  7. All jokes aside, this sounds like the whole “impeachment” charade. Made-up stuff, 2nd and 3rd party hearsay, yadda.
    But, on a lighter note, a sad day for Barry Hussein, Clapper, Brennen, and the rest of those anti-Americans – “ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “died like a dog,” and had been “whimpering, and crying, and screaming all the way.”
    Thank You President Trump.

    • Bryan. I have a huge beef with trumps depiction and public celebration of his enimies death even if some may consider it to be an important moment . His crass language was Unbecoming of the leader of the most advanced nation in the free world to revel in suffering and demise of a human being . So disgraceful it’s beyond the pale. He just lost my respect. I would have ignored almost any political smear from his opponents but he has done more damage with his own mouth than the whole Russia hoax could drum up . I may still support him as president but now it’s clear who he is inside. We need a more upstanding leader like Rand Paul . trump just stooped to level level of an uneducated primitive animal – un human .

      • Opinion, I sorta get your sensitivities but, they need to be put to bed when it comes to Islamic scum. They rank up there with pirates and should be hung down at the harbor.
        They are the worst demonic filth that has ever roamed this earth. There should be no sanctuary for them or flowery words.
        What truly is sad is the fact Trump had to keep it from top Democrats for fear of their leaking. They would have loved for nothing more then to have had a helicopter or two shotdown, prisoners taken, soldiers killed, all so they could unleash their relentless anti-American, anti-Trump “news” media. Not ONE 2020 Dem hopeful praised the president. Petulant children..
        Sorry to say but, this is the way we won WW2. “Gooks, Krauts, etc..”. Not sure were worried about offending our enemies and we damn sure as hell were not offended as American’s back then – unlike the sissy snowflakes of today and their phony self righteous indignation.
        Honestly, Trump kills one of the most sought after dirtbags from the “death cult from hell” and you are offended by how he labels that inhumane filth? Grow-up.

      • Bryan , you need to get out of your box and study history, ethics quit buying into primitive tribalism . ( those who follow that path doom our culture to destruction) It has nothing to do with me being offended. I don’t take offense to what trump says . I take offense at the example he sets . Which like I said is unbecoming his status,position and education. I expect his degrading talk to be spoken in the slums by uneducated miscreants who never studied history or ethics. Trump alledgedly went to the best schools. There is no excuse for his lack of empathy to another human . Children just died . The example you promoted is no better than the example and acts of the people you denigrate – the Muslim extremists. Your mind just stooped to their level and justified their hatred. You can be better than that . So can trump and so can America. Our honor is tarnished with his despicable words . He should act respectfully. It takes strength to be respectful during emotional moments. Shows professionalism . It’s weakness to act like an immature child and gloat over the death of someone else and their children/ wives using sub human description of their deaths . Jumping up and down – we won we won – did your see their tears – who hoo ! Bryan we can win without becoming evil . You know that so don’t be a fool and tell me to grow up . You are better than how trump spoke . You were a solid soldier I understand so you should understand true leadership. His were not words of a leader . They were words of a poorly educated Child or worse . ( yes every day I try to grow up a little more )

      • Bryan, I recommend you read and study the poem IF by rudyard Kipling . It’s a start for an example for what makes British and American culture a culture of strength and honor. Short and sweet it is . Throw in reading about Christ’s teachings then get back to me and tell me if you think I’m on the wrong path .

      • Opinion, “tribalism” is synonomous with Democrats – “African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, ‘war on the police’, abortionists, ‘war on climate deniers’, anybody who disagrees is a racist, etc..
        Has nothing to do with stooping to Islamic terrorists levels, you cannot kill them with kindness, and all this nonsense, “we aren’t any better then they are”, means nothing in the real world, especially NOT theirs.
        They may not like Trump but they respect him. They may have liked Obama but, had zero respect for him.
        Again, I do not always agree with Trump’s delivery but, he is exposing the Washington cancer and for that I am grateful. As for showing Baghdaddy any respect, well, he deserves zero. If that makes me a “head chopper”, well, then we will just have to disagree. I am going to go celebrate our brave troops who operated with precision and hopefully unrestrained force.

      • To honor our troops and their precision like you just said are the words of an honourble leader . You just made the distinction. It’s not about sensitivities. It’s about self respect, strength and honor. Yes I respect the actions trump has taken for America at his own financial and personal expense ( America had no choice but to elect ghengis Kahn – he was the only one who could withstand the corruption of our government and its agencies- it took a savage to fight the beasts that have exposed themselves- a far more dangerous opponent than Ali bagdaddy in all respects- thank god trump is in office and may he persevere and get our nation back on track financially and culturally ) it would cost nothing for him to also put himself above his detractors and do it as an honorable example . A shining star . It costs not one penny but would rally his troops around him with loyalty and dedication like has never been seen .

      • Opinion, I agree, Trump, without doubt, could use some polishing. No question. His delivery is 100% NYC. Makes me cringe at times but, these are dangerous times we are living in. Our country has been in a 3yr coup.. How scary is that? We have admitted socialist running for president. Who would have thought? During my time I was at the “tip of the spear” if you will. I can assure you the politcal “yes men” generals cringe but, the “boots onntue ground” soldier applauds President Trump. The military is grateful for his acknowledgements.
        Just going to say once you leave the shores of our great country it is a rough and tumble world out there and I know I prefer someone who is a bit harsh but straightforward, unlike those phonies Bush and Obama who talk out both sides of their mouths. Opinion, I beg you not to put a human element where there is none. Those butchers are sub-human.

      • I think it’s worth noting here, that the Washington Post called Baghdadi an “austere religious scholar” https://news.yahoo.com/washington-post-headline-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-austere-religious-scholar-isis.html Calling a terrorist an “austere religious scholar” is insane. This Islamic terrorist blew himself and his children up, frankly I don’t care what anybody calls this waste of flesh even if some might call him a religious scholar.

    • Bryan,
      You are wrong in your assessment on Mitch’s kennel when U say: “Made-up stuff, 2nd and 3rd party hearsay, yadda.”
      This is actually the THIRD handler who worked directly with Mitch that is coming forward (with 1st person testimony)…
      One handler filed police reports years ago after she witnessed a dog beating and another is currently active with also getting the message out to the public, so this is not 3rd party “hearsay” but actually many direct observations…
      Too bad Craig is not better at painting the real picture at these kennels for Alaskans.

      P.S. a 4th past Seavey handler (and former Iditarod racer) “Carmen D. Perzechino, arrested for a sexual assault in Sterling 18 years ago, is currently being charged on rape”
      (KTVA.com)

      • Steve Stine said,

        Too bad Craig is not better at painting the real picture at these kennels for Alaskans.

        #1. Did we calculate here that since there is an unsubstantiated report of an incident at one kennel, that means all kennels can be dinged? Or would that result tells us instead to check our math-work?

        #2. Craig doesn’t exactly seem like the hottest Seavey cheerleader. He’s pinging on Seavey pretty regular.

        #3. Could it be, really, that we just can’t see dog-sports as anything but Deplorable? Can’t acknowledge that even if there was a 1% questionable-kennel rate, and maybe a 0.1% incident rate … that level of ethical observance would put both dog-runners and Alaska Culture at large, way out ahead of the human performance curve?

        Perfection is hard to achieve, and when we pose our political opposition as unworthy of existence because they lack it, it’s not convincing.

        Including eg, PETA. Do I think they’re Cool? No I do not. Are they worthless? No. There’s some good in what they do … not a great ratio, but the upside is there.

      • “Craig doesn’t exactly seem like the hottest Seavey cheerleader…
        He’s pinging on Seavey pretty regular.”

        Not sure what “pinging on Seavey” means to you, but this latest story is one of the worst that I have read in years…Unless the intent was musher propaganda?

        Where is the mention of the first two handlers who came forward with abuse stories at Mitch’s Kennel…I know Craig knows the details of all these whistleblowers who have come public over the years?
        So we have 3 whistleblowers at this point for just Mitch’s kennel and 1 that worked with Dallas who described the EXACTLY SAME neglected care…withholding of Veterinary care to sick and injured dogs??

        You can flood this comment section with all the anecdotes that you want it just is not changing the fact that farming of dogs for long distance “dog” racing is Inhumane by all modern animal welfare standards and PETA is one of the few organizations willing to call it out.

        PETA by the way is on a roll Nationally…
        Fur is banned from commercial sales in CA.
        Macy’s has banned Fur from all their stores (including the fur vault) and plant based diets have soared by over 500 percent in the U.S.
        All it will take is a prominent Vegan like Miley Cyrus to get behind this abuse case and the ITC is put in the history books forever!

      • Wictionary etymology: ping, (present tense) pinging;

        Partly onomatopoeic, and partly continuing Middle English pingen (“to push, shove, pierce, stab, prod, goad, urge, feel remorse, incite”), from Old English pyngan (“to prick”). Compare English pang.

        Great word. Given added bottom, extending/building on old usage, by induction into radar-sonar technology, and then its infusion into the cultural canon. Heavily used now in Internet-tech jargon, meaning ‘hit-on’ (for), ‘provoke-demand’ (a response).

        The protection and even sometime-lionizing of whistleblowers is one of those redeeming things that keep us from slipping further down the ladder than we might well, otherwise. But that doesn’t mean the seamier side of humankind can’t/doesn’t crop up among them.

        Charges or accusations made anonymously (abeyance of Due Process) can in theory be valuable, can lead to the disruption of noxious patterns, as in for example the prominent current case of MeToo. That pattern though was widespread, egregious, and the disorder of a shielded/privileged political class, which allowed it to metastasize.

        Basically, however, anonymity is a problem & adverse-indicator for whistleblowing, not a strength or merit.

        Back in the days of village-dogs, and into the early Iditarod, ‘old ways’ were still widespread. Modern mushing pioneers had to address, confront & retire these anachronisms … and they did so, quite effectively.

        Sled-dogs in their new entertainment-role had to become good people-dogs. The ‘old way’ produces animals that expect harsh treatment, and it shows in their response to people – especially strangers. Many old-time village dogs were “one-man dogs”; nobody else went near them … and that was regarded as a feature, not a bug.

        Some claim today that drugs are the explanation for ever-increasing levels of performance, but large steps in performance were being registered, well before contemporary performance-enhancing drug regimes.

        Susan Butcher popularized & glamorized the idea that dogs will do better when they are doing what they love, and love what they do. Negative motivations (to avoid punishments, minimize harsh treatment) simply can’t compete long-term with desire & reinforcement.

        Susan was of course taking advantage of the changes that had already occurred in dog-culture, both in the breeding and in the handling & training sides of the sport. Because these were a different kind of dog, different approaches were possible, and soon proved superior. Being an asshole with the team was shown to be simply noncompetitive.

        Susan may have gone a bit overboard with the new approach, as maybe some others did too (she was hardly the only one who noticed the new opportunities … but she’s the one who made it Shine). Dogs probably will inherently do best, if they remain (well-mannered) dogs … and to anthropomorphize them might be an interference (although some might still ‘go there’).

        Just like with human athletes, who also continue to improve in all venues (and without the selective breeding!), the most effective drive & push comes from within. Hostility (out of frustration, impatience) – all forms of external negative motivation – is counterproductive.

      • Ted, first question- how much does Iditarod pay you to make a positive internet media presence for Iditarod? You must be new . Do yourself a favor and study up and talk to some real dogmushers not just story books .? Ok . So you brought up Susan butcher. You don’t know your Alaska history very well so stop pretending you do . You totally misrepresented the facts of her history. Pick a different musher to lionize . Susan has passed so I won’t get into it . Bit iffy to malign the dead as they can’t defend themselves. Especially as Susan has wonderful innocent children. So let’s suffice it to say part of the reason Iditarod has a drug testing program is partially due to Susan’s mistakes. Also She was repeatedly seen to frequent a notorious vet in Fairbanks. . Van pelt and it wasn’t just for gentle therapy. As to her being at forefront of kindness, – do you just make stuff up ? Let’s just suffice it to say she pushed it and Iditarod got corralling because her husband was aiding and abetting rule avoidance . Talk to long Time Fairbanks folks or natives . Dear goodness your tale of old timers being rough and newbies having different kindness approach. There was exceptions then and now . Nearly the same . Yes there are fewer rough mushers now but but you got it wrong as to how it was in early days . Look up sepala and the sweepstakes. Many of Those mushers kept their dogs in barns and fed beef and lamb during their races 100 years ago ! Families raised puppies inside homes then and now – socialized by children- even the natives in villages do this . Sure there have always been poorly socialized dogs then and now .The biggest variance is in breeds – like the world round – all breads are different. Kindness has always had rewards – that’s especially been sled dogs history- granted most mushers arnt as pragmatic as the polar explorers – they can’t afgord to be and poor care costs a lot of money = failure . Humans aren’t idiots and dogs are known as mans best friend for a reason. The problem at hand now is Seaveys are giving mushers a bad name with their stock handling farm approach to sled dogs . I hear they are making great advancements but they do Iditarod and Alaska no favors with their overtly pragmatic approach. Got to go – apologize for any mistakes. Ted do yourself a favor and stick to the facts . Do some study and talk to old timers . And I mean old 😉

      • Steve Stine argues;

        PETA by the way is on a roll Nationally…
        Fur is banned from commercial sales in CA.
        Macy’s has banned Fur from all their stores (including the fur vault) and plant based diets have soared by over 500 percent in the U.S.
        All it will take is a prominent Vegan like Miley Cyrus to get behind this abuse case and the ITC is put in the history books forever!

        Just how responsible is PETA for a decline in fur sales? — LA Times, 2010

        A shift toward low-cost fashion is partly responsible for a reduction in the amount of fur being sold, [executive director of the California Fashion Assn.] [Ilse] Metcheck says. “It happened with the onslaught of H&M and Forever 21 and Topshop and Mango, where you can be fashionable at any price…. [sic] It takes money to wear fur. There is a lot less fur at the lower levels.”

        Technological advancements that have made it possible to create more authentic-looking faux fur have also helped turn the tide against the real thing, says Janine Blain of the retail trend consulting firm Directives West. “Stores are more than ever open to buying fake furs because the products look very, very good. In the past, there was never that variety,” Blain said.

        California’s new ban on fur sales is perhaps better explained as the continuing & diverse efforts of a one-Party government to further-mold the voting population in its own image, rather than in response to PETA pressure. Soft-core ethnic-cleansing?

        What Impact Has Activism Had on the Fur Industry? — Scientific American, 2009

        But while the fur industry’s sales numbers may have trailed off through the 1990s, resurgence in the popularity of fur—especially among newly affluent high-fliers in Russia and China—has meant that business is booming for those furriers serving such far-flung markets.

        By 2004 the industry was reporting banner sales—some $11.7 billion worldwide—despite the slumping post-9/11 economy. “Fur remains big with international designers and is set to continue as an integral part of fashion,” International Fur Trade Federation (IFTF) chairman, Andreas Lenhart, told reporters.

        Miley Cyrus etc would be just another in a parade of celebs using the vaunted PETA publicity machine to, um, buff their own Brand. We’ve seen her stuff already, but if she thinks PETA is a good excuse to show us again – why not!

      • Opinion;

        Susan Butcher, Pioneer in Sled-Dog Racing, Is Dead at 51 — New York Times, 2006

        “She never thought there should be any barriers for women,” Monson said in a telephone interview yesterday. “She was the first woman ever to dominate and be the best in the world at a sport where men and women compete equally, and the men did not like that.” [emph. added]

        Yeah, the ‘old ways’ with dogs were indeed “widespread” at one time … and so were the Old Attitudes about women! ‘The boys’ didn’t mind so awful much when Libby stole a march on them in the snow and became the First Woman … but Susan then beat them – all – Mano-a-Mano – year after year – fair n square. Having a ‘personal problem’ with this state of affairs was – Yeah, as Dave alludes, fairly “widespread”.

        If somebody wants to go with the old rumor that Butcher was illegally doping her dogs, then they have to make a choice:

        #1. Susan was the only corrupt musher in Alaska, while all ‘The Boys’ recited their Boy Scout Oath, or:

        #2. Juicing was “widespread” and Susan still beat them all at their own game, eat my yellow snow.

        I doubt it. There’s a difference between medicine, and doping. Often though we’re talking about the same chemicals, and whether it’s dope or meds, is a matter of the reason it was administered, and the timing. That pertains to humans too, now as then.

        All sports involve lots of legal medications and treatments. Many of them become illegal, only within so many hours, days or weeks of the big Race. At all other times, it’s ok. Not just in the Iditarod – everywhere.

        That makes it real easy for rumors to get going. “Hey, I was THERE, and those guys were DOPING”! No, they were administering medications, perfectly ok & above-board.

        Exactly what medicines & treatments are used, for what, and when – both with humans & critters – is an important ‘trade secret’ at many kennels, barns & Gyms. Do you take aspirin before a training session, or afterward? Do you sample every stool for aspirin-induced GI bleeding, or is once a week, or month good enough? When do you cut the aspirin, to let blood build back to max levels for the Event?

        That’s a very trivial example of what is in fact a very complex & high-profile facet of all serious athletic training, everywhere. People often think their investment in extensive studying, testing & experimenting with diet, supplements & meds gives them an edge … and they keep it under their hat. So they look & act like they’re hiding something – they are! If you pry, they become suspicious & guarded … and you think, “These guys are up to something”!

        Yeah they are … but it’s legal, and ethical. Usually. 😉

      • Opinion,
        I think you are on the right track when you said:
        “Ted, first question- how much does Iditarod pay you to make a positive internet media presence for Iditarod?”
        I thought back to the story Craig wrote about Dallas’s Tramadol test and how Sam Singer (the master of disaster) from the Bay Area was hired to “clean up” the PR mess.
        Well there you have it…
        Enter “Ted Clayton” the soap opera star from “One life to Live”.
        Within no time he is cutting and pasting to “rebut” every single story, yet he has no experience in the community?
        Seems like the paid trolls are gonna try their best but the truth is getting out and nearly a dozen handlers have come forward in the last few years from various kennels all speaking of inhumane conditions and animal abuse…
        PETA knows this and that is why they have committed their resources to the cause.
        Each campaign teaches them new strategies to educate the public…as the public continues to vote with their money, more disheveled abusive kennels will fold.

      • Steve Stine & Opinion,

        Ted, first question- how much does Iditarod pay you to make a positive internet media presence for Iditarod?

        Enter “Ted Clayton” the soap opera star from “One life to Live”.
        Within no time he is cutting and pasting to “rebut” every single story, yet he has no experience in the community?

        Yeah? Fascinating. Let’s take a quick look at this.

        Consider an operation in which Iditarod management is cutting checks to people, to post comments on website stories with some link to Iditarod. How many hirelings do you figure that would have to be? Would One Lone Guy be able to cover it? Maybe more like dozens? Hundreds? How much would they have to be paid?

        What about all the comments I post, that don’t have any connection to Iditarod? Is ITC also paying for those submissions … as say part of preserving the agent’s cover?

        Working Hollywood actors, toiling undercover to stuff pro-Iditarod PR in the comments … and absentmindedly posting under their real name? What would Hollwood, not to mention Hollywood-ally PETA, think about that kind of behavior?

  8. For Iditarod to “make peace” with PETA could totally mean almost anything, or practically nothing. It all depends on what actually is being suggested, and how it will be implemented.

    What would Jesus Christ do? Alternatively, what might Donald J. Trump do? Yeah … it makes a difference.

    The new Iditarod CEO is probably not going to roll over & bare his throat to PETA, or make the Last Great Race their obsequious tool. Is there some basis for this claim? Yes there is.

    Urbach got his Executive start in long distance running. There was a problem. Too many runners were dying, and it was bad PR (sound familiar?). Rob Urbach fixed that problem; that right there is where he established himself as a CEO, as a Boss who could see what needed done, and get it done.

    Solving problems in the social realm generally involves some drama. PETA specializes in dramatization. Unlike Trump, Urbach does not look like a natural dramatic-personality. He looks like a typical geeky character who gravitated to running long, lonely miles all by himself, which is what he did, how he got in the game. Probably a natural introvert (like an excess portion of mushers?).

    One of the very most basic, truly ancient tropes of drama, is Good Cop, Bad Cop. Urbach comes across as the quintessential straight-man. Guess which role Mitch Seavey appears to be volunteering to play?

    Many examples of Peace, are an armed stand-off. An uneasy Truce. People tend to think ‘peace’, and picture folks with their arms around each other, smiling real big. Wrong.

    We’ll see … but Rob Urbach, in my book, had this little PETA-Scene spotted from ‘way-back. Kinda hard to miss, eh? And has several alternative scripts for it in his back pocket.

    • Ted, like anything leftist, abortion, animals, “Global Warming, Spotted Owl, PETA, Darter Snail, Communisn/Marxism, Whaling, hunting, etc.. they will NEVER be satisfied, EVER, and will always DEMAND more. There is no compromise from those loons.

      • Bryan,

        I agree that PETA is what they is, and ain’t going to change, or compromise. But Rob Urbach doesn’t have to achieve anything along those lines. That’s not the Plot he has to write his Script around.

        Urbach just needs mainly/firstly to establish a good Sponsorship base. Rarely are all potential sponsors Equal. It’s common for people to make that assumption, though … and make supporting their Project (dog team, Iron Dog, whatever) more fraught than it has to be.

        Neither PETA nor leftie causes in general have the same standing with all potential sponsoring entities. Cough. There are plenty of businesses & industries with which PETA has already burned all their bridges. There’s no need to get involved with sponsors who have to always be fretting about the Leftists.

        The devil is in the details. ‘This’ is exactly what that expression was made for. Does Urbach have his details in order? That’s what we’re going to find out here, PDQ.

  9. “PETA or Global Warming alarmists, what difference does it make? Their clinically, mentally insane”. – Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton

    To take these lunatics as anything else is lunacy. Sadly there are quite a few in government.

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