Ban Drugs for Iditarod Racing Dogs

Target: Lisa Murkowski, Alaskan Senator

Goal: Outlaw use of performance-enhancing drugs on sled dogs.

Several dogs in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race recently tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug that the sled team refused to identify. This led the race officials to change the rules to forbid the use of such substances, though it was too late to disqualify this particular team. The list of forbidden drugs includes anabolic steroids, cough suppressants, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and opiates.

Substances such as steroids and opiates can be very dangerous, and mushers who give them to their dogs are putting the safety and health of those dogs at great risk for the sake of victory. This goes beyond cheating and comes dangerously close to animal cruelty given the risks to these animals. Steroids, for example, can lead to diabetes, pancreatitis, and weakened immunity in dogs after prolonged use.

These potentially life-threatening side effects are not worth winning a race. There are far more humane ways to train and raise strong racing dogs without resorting to potentially poisoning their bodies. Sign this petition to demand a full ban on the use of performance-enhancing drugs for dogs.


Dear Senator Murkowski,

A team of mushers was reportedly discovered to have used performance-enhancing drugs on their sled dogs. The rules of the race have changed to forbid the use of such substances, but that is only one step. Substances such as steroids, muscle relaxants, and opiates can be extremely dangerous; the mushers not only allegedly cheated, but put the health and well-being of their dogs at risk. Such drugs can cause weakened immunity, diabetes, and hair loss.

Racing dogs are living creatures, much more than just a tool for victory in a race, and deserve to be treated with the best care. You must outlaw the use of potentially dangerous drugs on these animals, as there are far more humane methods of training a strong team of racing dogs that will not put their health at risk. Ensure that performance-enhancing drugs are fully illegal from here on out, and protect dogs from the potentially life-threatening side effects.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek

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  1. Never mind banning drugs- ban the whole mindless and stupid race!

  2. this so called sport should be banned these poor dogs run their hearts out for what so some stupid humans like to see this torture stop the cruelty

  3. If that kind of competition is needed, why not let The World Anti-Doping Agency test the dogs exactly as they do with participants in all other sports.

    Should it then appear indication of doping at any of the participants’ dogs, then the mushers or/and dog owner will be legally responsible and punished.

  4. Ban Iditarod Racing Dogs
    It’s just another form of animal abuse like dog fights,bull fighting, greyhound racing, Orcaq and dolphin shows, lion taming in circuses. STOP THE ABUSE for sick people’s entertainment. Drugs, too? Jail time for the culprits.

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