Dog deaths at the Iditarod are renewing calls to end Alaska's famous race

Three dogs died during the race in addition to five that died during training

Dogs mushing during the 2019 Iditarod
Musher Matt Hall guides his dogs during the 2019 edition of the Iditarod
(Image credit: Erick W. Rasco / Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

A major Alaskan tradition has arrived for its 2024 installment, as Dallas Seavey won the Iditarod sled dog race on March 12 for a record sixth time. However, the dog musher's victory was overshadowed by a series of tragic canine deaths at the race — on and off the course — that has renewed controversy over the ethics of the Iditarod.

The harsh winter elements of the Alaskan wilderness proved deadly for three dogs who died during the race this year. In all three instances, Iditarod officials said life-saving measures were unsuccessful and that they would "make every attempt to determine the [dog's] cause of death." And these were just the dogs that died during the race itself; five other dogs died and eight more were injured after colliding with snowmobiles while training for the Iditarod.

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