Sled Dog Action Coalition/PETA Unsuccessfully Try to Stop Appearance by Dog Sled Racer

In September The Sled Dog Action Coalition and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals led an e-mail and letter campaign to convince a women’s empowerment workshop in New York to drop an appearance by dog sled race DeeDee Jonrowe. Jonrowe is best known for holding the fastest women’s time in the Iditarod.

Yvonne Kopy, director of the Wild Women Unite conference held in Pulaski, New York, told the Associated Press that she received about 30 e-mails a day — some as far away as Europe — asking her to cancel Jonrowe’s scheduled appearance. Kopy told the Associated Press,

I’ve fought many battles, but I didn’t expect this one. The U.K., Italy, France, Scotland. That they really care who comes to Pulaski, New York, I had to laugh.

In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Margery Glickman of the Sled Dog Action Coalition said,

The Iditarod is animal abuse. And animal abuse is not motivational for women.

Similarly, PETA’s Amy Rhodes told the Associated Press,

Driving dogs into the ground and literally working them to death is certainly not a true sport.

Organizers went ahead with Jonrowe’s appearance and she led a parade through Pulaski.


Protest targets dog sled racer. Associated Press, September 13, 2004.

Wild women unite in Pulaski. Edwin Acevedo, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), September 18, 2004.

Sled Dog Action Coalition vs. Grade School Teacher

In February the Sled Dog Action Coalition — a group opposed to sled dog racing — sent a letter to a Portland, Oregon school in February complaining about a third and fourth-grade teacher’s curriculum which includes a section focusing on the Iditarod.

Cassandra Wilson teaches at Jesse Applegate Elementary School in Portland and was named Teacher on the Trail for 2003 by the Iditarod. The Teacher on the Trail is selected as a volunteer to spend 3 and a half weeks with the Jr. Iditarod. According to The Oregonian, Wilson “has used the Iditarod for several years to teach her students skills in math, writing, science and the creative arts.”

This angered the Sled Dog Action Coalition which maintains students are receiving a one-sided view of this “cruel” race. Margery Glickman of the Florida-based group told The Oregonian,

Here we have a teacher who is in the role of promoting the Iditarod. These lesson plans are not going to have what animal protection activists have to say.

Imagine that — a curriculum not driven by animal activists? Oh, the horrors.

Glickman continues,

All of this is not in the realm of what a good teacher should be. The teacher is a role model. A teacher who i a Teacher on the Trail is not fulfilling their obligations.

In fact, however, Wilson told The Oregonian that she did discuss with her students why some people and groups are opposed to the Iditarod, but

. . . Wilson said the enthusiasm she saw in her students outweighed the negative reaction she got from some groups.

“There’s way too much positive, way too much positive,” she said.


PETA, others say sled dog race is cruel. Abby Haight, The Oregonian, February 16, 2003.