The 2009 Iditarod is over and six dogs are dead.

Alaska’s anti-cruelty laws prohibit any person from knowingly inflicting “prolonged suffering on an animal.” Six dogs paid with their lives after running hundreds of miles in frigid temperatures and horrendous conditions.

Yet the Alaska State Troopers claim that, unless Iditarod officials ask them to look into the deaths, they will not open an investigation. Expecting those responsible for the carnage to ask for justice is absurd.

A spokesperson for the state troopers said that the agency does not look into mushing events unless something occurs “beyond normal practices.” Apparently, dogs dropping dead on the trail is considered “normal” in Alaska.

Any person with a shred of human decency would agree that dogs should not have to suffer and die for entertainment. Readers can learn more at www.peta.org.

Jennifer O’Connor

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals