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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 21, 2010

Report: Iditarod ends with no dog deaths

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska The Anchorage Daily News is reporting that there were no dog deaths during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The race ended Saturday night when the 55th and final finisher, rookie Celeste Davis, reached Nome.

Chief race veterinarian Stuart Nelson told the newspaper he could not remember a year without dog deaths since he became involved in the race in 1986. At least twice, in 1994 and 1996, there has only been one death, he said.

Race supporters have said that with more than 1,100 dogs starting the race, a dog death during the two-week competition is statistically inevitable.

Six dogs died in 2009.

Animal rights activists see the grueling 1,100-mile race as fatally demanding on dogs.