Video shows Iditarod race champions alleged mistreatment of huskies

Shocking undercover video has emerged revealing the suffering of crippled and injured huskies allegedly left in freezing -2F winds by Alaskan sled dog racers.

The animals are used in the Iditarod Trail sled dog race, an annual event in early March where teams of 14 dogs race 938 miles across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome.

Two winners of the Iditarod race have been accused by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of mistreating their dogs: Mitch Seavey and John Baker.

Baker told DailyMail.com he 'categorically denied' all PETA's allegations, adding that his alleged and recorded statements were 'cherry-picked from a much broader history, taken out of context or patently false.' 

Seavey said none of PETA's allegations were 'verifiable or true'.

'One obviously does not consult ISIS or the Skin Heads on matters of local politics. Similarly, PETA is not a source on the topic of dog sledding, in my opinion,' the musher said. 

The fastest time in the 46-year-old race was set by three-time Iditarod champion Seavey in 2017 with a time of 8 days, 3 hours and 40 minutes. 

But, according to undercover video shot at the Alaskan kennels of Seavey and 22-time Iditarod competitor Baker, their animals pay a high price to make them winners, it is claimed.

The video of the animals was filmed by a worker at the kennels and passed to animal rights group PETA.

Iditarod Trail sled dog race champion John Baker (pictured above standing on the back of the sled)  is accused by an animal rights group of of leaving his huskies in a terrible condition

Iditarod Trail sled dog race champion John Baker (pictured above standing on the back of the sled)  is accused by an animal rights group of of leaving his huskies in a terrible condition

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claim 40 sled dogs were kept continuously chained in freezing Alaskan winds at Iditarod champion Baker's kennel

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claim 40 sled dogs were kept continuously chained in freezing Alaskan winds at Iditarod champion Baker's kennel

Baker (pulling sled) won the 2011 Iditarod Trail sled dog race with his pack of dogs after completing the 938 mile trek through Alaska from Anchorage to Nome

Baker (pulling sled) won the 2011 Iditarod Trail sled dog race with his pack of dogs after completing the 938 mile trek through Alaska from Anchorage to Nome

Baker (above) looked filled with pride when his lead dog Snickers (pictured) helped win him the 2011 Iditarod Trail sled dog race. The team took eight days, 18 hours and 46 minutes

Baker (above) looked filled with pride when his lead dog Snickers (pictured) helped win him the 2011 Iditarod Trail sled dog race. The team took eight days, 18 hours and 46 minutes

PETA undercover video claims to show 2011 champion husky Snickers, now crippled with arthritis and chained without shelter at Iditarod competitor Baker's kennels as the musher refused to get veterinary care for her

PETA undercover video claims to show 2011 champion husky Snickers, now crippled with arthritis and chained without shelter at Iditarod competitor Baker's kennels as the musher refused to get veterinary care for her

The undercover footage, shot in 2018 and this year, shows huskies crippled from arthritis or spinal problems and allegedly left without veterinary care, forced to drag themselves across the ice and snow. 

The huskies, trained to pull sleds in the races, were chained to poles in the cold with only dilapidated, open-faced wooden boxes or plastic barrels for shelter.

Some had run in circles on their short leashes until their paws were raw and bleeding, PETA claims.

Huskies have soared in popularity as pets in recent years, desirable for their similarity to the dire wolves seen in hit TV series 'Game of Thrones'.

Baker, who won the Iditarod in 2011, was caught on camera admitting that some of the dogs at Team Baker Kennel needed to be 'put out of [their] misery' but refused to let a vet see them in case they concluded 'we're being real hard on 'em,' according to PETA.

PETA claims in one incident Baker watched as a dog harnessed to a truck fell and was dragged along an icy road for more than 500 feet, saying that it would teach the dog to 'reconsider slowing.'

PETA claimed that the sled racer warned not to slow down the sled for a dog who stopped to defecate, telling the undercover worker that it was 'better to have a dead dog' than a 'dog that slows down the team.'

Baker was recorded saying that one of his dogs, Snickers, suffered from painful arthritis even as she led his team to victory in 2011.

Footage showed the Alaskan kept her chained up outdoors continuously next to the frozen sea, where the undercover worker found her limping, isolated, and crying.

PETA claims dog Birch, crippled after a spinal cord injury, was denied veterinary care by Iditarod champ Baker. She now only has a wooden box to shelter her from the -2F winds

PETA claims dog Birch, crippled after a spinal cord injury, was denied veterinary care by Iditarod champ Baker. She now only has a wooden box to shelter her from the -2F winds

PETA recorded Iditarod champion Baker saying Birch should be 'put out of her misery' but refused an eyewitness's offer to provide her with veterinary care because somebody might conclude 'we're being real hard on 'em'

PETA recorded Iditarod champion Baker saying Birch should be 'put out of her misery' but refused an eyewitness's offer to provide her with veterinary care because somebody might conclude 'we're being real hard on 'em'

Another dog, Birch, had suffered a crippling spinal cord injury that left her dragging her back legs. But like Snickers, Baker allegedly left the animal chained up outside.

'For the leaders, if I told them to turn this way and they didn't turn, I was heading up there, and I wasn't going up there to pet them,' Baker told the worker

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Puerto Rico board files flurry of lawsuits ahead of claim deadline