An Iditarod dog dies after being buried in snow. On March 16, NBC News reported that the 5-year-old dog that died was the first dog death in Iditarod since 2009. The dog, named Dorado, was found dead in Unalakleet, an Inupiat Eskimo village. He had been left in the village by musher, Paige Drobny, which is common -- dogs are often dropped off if they get tired -- and the pup had "sore muscles." According to the report, drifted snow covered some of the dogs in Unalakleet but Dorado didn't make it.
"A necropsy, which is the animal equivalent of an autopsy, determined the cause of death was asphyxiation from being buried in snow in severe wind conditions, race marshal Mark Nordman said" (via NBC News).
The Iditarod dog dies marking a break in the "safety streak" that was used as evidence to prove that the race dogs were properly cared for. It is unknown exactly how long the dogs were left out in the cold, but they were reportedly checked on in the middle of the night. They waited in Unalakleet for a flight back to Anchorage. Dorado, however, didn't make it. This incident is obviously fueling a burning fire inside those who oppose the Iditarod race.
"Our stance on the Iditarod has always been that people who care about dogs should not support the race. It's a cruel spectacle," said Ashley Byrne, campaign specialist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (via NBC News).
When an Iditarod dog dies, many things are looked in to. Sadly, this sounds like a terrible accident. Dorado's breed was likely a Husky.
© Effie Orfanides 2013