PETA apologizes for sled dog death claim

April 8, 2013 at 4:10 PM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, April 8 (UPI) -- An animal activist group has apologized to a musher in Alaska's Iditarod competition after blaming her for the death of an unattended sled dog, officials say.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had said musher Paige Drobny should be criminally prosecuted after a dog she dropped at a checkpoint in the Iditarod race March 11 died during a snowstorm, KTUU-TV in Anchorage reported Saturday.

PETA had accused Drobny of leaving the dog unattended.

Officials determined the dog and others had been under supervision, but the dog became covered in snow and died of asphyxiation.

"PETA has learned that Ms. Drobny had no way of knowing that a sudden storm was coming to the checkpoint area and is not culpable for Dorado's death," the group said in a statement. "PETA apologizes for suggesting that she was. PETA thanks Ms. Drobny for asking the Iditarod to make changes so as to supply shelter for all dogs dropped off at collection points along the race route in the future and is pleased that the Iditarod has agreed."

Drobny called the statement a "weak effort," saying she was "bothered by the obvious attempt to bury this release in a larger piece of PETA propaganda, released on the weekend."

She added that "we are considering our options."

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