The Iditarod started on Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska and the mushers and their amazing dogs are off to battle the harsh elements. As with most things where pets do work, there is controversy over the Iditarod because some animal groups like PETA and The Humane Society of the United States say that the dogs are abused because they are forced to race 125 miles a day in blaring snow storms and freezing temperatures. They say that the dogs are subject to wounds, viruses and stress fractures due to the intensity of the race. PETA says that these dogs are being run to death in this race and that the dogs are treated inhumanely because they are chained up or kept in small kennels with sub-standard conditions. If puppies are not up to the musher’s standards, they are killed. Proponents of the Iditarod say that these claims are exaggerated and because there were just a few bad mushers, that the whole race should not be condemned. They say that their dogs’ health and well being are always at the forefront of their minds. Mush with P.R.I.D.E (Providing Responsible Information on a Dog’s Environment) is a group that was started by mushers to enhance mushers’ knowledge about sled dog care and responsible and humane treatment of the dogs. The battle and controversy over this race continues. I’m leaning towards Mush with PRIDE since they have a clever acronym. PETA was a good acronym until pita bread came on the scene.