Joint protest of GSPSA and PETA in front of the Millennium Hotel Biltmore in Tbilisi against Iditarod - July 18, 2021

Thursday July 22nd, 2021


On July 18, 2021, the Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals (GSPSA) turned 15 years old. GSPSA celebrated this day by holding an action to protest against animal cruelty.

On July 18, in front of  The Biltmore Hotel in Tbilisi, the Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals - GSPSA and PETA initiated a joint protest against Biltmore Hotel’s affiliation with Iditarod.

 The protest was aimed at the Millennium Hotels, which sponsor Iditarod, where more than 150 dogs died. GSPSA activists supported the PETA international campaign, that protests against this action. Hotel Biltmore is one of the Millenium Hotels.

The members of the action handed over the written protest of the GSPSA Chairman Teimuraz Tsikoridze to the administration of the Biltmore Hotel against the Sled dog race of Iditarod. PETA, in collaboration with GSPSA, the Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals, urge Millennium to stop promoting animal abuse and join ExxonMobil, Chrysler, Jack Daniel’s and others who have already severed ties with Iditarod.

   GSPSA’s letter to Millennium Biltmore Tbilisi Hotel

Iditarod - one of the biggest cruelty towards dogs in the world!

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, entirely within the US state of Alaska. Mushers and a team of 14 dogs, of which at least 5 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 8–15 days or more. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today's highly competitive race, where many dogs die, get injured or are killed.

Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to race against their will.  No dog would ever choose to run to their death.  They’re not Super Dogs – they’re not indestructible pieces of sporting equipment. They’re just like any other dogs who only want to live and enjoy loving companionship. But the Iditarod continues to push them beyond their capabilities, and as a result, dogs continue to suffer and die.

A PETA investigator worked at two dog kennels owned by former Iditarod champions and found widespread neglect and suffering. Dogs were denied veterinary care for painful injuries, kept constantly chained next to dilapidated boxes and plastic barrels in the bitter cold and biting wind, and forced to run even when they were exhausted and dehydrated

Dogs Endure Pain, Isolation, and Neglect at Iditarod Kennels.

The Great Northern Dog Abuse Festival, also known as the Iditarod, has lost four more sponsorships just since the beginning of this year, and PETA’s calling on holdout Millennium Hotels & Resorts to check out of Iditarod dog cruelty, where dogs are forced to run too fast and so far, that many have died after inhaling their own vomit. People can join at to help end this hideous abuse once and for all.

While sponsors continue to sprint away from Alaska’s deadly Iditarod dogsled race, Millennium Hotels & Resorts is apparently still happy to sponsor the grueling race, which leaves 81% of the  dogs who survive to the finish with lung damage. PETA’s urging Millennium to help put an end to this abuse by joining ExxonMobil, Chrysler, Alaska Airlines, Jack Daniel’s, and many others that have already severed ties with the Iditarod.

More than 150 dogs have died as a result of the Iditarod, not counting all the others who died during the off-season while chained up outside like bicycles in subzero temperatures, or those who were shot or bludgeoned to death because they lacked the rare speed and stamina to make the grade. The leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod is aspiration pneumonia caused by inhaling their own vomit.

Sled Dogs—a documentary that shines a spotlight on the dogs who are forced to run until their bodies break down or are killed if they don’t measure up—is available on Prime Video and Plex.


PETA is calling on Millennium Hotels and Resorts to check out of the Iditarod’s cruelty to dogs,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Millennium guests should be disgusted by the thought of supporting a race that has run 150 dogs to their deaths and countless others to the brink of collapse.”

General Bites:

Every year, hundreds of dogs are pulled out of the race because they're ill, injured or too exhausted to go on. During this year's race, nearly 200 dogs were pulled off the trail, leaving the rest to have to work even harder. One musher even admitted that the dogs she forced to run suffered from horrible diarrhea, violently vomited, and developed aspiration pneumonia, the leading cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.

Thousands of dogs are commercially bred each year for the race, and spend their lives chained to dilapidated boxes or plastic barrels, left outside in subfreezing temperatures, denied of any companionship or even the ability to socialize with another dog, and treated like disposable racing machines. These dogs are as deserving as the dogs we share our homes with, but are being pushed beyond their limits.

ExxonMobil, a major Iditarod sponsor, which gave $250,000 a year, confirmed that 2021 was the last year that it would support the race, and Chrysler, Jack Daniel’s, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and Alaska Airlines have all ended their support of the Iditarod.

Dogs deserve far better than a lifetime of isolation at the end of a chain, but that’s all they get when they’re not being forced to race, and they’ll continue to suffer and die as long as companies like Millennium continue to support the Iditarod. Everyone who is upset by these dogs’ desolation and misery can join us in urging Millennium to cut ties with this death race by visiting

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

Millennium should be ashamed to have its name associated with such cruelty!

© 2023 GSPSA
Voluntarily created by GSPSA member Irakli Geleishvili
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