Major sponsor pulls support from Alaska’s Iditarod race

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The world’s most famous sled dog race has lost a major backer, and Alaska race officials are blaming animal rights organizations for pressuring corporate sponsors like Wells Fargo outside the state.

Wells Fargo spokesman David Kennedy says the banking institution’s investment in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has declined since 2010.

He says he can’t discuss specific reasons for dropping the sponsorship altogether.

Iditarod CEO Stan Hooley says there’s no doubt the decision is related to “misguided activists” like PETA wrongly implying the Iditarod condones cruel treatment of the dogs.

PETA lauds the decision, saying it alerted the bank that five dogs died in this year’s race, bringing the total dog deaths to more than 150 in the Iditarod’s history.

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