ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CBS Seattle) – After the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals publicly maligned dog musher Paige Dronby by falsely accusing her of abandoning one of her dogs to die, the racer fought back.
According to KTUU-2, Dronby’s lawyer threatened to sue PETA after they accused Dronby of abandoning a 5-year-old male dog named Dorado and leaving the animal to perish in a snowstorm.
The station learned that Dronby had, in fact, accompanied Dorado and all of the other dogs on her team to a Unalakleet checkpoint. However, a snowstorm caused the dog to be covered in snow, and the animal reportedly expired by asphyxiation.
Though PETA initially called for Dronby to criminally charged and prosecuted for the animal’s death, they reportedly changed their story after learning the facts.
“PETA has learned that Ms. Dronby had no way of knowing that a sudden storm was coming to the checkpoint area and is not culpable for Dorado’s death. PETA apologizes for suggesting that she was,” a release from PETA obtained by KTUU-2 stated. “PETA thanks Ms. Dronby 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.”
The release, which was said to be penned by PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, added that “this cruel race should end—but until then, Iditarod organizers need to enact further reforms, including time limits on dogs’ participation and better supervision to prevent abusive training methods.”
The apology found within the press release might be too little, too late for Dronby, however, who is reportedly still looking into her legal options.
“We are bothered by the obvious attempt to bury this release in a larger piece of PETA propaganda, released on the weekend,” she stated. “We are considering our options in light of this weak effort.”