Whiskey maker Jack Daniels, the long-time sponsor of the dog sled race Iditarod, has pulled its involvement with the event.
The 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometre) race is set in Alaska and dogs compete in a tough race. It’s been a tough year for the race organizers who have faced financial hardships, loss of other sponsors and the first-ever dog doping scandal.
Jack Daniel’s spokesman Svend Jansen said in a statement the company decided to go in a different direction by shifting most of its marketing efforts to a partnership with the National Basketball Association.
He said a campaign against the Iditarod by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had nothing to do with its decision.
PETA lauded the action, saying the company did “the right thing.”
PETA says it first contacted Jack Daniel’s following the deaths of five dogs connected with the 2017 race.
In a follow-up email to The Associated Press, Jansen says the company had no issue with the treatment of the animals.
As a sponsor of The Iditarod for 15 years we have been particularly impressed with the utmost care in which the animals are treated by the race veterinarians, the dog sled teams and everyone associated with this event.”