Iditarod launches new dog care initiative

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - The Iditarod announced a partnership with long-time Iditarod supporter David Pike, to create the Pike Dog Wellness First Initiative in order to help out the mushing community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership results in a $50,000 fund.

According to the Iditarod in a statement, the fund was created after race organizers and Pike began anticipating the potential financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on Iditarod mushing kennels due to lost revenue from tourism declines and other economic hardships.

The fund will allow mushers to provide gold standard of care for their teammates as part of regular wellness visits, vaccines, EKGs, and optimum holistic health – all of which will be supported through the PDWFI.

The fund will allocate $25,000 to both the 2021 and 2022 mushers.

The first 50 mushers to enter each race are eligible to receive $500 from the PDWFI to cover veterinary expenses, such as diagnostics, vaccines, deworming, and prescribed medications. The Iditarod, through the initiative, will reimburse the musher for the care provided by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinarian technician.

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