ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod has punished three mushers for taking their dogs inside shelter cabins during fierce storms at the tail end of this year's race.
Mushers Mille Porsild of Denmark and Michelle Phillips of Canada were demoted in standings and Riley Dyche of Fairbanks was fined for riding out the storm with their dogs.
The decision to punish the mushers was made by race marshal Mark Nordman, who said the indoor rest for the dogs amounted to a competitive advantage over teams that trailed them into Nome.
The mushers defended their decision to shelter the dogs in harsh conditions.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the punishment for saving dogs makes it clear the race must end.