FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - 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 what he calls "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 connected to this year's race died, bringing the total dog deaths to more than 150 in the Iditarod's history.