Has the Iditarod – Alaska's 1,100-mile endurance test – endured too long?

Three more dog deaths this year have rekindled the debate over the sled dog race, last year's running of which saw three dogs die, as well, and one musher get disqualified for beating his dogs after two refused to get up and continue running.

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Some animal rights groups, like PETA, are flat-out against the race; others, like the Humane Society of the United States, say competitive mushing is fine, but the Iditarod, in its current form is too long and rigorous and needs to be modified.

The Iditarod commemorates a 674-mile run by 20 teams of mushers and sled dogs to relay diphtheria serum to the epidemic-stricken town of Nome in 1925. Dogs helped save man. Is it time to return the favor? Should the "last great race" have its last great race, or at least be shortened?

Opinions run strong on both sides. Here's a sampling of it, and some places where – in addition to our own Mutts comments section, of course – you can post your own. Each link should take you to a forum where the Iditarod is being discussed.

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