It’s crazy to think that in this day and age, with such powerful technology and brilliant scientists, animal testing is still a thing.
But it is, and animals like rats, mice, rabbits, and many others are still forced to endure almost unimaginable suffering in laboratories every day. Not even “man’s best friend” is safe from these cruel tests.
It’s true: More than 61,000 dogs are tested on in U.S. laboratories every single year. Here are some cases in which dogs have suffered for cruel experiments.
Holes Were Drilled Into Dogs’ Skulls at Liberty Research, Inc.
Experimenters drilled holes into the skulls of hundreds of dogs at the Liberty Research, Inc., in New York, and injected a deadly virus into their brains. Sounds like something out of a horror movie, doesn’t it? For these dogs, this nightmare was real life.
Some of the dogs blinked and even cried while the painful procedure was being done—even though they were supposed to be anesthetized. When they fully woke up, many of them hit their heads on cage walls and floors, likely because of the agony they were experiencing. After the cruel experiment was over, some dogs became lethargic and stopped eating, most likely out of depression. They were killed at the end of the study.
After all that, the experiment was proved scientifically useless. Here’s how you can help end the disturbing experiments at Liberty.
Texas A&M University Breeds Dogs to Have Muscular Dystrophy
Liberty isn’t the only facility performing pointless and inhumane experiments on dogs. Texas A&M University is another cruel culprit. The school intentionally breeds dogs to have a canine form of muscular dystrophy.
The disease makes it extremely hard for the suffering dogs to walk and eat. In video footage obtained by PETA, you can see that dogs were left alone in metal cages without so much as a blanket to cushion their emaciated bodies.
Dogs Forced to Inhale Toxic Chemicals
Dogs are often chosen as subjects in toxicology studies. In these studies, large doses of a substance (like pesticides or household cleaning products) are either force-fed to them or injected into their bodies. They’re slowly poisoned. ?
Dogs Forced to Run Until They Had Heart Attacks
Dogs also suffer greatly for human-disease tests. In one disturbing experiment at Ohio State University, scientists forced surgically altered dogs to run on a treadmill until they had heart attacks. They were then killed, and their hearts were removed and studied.
Dogs Abused for Flea and Tick Medication
Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS) took money from giant pharmaceutical companies to test insecticides and companion-animal medications like flea and tick products on dogs.
PLRS smeared chemicals on animals’ skin. During the cruel tests, laboratory workers sprayed the animals with pressure hoses (sometimes with chemicals in them), hit and kicked the dogs, and dragged those who were too scared to walk through the facility.
Many dogs also had raw wounds from being forced to live on constantly wet concrete, often in their own poop and pee. When PLRS wanted to cut costs, they decided to kill some of the dogs instead of paying for their food each day.
After the results of PETA’s PLRS investigation were published, the facility was cited for dozens of violations, surrendered nearly 200 dogs (and more than 50 cats) for adoption, and shut its doors.
University of Pennsylvania Cut Puppies’ Eyes Out
In an equally messed-up experiment at the University of Pennsylvania, beagle puppies were bred to have an eye disease so that they were born blind. The young pups’ eyes were cut out, and they were killed.
Animal testing is archaic and unhelpful. Studies show 90 percent of experiments on animals don’t lead to treatments for humans. Even a former U.S. National Institutes of Health director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, admitted that animal experimentation has been a major failure in helping humans:
“We have moved away from studying human disease in humans. … We all drank the Kool-Aid on that one, me included. … The problem is that [animal testing] hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem. … We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.” —Dr. Elias Zerhouni
While some of these experiments have been forced to end, other facilities still perform cruel tests on dogs. Animal experiments are cruel and expensive, and newer, humane methods exist. These methods include in vitro testing, in silico modeling, tissue engineering, organs-on-a-chip, and studies with human volunteers.
The University of Utah Used to Test on Dogs From Shelters
One PETA eyewitness investigation inside the laboratories at the University of Utah showed that the school was buying dogs and cats from local animal shelters and using them for painful experiments. The animals were often killed in them.
Not only did experimenters subject dogs to cruel tests, employees were also documented throwing, kicking, and dragging them. Can you imagine if your pup got loose, ended up in a shelter, and was sold to a university where he or she had to endure this abuse? After a giant PETA campaign against the practice, the state changed the law so shelters didn’t have to sell to laboratories.
What You Can Do
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though! Compassionate and intelligent people like you are asking their representatives in Washington, D.C., to help end cruel tests on animals—and you can do the same. Be a hero for dogs (and all animals) and tell your friends and family why they should ask Congress to help end animal testing, too.