Wayne State University is conducting inhumane experiments on dogs, forcing them to undergo excessive surgeries with poor oversight in violation of 16 federal laws, according to a petition filed today by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
At least one dog died as a result of the painful heart failure experiments, said Dr. Kenneth Litwak, an expert in animal experiments who petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action against the university.
“A hound named Rogue had her chest and abdomen opened up to implant nine devices, one of which likely rubbed a hole in her aorta causing her to bleed into her chest,” Dr. Litwak said. “She was forced to exercise on a treadmill just four days after one of her surgeries. Rogue’s short life in the laboratory failed to provide any data that would lead to treatments for human patients.”
The records showed a “disturbing lack of care” and “significant violations of the Animal Welfare Act,” according to the petition.
At first, Wayne State officials refused to disclose records from the experiment, prompting the physicians group to sue under the Freedom of Information Act. Earlier this month, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Susan D. Borman ordered the release of the records.
The physicians group discovered that dogs were given two major surgeries within a week of each other and then forced to run on a treadmill, which Litwak said “likely explains repeated examples of incision site serums, infections and drainage described in the animals records following surgical procedures.”
Litwak said the experiment is so shoddy and poorly supervised that it will never have scientific value.
Nevertheless, Wayne State has no plans to end the experiments.
“Experiments will be repeated on a daily basis until we feel comfortable that we have obtained relevant control data,” the university wrote in one of the reports obtained by the physicians group.
The physician’s group also found:
- Some dogs were burned because of improper treatment.
- Unauthorized surgeries were taking place.
- The staff is poorly trained.
- The university has no required proof that dogs were given veterinary care for infections, serums, inappetence and vomiting.
“The new president of Wayne State should immediately halt these unlawful experiments,” Litwak said.
If you are opposed to the experiments, the physicians group is asking that you tweet a photo of your dog, followed by #PleaseDrCollins and @NIHdirector. The National Institutes of Health funds the experiments.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.