Written by PETA
Prior to last month, when it announced (after a vigorous PETA campaign) that it would no longer experiment on animals from shelters, the University of Utah (the U) regularly conducted cruel and deadly experiments on lost, stray, and abandoned cats and dogs. One of these unfortunate souls was a dog named Sunny, whom employees at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) described as "very sweet" and "timid."
When Sunny was dropped off at NUVAS by the police, shelter workers scanned her and found a microchip indicating that she belonged to a rescue group called the Utah Animal Adoption Center (UAAC). Even though state law says that shelters must make "a reasonable effort to … find the rightful owner of the animal," NUVAS didn't even bother to call UAAC to try and find Sunny a safe and loving home. Instead, it sold her to the U for $50. The U also scanned her for a microchip, found that it lead back to UAAC, and, again, made no attempt to reach the group. Instead, according to the Associated Press, she was used in an experiment and killed, and her heart was cut out.
A simple phone call would have saved her life. No one at UAAC knew about the fate Sunny had met until it was too late.
PETA and UAAC have filed complaints with the state and will continue to seek justice for Sunny.
Thankfully, animals in Utah shelters are no longer at risk of being tormented and killed in experiments like Sunny was.
You can help save other animals from suffering in laboratories as well by taking a moment to e-mail your U.S. representatives asking them to divert public money away from cruel and crude animal experiments and give it to humane, relevant, and lifesaving non-animal research.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Following PETA's undercover investigation and an intense year-long campaign, the University of Utah (also known as "the U") has announced that it will no longer purchase dogs and cats from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—or any other animal shelter—to be used in invasive and deadly experiments. Since the U was the last Utah purchaser of homeless animals for use in experiments, this victory means the complete end of "pound seizure" in the state of Utah!
PETA's shocking investigation at the U in 2009 has prompted a sea change in the treatment of animals in Utah. Until then, public shelters were forced by law to sell animals to the U. Soon after we broke our case, the U was cited for nine violations of federal animal welfare laws, Utah legislators amended the state's pound-seizure law so that government-run animal shelters could choose not to sell animals for experimentation, and the shelter that was then selling the most animals to the school ended the practice. A PETA lawsuit compelled a city to turn over records of the animals it sold to the U so that the public would know who these betrayed animals were. And who can forget Sheena, the loveable mutt whom PETA helped rescue from the U, where she would have gone under the knife, just in time for Christmas.
The U's decision appears to have already pushed it to find more humane research methods. Instead of repeatedly forcing tubes down shelter cats' throats in a cruel and crude intubation training course, the scheduled animal laboratory was recently canceled after PETA protests, and modern human-infant simulators were used instead.
Now, animals entering the state's animal shelters will no longer be betrayed by those who should help them, and Utah residents with missing dogs or cats can at least know that if their beloved animal companions make it to a shelter, they won't be sold to laboratories, where they would experience lives filled with suffering and grisly deaths.
A huge thank-you to all of you who asked the U and NUVAS to do the right thing by animals. This is a major victory, but there are still too many animals suffering in university laboratories—in Michigan, South Carolina, and Ohio and in both Dallas and Galveston, Texas, just to name a few. So please keep speaking up until every cage is empty. And to help PETA continue to help animals, become a member today!
We are very happy to report that as a result of pressure from PETA and more than 25,000 of our supporters, Utah's Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) has announced that it is canceling plans to torment cats in a cruel and archaic training exercise!
As it had in previous years, PCMC planned to offer this animal lab as part of an annual conference that is co-sponsored by the University of Utah. The cats—who would have been purchased from a local animal shelter—were slated to have hard plastic tubes forced down their windpipes and likely would have suffered bleeding, swelling, scarring, and even collapsed lungs. But thanks to the efforts of PETA supporters who took part in a short but vigorous campaign, the cats will now be spared this trauma, and the conference will only use modern simulators for the training.
Since last week, tens of thousands of compassionate people responded to PETA's e-mail action alert targeting PCMC, and hundreds posted comments on PCMC's wall on Facebook (prompting the hospital to shut down the page entirely). The owner of Salt Lake City's all-vegan Cakewalk Baking Company even made and hand-delivered a cake to PCMC's CEO in protest of the inhumane exercise.
This morning, we asked supporters to call PCMC and urge officials to do the right thing by calling off this exercise. Hundreds did just that, and some of you may have heard the news directly that PCMC was scrapping plans for this cruel laboratory.
While we are thrilled to celebrate this important victory for animals, we ask that you please take a moment to speak out against the cruel actions of North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—the last shelter in Utah that continues to sell animals for experiments and the facility that would have provided cats to PCMC. PETA's successes depend on your willingness to take action. Let's keep the momentum going!
Written by Jeremy Beckham
It's time once again for the not-so-coveted Vivisector of the Month award. Of course, all vivisectors deserve the "prize" for their mad science, but we've narrowed the field to two particularly nasty candidates. We're asking you to vote for the person you would most like to see in a stockade getting beaned in the head with fruit.
Mark Lowell is a faculty member at the University of Michigan (UM) who seems to have forgotten that when he went through medical school he swore an oath to do no harm. Lowell directs a Survival Flight course for nurses; in the course, cats and pigs are tormented even though superior human simulators are used to teach the same skills in other courses at UM. Cats have hard tubes repeatedly forced down their windpipes for intubation training, and many of them are killed. Pigs have holes cut into their limbs, throats, and chests and are stabbed with needles in their bones and the tissue surrounding their hearts. PETA, students at UM, the campus newspaper, the student government, and even UM alum Iggy Pop are vigorously urging Lowell to shut down this nasty operation.
In the other corner, weighing in at "cold and callous," is Bradley Greger. This peach of a person is one of the experimenters we've been telling you about at the University of Utah (the U) who buys cats from the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter and subjects them to cruel experiments before killing them. Greger also drills holes into monkeys' and cats' skulls and implants electrodes into their brains. He screws titanium pins into the monkeys' skulls and attaches an aluminum head-restraint device to immobilize the animals in chairs for up to eight hours per day for brain experiments.
You can use our form to e-mail the University of Michigan and the University of Utah and tell them that you support modern, humane science—not cruel animal experiments.
So who will it be: Mark "Lower Than Low" Lowell or Bradley "The Butcher" Greger? Get your moldy oranges ready, aim, and fire.
UPDATE: The University of Utah has announced that it no longer will purchase animals from North Utah Valley Animal Shelter or any other shelter for experiments!
If the folks at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) were hoping to quietly continue betraying the animals in their care, they've just had their bubble burst. The billboard that we've placed on the interstate less than a half-mile from NUVAS says it all.
Utah County residents who don't happen to drive this stretch of highway won't miss the message. We're taking it to their front door—literally—in the form of a door hanger with photos of some of the dogs who should have found a haven at the shelter but were instead sold like pieces of laboratory equipment. Anyone who lives in the area is welcome to help distribute the door hangers.
NUVAS has no excuse. Following a PETA investigation of the University of Utah (the U), Utah legislators amended state law so that animal shelters would not be required to sell animals to laboratories. NUVAS is the only shelter in the state that still engages in this shameful practice. Shelter dogs recently purchased by the U are currently being used in an experiment in which their chests and necks are cut open and pacemakers are implanted in their hearts to induce an irregular heartbeat. All 45 dogs used in this experiment will be killed and have their hearts cut out and dissected.
You can help by sending an e-mail to Utah County officials urging them to force NUVAS to end this unethical and outdated practice.
In response to our January 2010 lawsuit (and with a court date rapidly approaching), Davis County, Utah, has finally agreed to abide by the law and provide PETA with the intake forms and transfer records for the approximately 100 dogs and cats that it's animal shelter callously sold to the University of Utah in 2009 to be tormented in experiments. While Davis County ended this shameful practice earlier this year, these records will show that the homeless dogs and cats who are unfortunate enough to end up cut up and killed in the university's laboratories have names and personalities and are no different than the animals whom many of us consider family and with whom we share our homes. Indeed, some were peoples' lost and surrendered animal companions.
Under the agreement, Davis County will be reimbursing PETA for 50 percent of PETA's legal fees—nearly $18,000.
Since our subsequent undercover investigation at the University of Utah, the state legislature amended the law so that government-operated animal shelters are no longer required to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments upon request. Only one shelter in the state—Lindon's North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—continues to profit by betraying homeless animals and selling them to the university.
Please take a moment to urge NUVAS to stop stocking the university's laboratories with helpless victims.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Yes, there is a Santa Claus—at least there is for Sheena, a lovable mutt who was slated to be used in cruel experiments at the University of Utah (the U) but is now safe in a foster home.
Sheena's former guardian, Gayle, reluctantly surrendered the dog to the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) in hopes of finding her a new home because Sheena wasn't getting along with another dog in the house and Gayle could not afford to keep three large dogs. Unbeknownst to Gayle, who visited Sheena at NUVAS several times to make sure that she was being cared for, the shelter sells animals to laboratories for use in experiments. One day, Gayle called NUVAS to check on Sheena and learned that, without warning, the dog had been sold to the U. When Gayle asked NUVAS staffers what would happen to her dog and pressed them for details on the shelter's arrangement with the U, she was told that shelter employees are prohibited from speaking with the public about it.
After contacting the U to make sure that Sheena was still alive, Gayle immediately called PETA's emergency hotline and learned that dogs who are purchased from NUVAS by the U are often surgically mutilated and killed. Gayle demanded that the U return Sheena to her, and with PETA's help, she found Sheena a loving foster home, where the dog will stay until a permanent home becomes available.
Sheena will have a merry Christmas after all! But many other dogs aren't so lucky. PETA is urging NUVAS to follow in the footsteps of every other shelter in the state and stop betraying homeless animals by selling them for experiments.
If you are unable to properly care for your dog or cat and feel that you must find a new home for him or her, please make sure that you don't surrender your companion to a shelter that sells animals to laboratories.
Written by Heather Moore
Thanks to a recent undercover investigation in which PETA revealed that the University of Utah (the U) had bought more than 100 homeless animals from animal shelters and subjected them to invasive, painful, and deadly experiments, a law was passed so that shelters in Utah are no longer required to turn animals over to laboratories. There is now only one animal shelter in the entire state—the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS)—that voluntarily continues to betray homeless dogs and cats by selling them to the U. The NUVAS is signing the torture-followed-by-death warrant for animals it hands over, as most are likely to suffer in the sort of archaic experiments documented by PETA's undercover investigator. A recent demonstration outside NUVAS sent the message loud and clear that this betrayal of trust cannot go on:
The demonstrators handed out leaflets to passersby, warning them about NUVAS' "pound-seizure" policy. They begged people who were surrendering animals to take their cats and dogs to a different shelter and personally rescued two surrendered cats, Angel and Libby, who might have otherwise ended up being tortured in the U's experiments. Let's keep the pressure on NUVAS and press for an end to its release of animals for experimentation.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Eating meat can be a real pain in the behind—literally. A new study from France found that women who consumed the most protein—particularly animal flesh—had nearly three times the risk of being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD includes ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and other nasty conditions that cause severe inflammation in the digestive system and often abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Researchers think that meat could contribute to IBD because digesting animal flesh produces hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and other potentially toxic "end products."
I have a gut feeling that IBS sufferers—and everyone else—would be better off switching to a diet that's kind to our digestive systems and to animals!
Here's some good news: The thoroughbred racing rag The Blood-Horse reports that the TV ratings for last weekend's Belmont Stakes (the last "jewel" in the Triple Crown) were the lowest ever in the 50 years that ratings have been tracked. Apparently, Saturday-evening TV viewers have better things to do than watch a dozen horses get flogged for a mile and a half.
In a New York Times blog post the following day, Bennett Liebman, a member of the New York Racing Association's board of directors, opined on the many reasons for "the decline of horse racing," among which, he says, are corruption, drugs, and "the use of whips on horses and the catastrophic injuries we have seen in major races," all of which "have contributed to the public perception that horse racing is a cruel sport which has little concern for the health or the safety of the horse."
I think Liebman is on to something. Do you agree that horse racing is on its last (broken) legs?
Written by Alisa Mullins
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.