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Exposed: Cat Cruelty at Washington University Caught on Video!

Written by PETA | April 18, 2013

Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is the last facility in the country that still abuses cats for Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training, in defiance of modern science and ethics. Now PETA has obtained alarming undercover video footage of cats being subjected to these cruel training exercises in a recent WUSTL PALS course conducted in conjunction with St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Despite the availability of superior, lifelike simulators, which are used instead of animals at all of the more than 1,000 other PALS training facilities in the U.S., WUSTL continues to lock nine cats in its laboratories. Several times a year, trainees repeatedly force hard plastic tubes down the animals’ delicate windpipes in a crude attempt to learn to intubate human infants.

A Real-Life Horror Movie

The video shows unskilled trainees struggling for several minutes to intubate two helpless cats named Elliott and Jessie, botching the attempts to shove tubes down their windpipes and mishandling metal instruments in ways that could break the cats’ teeth. As several participants in the video note, the inadequately anesthetized cats even begin to wake up during the procedure.

A WUSTL veterinarian is seen discussing how each cat is subjected to as many as 15 intubations each session, even though studies show that intubating animals more than five times per session can cause pain and trauma. The veterinarian and course leader also admit that some cats’ windpipes are injured during the exercise, which can cause potentially fatal bleeding, swelling, scarring, and collapsed lungs. Each of the cats held captive at WUSTL is subjected to this miserable procedure up to four times a year.

Even the American Heart Association (AHA), which created the curriculum and sponsors the PALS course, confirmed to PETA last month, “We do not endorse or require the use of animals during the AHA-PALS training because of advances and availability of simulation mannequins.” 

What You Can Do

Please urge officials at WUSTL and St. Louis Children’s Hospital to stop causing cats to suffer for intubation training and to use effective, non-animal training methods instead.

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  • lindsy g says:

    Okay what hurts me the most is that there is a vet there who.is supposed to.care for animals who is supposed to care yet his mistreating the cat and acting like he give two.rats about it when he painly talks about them that hurts me in so many levels because you look upbto them as they are heros for saving animal lifes but oh this has shown the complete opposite

  • uma cox says:

    You do not need to do this to animals!! I am a paramedic and function just fine with pediatrics without using animals!!!

  • bernice rafferty says:

    why cant the goverment do something about this, surely they have the right to intervene when such cruelty is going on, i cant believe this is being allowed to happen.

  • borie says:

    Arrêtez de faire souffrir ces pauvres minous , c’est honteux et inhumain , a notre époque il y as surement d’autres moyens .

  • Dominique Legras Farcy says:

    Il semble que nos cris et pétitions ne soient toujours pas entendus… alors répétons encore toute montre indignation… ce sont des pratiques scélérates et cruelles qui n’ont aucun sens de nos jours… arrêtons la vivisection inutile et barbare…

  • AP says:

    How can anyone be so heartless to cause such pain on innocent animals!! It’s shameful, inhumane and horrific. Picture yourself being strapped and tied and being cut and poked anywhere in your body and are helpless!! Come on and think!!!!

  • paula vico says:

    This is disgusting!! Animal testing is abuse and needs to stop!!

  • bri says:

    are they using same size as for humans that are many times the size of cats? people have got to know that this is wrong.if these things are going to be done on people why don’t we just experiment on them in the 1st place. People will sign up for anything involving pay. and maybe the experimenters will be more careful and not try what they already may know won’t work.rather have a world w/o animals if it would stop their abuse.

  • eloise lanum says:

    This has proven that WUSTL & St. Louis Hospital are not good places to learn & get a degree. They are behind the times & sadly lacking in good programs OR teachers. Paying parents should be notified that they are wasting their money.

  • lsa says:

    An instructor with no clue about his job, students that dont have a clue what they doing but all along these cats are being subjected to trauma due to incompetent people.

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