Skip to Main Content

Victory! Robert ‘Retired’ From Experiments at University of Utah

Written by PETA | December 11, 2009



Earlier this week, PETA called on caring people to urge the University of Utah to retire Robert, a sweet tabby purchased by the school for $15 from the Davis County animal shelter and used in a cruel experiment in which his skull was cut open and electrodes were implanted.

PETA has just received confirmation from university officials that Robert will be retired from the laboratory and adopted into a new home. Hip, hip, hooray!

While we pause to celebrate Robert’s release, we cannot forget that other homeless cats and dogs purchased from animal shelters are still languishing in the University of Utah’s laboratories.

Please speak out in their behalf by contacting the school again. Demand an end to its cruel betrayal of dogs and cats in shelters by telling the school to stop purchasing homeless animals for painful—and often lethal—experiments. Let’s work to protect other vulnerable animals like Robert from this awful fate, shall we?

Written by Karin Bennett

Commenting is closed.
  • World in my Eyes says:

    We would really like to get a update on Robert. Is he healthy, and rehab and most important loved?

  • Kelley says:

    Do we have any more information on Robert? I would love to know if the U was telling the truth.

  • Charlotte Khennaf says:

    I agree it would be really nice to have a follow up on Robert. Perhaps it could be featured in Animal Times? I swear reading that he was going to be released from the lab was the best Christmas gift ever.

  • Michele D says:

    Peta any updates about Robert? Anyone know where he is or how he’s doing?

  • cynthia sweet says:

    I am with Carolyn who wrote ‘humans are the worst thing to happen to this earth’.

  • Michele D says:

    I agree with you all!! PROOF!! People that could do this to any animal can’t be trusted! I too would like to know who has Robert and is he really ok??!! Was there any damage to his beautiful little brain with all this horrible testing! Let them test each other and see how that feels! I would love a happy ending for ALL the animals!! Peta should have their own TV show every week on things like this! Peta let us see proof! We are not dummies.

  • Ginette Aymont says:

    Can we have pictures of the cat in his new house? We won’t proof than he’s ok.

  • Angela says:

    I am really happy to know that Robert is finally free and adopted by a good family. However the photo in the “hip hip hooray” link doesn’t seem to show the same cat. How do you know the University officials in question are telling the truth or were not just told by someone that Robert is alive and well? And yes one by one we’ll make it change so respect for all includes all animals too. Thanks PETA.

  • Robert's friend says:

    I too am deeply concerned about follow up verification that Robert has been adopted into a loving permanent home. He seems to have dropped off of the radar and while I appreciate PETA’s exposing his awful situation and Darla’s too it is hard to know what to believe anymore. I believe that PETA was informed that Utah was releasing Robert but can we have some additional information as to where he is now? Perhaps recovering at a veterinarian’s hospital pictures of him now perhpas and hopefully in his new loving home? It would be so nice to be reassured of this. Thanks PETA in advance for your follow up on Robert’s behalf and letting us know what is currently going on!

  • Andrej says:

    PETA people I would like to get proof of Robert’s adoption too. Please provide us with details of Robert’s release. Otherwise this case will not be closed.

  • Magda says:

    I’m 31 years old and i can tell you that this new is the best christmas gift i have ever had D .

  • Dre says:

    Why can’t we require microchipping for all ‘shelter’ animals and get legislation passed that shelter animals can’t be given sold or in any other way transferred to laboratories? I am vehemently against animal testing it’s utterly pointless since most elements and compounds have already been tested and big pharma tests on us by introducing new medication without proper human trials anyway.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    To all those who think medical experimentation is not done on human beings let me introduce you to a human volunteer me. I am a voluntary test subject for the treatment of Type II diabetes. For the past year I have taken new types of diabetes medications watched for side effects and other positive or negative results and reported to the testing facility once a week. When my current regimen is over I will wait the required amount of time and then sign up for the next study. There are many positives to this an animal is not being injected with God only knows what I am helping to find a way to control or possibly cure this disease during the studies my medical care is paid for by the research facility and I am also getting paid to do this. Anyone who says research should be done on humans needs to look for research institutes advertising for subjects they frequently advertise on television the internet and classified ads. Lead by example and offer yourself as a subject.

  • rachel says:

    aweee robert’s sooo cute! thank god he’s now in a safe loving home. why the heck would they put that crap in his skull? what’s the point? like seriously. they need to get a life!

  • susan says:

    I am a firm believer that testing should be done on human beings. How about some of the rapists and murderers in prisons that the taxpayers are paying for? I worked in a jail and these convicts have all the rights in the world.How can you justify testing on and torturing a small defenseless animal? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use a useless human?!!!

  • Robert's friend says:

    I am deeply gratified that Robert will be released. I feel so bad for him though if he really will be adopted the new compassionate human in his life will have many vet bills I suspect. Can Robert ever recover from having his skull cut open? In any case bless Univ. of Utah for releasing him and most of all let us not call these awful places “shelters” since “shelter” is meant to “protect” and not to sell you as a cheap commodoty close to worthless. Bless you always sweet Robert. May the mama cat be released into a good home too now

  • AAG says:

    My heart goes out to innocent adorable Robert. This cat as well as other cats don’t deserve this violence and cruelty. I too want proof that he is adopted to truly responsible guardians. Also I am concerned about his health how does that vile contraption imperil his health.

  • Helen Sayers says:

    To all of us who grieve for and despise all the cruelty inflicted on other living beings by humans…WHY don’t we all just permanently boycott the purchase of all associated products items or services? This is the most definite way to achieve lasting change! Since so much of the cruelty results from evil ugly human greed fron a few and apathy from many others! Thank God for PETA and those who work toward a purer more evolved way of living…they deserve all our support! Humans were given their privileged position to be the caretakers and guardians of all the extraordinary and beautiful beings who share the planet NOT to torture imprison abuse or abandon! You did not create them you have no right to destroy them!! Those who commit these dreadful atrocites will answer to a higher power! No matter how long it seems to take your day of reckoning is approaching!

  • Wendy Bennetts says:

    I am with Carolyn who wrote ‘humans are the worst thing to happen to this earth’. Why we need to use animals for testing purposes is beyond me.. The drug companies make huge fortunes. And why is is necessary to torture the poor animals before killing them or maiming them for life my heart goes out to little Robert but I agree it would be good to see proof that he is actually in a loving home. From an animal lover in the UK with 6 rescue cats

  • andrea says:

    is the animal shelter aware of what’s happening? were they aware that the ‘adopters’ were part of the university with their sick little plans for the cat?

  • MH says:

    Christina “If we want back a few centuries there was no cancer or aids.” The AIDS virus made the jump from animals to humans in the 1950’s. AIDS is caused by a virus not a diet. And we can’t know for sure whether or not there was cancer back then though I believe that there was little to none. Why? 1 because people exercised and didn’t eat fried foods junk food or highfructose corn syrup and 2 most everyone died of smallpox or cholera before they could get cancer. “Nature has all the cures.” What a stupid thing to say. Yes the diphtheria antitoxin that was sent to Nome in 1925 was really just fruit juice.

  • Nadia says:

    I’m really happy to read this it made me feel really really bad when i read about these experiments weeks ago… But will the cat recover from those injuries he suffered? I mean will his head heal? S

  • Kevin says:

    I have a 2 year old boxer that I adopted from the U of U after they had finished their testing of pain medication on him. He’s such a wonderful dog. He was surrenered by his first owner went to animal control and when his time was up at the shelter he was taken by the U for testing. When they were finished with him we was placed up for adoption. So his story had a happy ending. I love him almost as much as he loves me!

  • Deb says:

    Like many others on here I want PROOF of Robert’s well being. I too had called the University to be told he already had been adopted and now we hear he “will” be adopted. I don’t trust them. I wanted so badly to adopt himself and give him the love he deserves. I was told a lab worker was adopting him. Hello? The very person who might have expirimented cruely on him would be the one chosen to give him a “loving” home??? I don’t think that’s the right choice!

  • Leah says:

    I am so happy for Robert! People shouldn’t do this things to poor innocent animals!

  • Brian says:

    I agree with previous posters. To ensure the University of Utah keeps its word PETA should take immediate custody of Robert. I would also appreciate followup reports on Robert adjusting to his new life.

  • Kelley says:

    When will his ordeal be over?

  • karen says:

    I recently read the email about Robert the cat. I am so sickened and horrified about all these atrocities going on in labs around the world. The end does not justify the means!! What to me is even sadder though is how a lot of people I talk to even pet owners seem resigned to it as just being a fact of life. Thanks PETA for bringing awareness to the public. At one time decent German citizens tolerated cruelties going on right before their eyes. The American public should not tolerate animal cruelty under any guise be it common neglect or experimentation.

  • Luke Swanhart says:

    Yeah it was due to PETA’s pressure too. I don’t understand why they use dogs and cats for experiments because their physiology is DIFFERENT than oursyou give a dog or cat so much as 6 raisins they will die of kidney failure. PLEASE SIGN MY PETITION TO BAN ALL DOGS AND CATS FROM LAB EXPERIMENTS DUE TO THESE DIFFERENCES IN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY MAKING THEM USELESSEVEN DANGEROUSTEST SUBJECTS. They cannot be used as a criteria for human safety in drugs and procedures. httpwww.change.orgactionsviewdogsandcatsshouldnotbeusedforexperimentscompromiseshumansafetyvetmedicineexcluded

  • Randy says:

    Question Why is this a victory if Utah already retires and adopts out animals that are used in nonlethal experiments? Arleta Many medical devices that currently are used in people involve electrodes. Deep brain stimulation is currently used to treat Parkinson’s in people who no longer respond to medication. Not exactly Mengeletype stuff here.

  • Michele says:

    I know it seems like 1 down a billion to go.. I know it seems hopeless.. but this is still one LIFE. He has a heart and a name and hopefully he’ll receive a whole lotta love from here on. I’m incredibly happy that Robert has been rescued. Ever since I saw his picture his face has been on my mind constantly. Way to go PETA

  • salem says:

    I am so happy that Robert is getting a new lease on life. after reading about this cat and the other animals in the lab used for testing I held my two cats star and gordon and cried knowing that they were the lucky ones to be with a loving family.

  • sheela says:

    this is a auschwitz concentration camp for animals every where that are injured or hurt this way !!!

  • sheela says:

    DARLA needs to be freed from the same place also ! And so do the many other pets there and elsewhere in this state ! Please keep up the heat PETA !! Thank you for all you do ! You are always in my prayers all the time love you guys

  • Anne DiNuci says:

    I know I’ve spouted off a lot but I don’t believe it can ever be too much where it comes to saving an animal Testing on animals is not only cruelto say the least but inhumane and extremely barbaric. Discovering cures for human ailments is much more successful thru DNA and stem cell research. Testing on animals is obviously an illegal handout for some low life middle man known as a gutter swipe. I do hope our college professors and staff are run be a slightly higher form of life although from what Ive seen and heard it doesnt appear so. Please.hear the people.hear the cries of the childrens once loving pets a formaldehyde is injected into their bodies before they are completely deadand watch their once affectionate little paws curl up in agonizing pain until death releases them I cant believe anyone could actually be so cruel so terribly barbaric. These are not OUR creatures.

  • Gigi says:

    Can u let us know who adopted him? Is he really safe? Also Why are these outdated barbaric experiments going on in such a ‘Religious’ state like UTAH?

  • jos meuskens says:

    Some years ago there was an animal section on the roof of our local teaching hospital. All sorts of painful things were done to the animals. The worst part was thatupon enquiry it turned out that most of the experiments had been done and recorded before and were therefore of no real value.

  • Laurie says:

    Excellent. Great news. More push more pressure more reflection change. Enjoy your new lease on life Robert! You have paid for it thousandfold.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    How about enacting legislation stating that when someone relinquishes an animal to a shelter that a shelter worker read a statement to them in their native language stating that there is a chance of the animal being sold to a laboratory for experimentation or being euthanized after a certain amount of time and making that person sign it before relinquishing the animal? That way the public would be made aware that not all shelter animals find loving homes.

  • Farah Khan says:

    Peta People Pls make sure that Robert is freed and is adopted in a home. Do you think the people who have done this extreme torture to Robert would get him adopted? This poor cat must be going through such an immense mental pain. You guys need to take care of Robert yourself.

  • ericka says:

    THank you GOD ! Well done Peta GOd BLess you all and help you grow more each day God Help the animals!!!

  • A.P says:

    What about the electrode? Is it going to be removed and Robert will be fine?