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Victory: USDA Cites Clay County for Illegal Dog Heatstroke Experiment

Written by PETA | March 19, 2009
image.examiner / CC

Back in October, we told you about the geniuses (sarcasm alert) in Clay County, Florida, who decided that the best way to figure out whether a dog had died from heatstroke when an animal control officer left her in a sweltering truck was to—wait for it—put another dog in the sweltering truck and see if that dog would suffer horribly too. (Fortunately, he survived and was returned to the city animal shelter.)

Like I said: geniuses.

As you might expect, we filed a criminal complaint, but the prosecutor’s office refused to take the case. So, because the Clay County brain trust had decided that they were qualified to conduct experiments on animals, we filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) because this impromptu experiment appeared to violate numerous Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations.

Now, the USDA has cited Clay County Animal Control for no less than five—count ’em, five—violations of the AWA. From the USDA’s memo:

Clay County Animal Control does not have an IACUC [Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee]. No protocol was prepared, and a veterinarian was not consulted for this project. There were no searches for alternatives, nor were there any attempts to demonstrate that this project did not unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments.

The animal control brainiacs said that they didn’t think that this kind of atrocity experiment was regulated, but, as the USDA official dryly noted, “I explained to them that this was.” Apparently, the explanation was slow enough and used one-syllable words, because the violators understood it well enough to assure the USDA that “they will not perform any research activity in the future.” Phew!

Clay County’s dogs (and other animals) should be able to rest easier—and so should the human residents, as it’s now likely that county officials will think twice before deciding that they’re qualified to, say, perform open-heart surgery.

Written by Jeff Mackey

Commenting is closed.
  • meghan says:

    these people are !$!$

  • Joan Kinn says:

    It’s too bad they didn’t use one of the control officeer’s for the experiment. must of known it wouldn’t cause they don’t have a brain to fry

  • Aneliese says:

    GOOD! about time we got an update on this.

  • sean mccarthy says:

    please for God’s sake get a thermonitor to check the heatThis is so cruel to these trusting innocent animals.we humans are becoming less human as time goes by.have they no hunmanity?sean

  • Brad says:

    I’m so proud to be a member of PETA. When i see a dog in a sweltering car with the window rolled up or barely cracked I call 911.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I am going to do the following Go to an auto parts store and buy a weather thermomator for the inside of an automobile. Look up the address of the department in Clay County and ship it to them alnong with a note saying I wish I could afford to buy them for all of the vehicles but since I can’t please place this one in the vechicle where the poor dog died in his memory.

  • Jenna H says:

    WOW! these people are so ignorant I can’t even believe they would do something like that to a dog. I just can’t get over how stupid they are. Also please never say that there is nothing you can do when you see a dog locked in a car. I have seen dogs locked in cars and I always keep an eye on how long the owner is gone for. One time the dog was in there for a very long time so I called the local spca and they broke into the car. If they hadn’t the animal would have for sure died because the poor dogs idiotic owner was apparently okay with leaving him in there for hours on one of the hottest days of the summer.

  • lynda downie says:

    Good job Peta! 5 violations! Thanks for keeping on this til something was done.

  • Robyn says:

    Clay county officials should use their brains and take this as a sign that there needs to be some kind of check on animal control. If they thought this was okay to do what else have they been doing ya know? There needs to be some sort of audit and some changes made. There should be some qualified person investigating every county’s animal shelter where workers are taking it upon themselves to judge whether an animal should live or die. I know my county’s animal shelter has a great reputation but when I volunteered there I witnessed the euthanization of young healthy and vibrant animals just because they “were aggressive.” That’s it. Well my dog is aggressive because he was abused by previous guardians. Why rescue animals if all you are going to do is put them to sleep? Especially in the case of ferral cats and dogs why take them out of the wild just so they can be killed? I understand about cat and dog populations being out of control but we would have the ability to rescue these animals if some action were taken against breeders. When you think about it in every institution organization or business people need to be held accountable and not after it’s too late. People are only held accountable when they are DISCOVERED but some sort of check needs to be in place so that these things don’t happen in the first place!! Do you agree?

  • SHARI says:

    THANK GOD IS RIGHT! I can almost not beleive this myself. But my God what were they thinking how aweful! Well thank goodness for PETA. You guys always kick butt !!!

  • Amber Falobas says:

    I see dogs in cars all the time left there while the owner goes into the store. I feel so bad for them but there’s nothing I can do at least I don’t think there is. I’m sure telling a security guard won’t get me anywhere he’ll probably say “mind your own business” or “the dog will be fine” but yea. The only time I take my dog or cat into the car is when we are on our way to the veterinarian’s office! But never let me repeat NEVER in 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times infinity years would I leave a pet in the car people who do that should be charged with animal cruelty.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    The Sunshine state is not actually a haven for the humane treatment of animals.

  • Star808 says:

    THANK GOD!!! As a person who lives in Jacksonville Fl clay county this is one step closer for us!!! Now if they can only do something about the 100 pitbulls the city pulled from a dog fighting ring and killed all the dogs… This city is SO clueless when it comes to animal wellfare

  • celiined says:

    Gentlemen If you go to China’s Shandong province North East Heilongjian Jilin and Hebei you will see our beloved friend pets waiting without any water or food to be SKINNED ALIVE. Just think how is it possible to do such a horrendous act on our 4 legged animals. The look on their eyes is horrific from the pain….Please dont become like the Chinese…bring your dogs in from the heat. celiiined