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Professional Laboratory and Research Services Undercover Investigation

Update: In a landmark move, a North Carolina grand jury indicted four individuals who worked at PLRS, including a supervisor, on 14 felony cruelty-to-animals charges. This case marked the first time in U.S. history that laboratory workers faced felony cruelty charges for their abuse and neglect of animals in a laboratory. The first prosecution stemmed from PETA’s very first undercover investigation, the groundbreaking 1981 Silver Spring monkeys case.

For nine months, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside the filthy, deafeningly loud kennels of PLRS. Inconspicuously tucked away in rural North Carolina, PLRS took money from huge pharmaceutical companies to test insecticides and other chemicals used in companion-animal products. Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark, and Merial, the maker of Frontline flea and tick products, are some of the corporations that have paid PLRS to force-feed experimental compounds to dogs and cats and smear chemicals onto the animals’ skin.

During this investigation, PETA’s investigator found that toxicity tests were just part of what the animals endured. Laboratory workers appeared to despise the animals in their care—they yelled and cursed at cowering dogs and cats, calling them “asshole,” “motherfuckers,” and “bitch”; used pressure hoses to spray water (as well as bleach and other harsh chemicals) on them; and dragged dogs who were too frightened to walk through the facility.

Video evidence shows that terrified cats were pulled from cages by the scruff of the neck while workers screamed in their faces and that a cat was viciously slammed into the metal door of a cage. One worker grabbed a cat and pushed him against a chain-link fence. When the cat fearfully clutched at the fencing with his claws, the worker jerked him off the fencing, saying that she hoped that the cat’s nails had been ripped out.

Dogs at PLRS spent years in cages, either to be used repeatedly in tests or to be kept infested with worms for some future study. They are just like the dogs we share our homes with, but they lived day in and day out without exercise or enrichment, companionship, a scratch behind the ears, or even a kind word from the only people they ever saw.

Many dogs had raw, oozing sores from being forced to live constantly on wet concrete, often in pools of their own urine and waste. Workers didn’t even move the dogs when they pressure-sprayed the runs, frightening the animals; soaking them with water, bleach, and soap; and exposing already painful sores to harsh, irritating chemicals.

PLRS didn’t bother to keep a veterinarian on staff. Instead, it chose to bring its primary veterinarian in for only one hour most weeks. Animals endured bloody feces, worm infestations, oozing sores, abscessed teeth, hematomas, and pus- and blood-filled infections without receiving adequate veterinary examinations and treatment. Sometimes, the conditions were ineffectively handled by workers who had no credentials or veterinary training.

After a supervisor gave one dog an anesthetic that was past its expiration date (and likely administered too little of it), the supervisor pulled out one of the animal’s teeth with a pair of pliers. The dog trembled and twitched in apparent pain, and the supervisor continued with the procedure despite the dog’s obvious reaction. Workers repeatedly cut into one dog’s tender, blood-filled ear, draining blood and pus but never treating the underlying cause of the dog’s suffering and apparently causing the ear to become infected.

Dogs were intentionally subjected to worm infestations for tests, but conditions were so sloppy that dogs who weren’t supposed to be part of the study also became infested and were then left untreated.

In one test commissioned by a corporation whose products are sold in grocery stores and drugstores nationwide, a chemical was applied to the necks of 57 cats. The cats immediately suffered seizures, foamed at the mouth, lost vision, and bled from their noses. Despite this, the substance was put on the cats a second time the very same day.

To cut costs, PLRS killed nearly 100 cats, rabbits, and dogs. The company had decided that some of these animals’ six daily cups of food were too expensive.

Federal oversight of horrendous facilities such as PLRS is virtually non-existent. In preparation for a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector’s annual visit, which PLRS staff knew to expect in June or July, PLRS employees painted over the rusty surfaces that the USDA had warned them about the previous year and reported that ailing animals had conditions that might merit veterinary care—which the facility’s attending veterinarian reportedly advised she would not provide—so that PLRS staff would be “covered” from blame should the inspector inquire about the animals’ condition. The inspector’s 2010 visit to PLRS, which housed approximately 400 animals at the time, lasted two hours and 15 minutes.

Just one week after PETA released the results of its shocking undercover investigation of PLRS and filed a complaint with the USDA—which resulted in citations against PLRS for dozens of violations of federal animal welfare laws—the North Carolina–based contract animal testing facility surrendered nearly 200 dogs and more than 50 cats and shut its doors. This is a monumental victory and the second time in U.S. history that a laboratory has been forced to surrender animals and close under pressure on the heels of a PETA investigation and while facing a formal USDA investigation. The first time was PETA‘s landmark Silver Spring monkeys case.

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  • Petra says:

    I hate all of them. I wish them all the worst. I hope the cruelty they make to the animals will be made on them one day.

  • Wendy says:

    Thank godness for PITA, my heart sinks with these awful stories, I am thankful that there is people out there with huge hearts and are willing to do the right thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ask myself what is wrong with people have they no feelings, there a disgrace to this world we live in.

  • Kitsune says:

    oh my God! my goodness! how could they?! This isnt right! this must STOP!

  • Katarina says:

    THANK you SO very much PETA..I hope that we someday can close ALL of these type facilities….and I am SO appalled that there are people like these workers that exist in the world..very scary…I TRULY hope that Karma gives them theirs…

  • Laura says:

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INFURIATING!!! You know what the sad thing is…..I bet the govt. lets them off easy. No animal testing=no product for big business which means no campaign money. THIS MUST STOP!! GOD BLESS PETA

  • Royston says:

    Lets hope the names and addresses of these people who enjoy tormenting,torturing and hurting these animals are released….then lets see the fear in their cowerdly faces when people start turning up on their door steps..these people should be thrown in prison.Well done Peta for showing the world what goes on in these hell holes.And these laboratories are every where around the world,its disgusting.

  • Sharon says:

    The person that was in that enviroment for 9 months is a true hero.

    God bless him or her for unselfishness beyond belief. thank you for all those dear animals.

  • ljbain says:

    “When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge and which are turned away.”

    Two things have always surprised me: animal intelligence and the bestiality of men!

    The real beast has 2 legs, not 4 hooves or paws!!

  • Alisha says:

    Well done PETA! I was nearly sick watching that clip. I cant comprehend how any human bein could do that, I hope they rot in hell!. Thank you PETA for your great work.

  • Jennifer says:

    I congratulate PETA for this great victory. I also believe the psychopath and sadist woman should be exhibited, because she is a danger to society. I’m outraged!

  • Marion says:

    BAYER’S laboratories should take responsibility of what happens in der labs. Those labs are useless anyway. We don’t need to test on animals, animals react in a different way to drugs as humans. It is all a big farce.

  • Adrian says:

    Hope this people get a jail sentence or as somebody said, mental hospital would be more appropriate for them. Disgusting people! How do their treat children and old people, all of them also more or less helpless. Just hope they don’t have any offspring who would whether be tortured by them or turn out the same despicable person as their are. I wish them all the bad in the world.

  • Songbird says:

    This so sickened me I couldn’t watch it all. The Pain of their Cruelty…must not go ignored!! Thank you for those who love and help these innocent beings.

  • R. Mason says:

    The word should be spread around the network, and emails,phone calls, letters bombard every single company who funded this place.
    BAYER, ELI LILY, NOVARTIS, SCHERING-PLOUGH (NOW MERCK), SERGEANTS, WELLMARK, MERIAL (THE MAKER OF FRONTLINE).

    I am going to spread the word, and I hope that each of you do also.
    One email to ten people and they send to ten people, etc.

    Remember… this isnt the only place like this in the country. Unbelievably sad but true.

  • Carla says:

    Disgusting.
    I am so glad this place has been closed down, and I hope all the animals have found homes or have atleast been put out of their misery.

  • Sarah says:

    led- the names of the 4 offenders being indicted are on the smh news page!

  • Sarah says:

    Other web sites have released the names of the disgusting humans who did these things. eg. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/lab-crew-indicted-in-us-on-animal-cruelty-20110707-1h47d.html
    names them as Christine Clement, Tracy Small, Jessica Detty and Mary Ramsey.

  • Sarah says:

    NAMED AND SHAMED. The four workers at PLRS are Christine Clement, Tracy Small, Jessica Detty and Mary Ramsey. DISGUSTING HUMAN BEINGS.

  • andre riera says:

    congratulations guys!!! good job!

  • Adriana Diaz says:

    Es insoportable ver como los animales son maltratados sin poderse defender de este tipo de personas, espero que todo esto sirva para que detengan estos abusos de una vez por todas, pero aun falta mucho por hacer es increible como las personas pueden descargar su ira y desgracia con estos seres, no sean asi…

  • Ana Salguero says:

    Thank you PETA for all the work you do.

  • led says:

    The pictures and names of the people running and working here should be exhibited everywhere and as criminals, they should be committed to mental hospitals for life. They cannot live in society.
    Also, the major laboratories must be made legally liable as well; not only did they fail to make the proper control and supervision, but they also failed to comply with their (quote) “commitment to contribute to the best interests of consumers [the animals], they also failed to make a positive impact”, [Bayer’s statments on its website / social commitment(http://www.consumercare.bayer.com/scripts/pages/en/our_vision/social_commitment/index.php). All of these huge labs showed a total lack of morals and ethics and this is completely despicable. May God protect these animals if anyone else can.

  • DEEDEE says:

    IM SO HAPPY NO EXSTATIC THAT THIS LAB WAS SHUT DOWN I CRIED WHEN I SEEN THIS VIDEO AND PRAYED THAT GOD WOULD HEAR THEIR CRIES FOR HELP I LOVE ANIMALS AND WOULD HELP ANY WAY I CAN

  • PaulaD says:

    This video is horrifying!!!! It makes me ashamed to be human.
    People like these truly deserve to die! Preferably the same way they tortured these cats and dogs!

  • pamela ash says:

    Is there any way to track what happened to these poor animals? Do any of them survive? To whom were they surrendered and can they be offered up for adoption?

  • JRock says:

    Thank you SO much PETA, for everything you do! What an incredible victory! I hope those animals finally get to experience life and love, like they were meant to from the beginning; and I hope those “employees” get the max sentences for the horror they inflicted.

  • Connie says:

    It’s not often that victories occur and I’m overjoyed with this news. I’d be ecstatic if I could inflict some of the pain and suffering on that “?????” that she used on the animals.
    I don’t know what I, this country, would do with PETA and I’m happy to be a donor. Keep Up The Good Work.

  • Noe says:

    Gracias PETA, no todo es malo y estas noticias producen una enorme satisfacción. Enhorabuena por vuestro trabajo.

  • Drea. says:

    I couldn’t even watch but like 30 seconds of this video before I started crying. I don’t understand how anyone could be so cruel. I wouldn’t have been able to just stand by and let them do that, but thank God that someone was able to expose these people and set these animals free. Thank you Peta, for saving their lives, they are VERY thankful for you.

  • Denise Hitt says:

    I hope that these people who abuse animals like that burn in hell!!! It amazes me that there are people who are good actually fighting for their lives while inbread filth like that is allowed to live so they can abuse animals. I wont say what I wkould do to an amimal abuser if I ever met one face to face…. I would probablly wind up in jail if it ment savine an abused animal! God Bless you PETA!

  • LISA - Animal Lover says:

    I truly HATE
    humans! I have more love and respect for animals then I do humans. I can’t stop
    thinking about what these poor animals are going through every single day after
    day after day all over the entire world and all at the hands of humans. It
    actually hurts, my heart hurts, I cry, I’m sad and angry … every single day …
    at people. I look around me and almost everything reminds me that an animal has
    suffered immensely for humans – food, clothing, medicines, drs., farms,
    entertainment, school, training, armed forces, etc. you name it and it’s almost
    certain that an animal has been tortured for it. I’m disgusted. Just because
    animals are a little different; they walk on 4 legs, fly or swim as opposed to walking
    on 2 legs does NOT mean they don’t suffer & feel pain! ALL animals have
    feelings; they feel just as much pain, they hurt & bleed just like we
    humans do! Have you ever heard an animal scream in pain (it’s 10 times worse
    than a human screaming)? Animals just want to be loved & cared for just
    like we humans do. Why do humans abuse, torture and kill animals? WHY? For
    WHAT, because they’re greedy, selfish, demented, evil, vile humans?? Animals
    have every right to be here on this planet as we humans do! Those who have
    harmed animals and continue to do so need to be stopped and punished! There is
    this saying … treat others like you would want to be treated. We humans were
    not born into this world to be evil (or nice), it is a CHOICE, a CONSCIOUS
    CHOICE! All humans have a choice! Thank you for letting me vent. THANK YOU to
    all of you out there who care more about animals then themselves. PROTECT &
    RESPECT!

  • cas123 says:

    Oh my God. There is no punishment strong enough for this treatment of innocent frightened animals. I see the dog’s tail wagging in the one part and I want to cry. He still wants them to love him. Why? I only wish that we could put these people in cages and torment them too- preferably in a foreign language so they would not understand and would be frightened. That is what they deserve.

  • Lmishen says:

    Love you PETA!!! hopefully will be retiring in a few years and i am definately going to see what I can do to volunteer..I think we also need to get word out of name of flea company…hurt them in their pockets@!!!!

  • Mark Bolan says:

    Congratualtions tp PETA for a job well done. So pleased this lab has been closed down, hopefully for good.

  • PerkyPiettia says:

    I wish someone would do those monsters the same way they did those poor gentle babies they did not ask to born to be abused like that. If a product is tested on anilmals I dont use it Check out Proctor Gamble they are the worst.

  • Pam says:

    I totally agree with Charity, Darren and other comments. I thank PETA for all you do. I thank and admire the undercover worker who helped to close this horrible place. I don’t know how you did it. I was horrified, sickened and sad from watching the video. I have never in my 60 years seen, heard or known people who could talk and behave like these workers. I couldn’t believe it. They need to be locked up in an empty cell for the rest of their lives. I hope the felony charges of animal cruelty lead to convictions and punishment for these horrible creatures – I hesitate to call them human beings. Everyone who ‘likes’ this needs to support PETA’s undercover investigations. All labs like this must close. $10 from 10,000+ would be $100,000+. Also, everyone needs to write/email/call: “Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark, and Merial” and all other pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to STOP ANIMAL TESTING NOW. Urge your friends, families and co-workers to do the same.

  • Patricia says:

    OMG! This is devastating! What happened to all those poor animals when they closed down?

  • Amy says:

    I am just heartsick of what the animals had to endure. Thank you to the brave investigator who went in and uncovered this. There should be a complete and total BOYCOT of any of these companies that use such places. They can no longer play ignorant and pretend that they did not know of the conditions!

  • Betty Boop says:

    I am shocked and extremely distressed at the video of the horrific cruelty to the poor defenceless animals. I hope these people who are guilty of causing this, suffer much horror in there lives and the pharmeceutical companies who experiment on animals are also disgusting. Its all about money and greed!!!

  • LISA - Animal Lover says:

    I couldn’t watch the video the picture alone said it for me and when I read about this and saw that picture … I just about flew off my chair!!! I cried and cried and cried until I got sick, then I cried some more and got sick again. I thought my heart and my head was going to explode, I was sooooo unbelievably angry. I hate humans who make me feel this way. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU PETA and everyone who helped stop these evil people!! Some of my faith in humans has been restored (only some) but I still flounder about the rest of the human race and what they do to the innocent, not only to animals but to the planet itself; the environment, vegetation and to other humans. Animals were not put here on this planet for us humans to abuse and torture and those who do, deserve the same in return, it’s only fair. There is this saying … treat others like you would want to be treated. We were not born into this world to be evil (or nice), it is a CHOICE, a CONSCIOUS CHOICE! We ALL have a choice to help (or to hurt). We can’t keep turning a blind eye, we can’t pretend that this doesn’t happen, it does, this evil goes on and on all over the world, day after day after day. You read about it, you see it and you hear it. Sickening isn’t it and unfortunately it’s getting worse because people are getting away with it. We need to do something; we who do care need to stand up and make a conscious choice to HELP.

  • Kathy says:

    These women ~ if you can even call them women ~ have some serious self esteem issues. Picking on defenseless animals? I invite any one of them to come and pick on me!!

  • Rochelle Perry says:

    Thank you

  • Chelsea says:

    This is horrific!!! I was not able to finish the video but what I saw of it, I hope the workers got what was coming to them and they are NEVER allowed to work in a facility with an animal even close to it! God bless you PETA and thank you for all that you do!

  • jo cook says:

    i have never seen anything so vile in my life. my husband and myself run a pet shop (no animals stocked or sold by us-just treats and accessories), and as animal lovers absolutely abhorr this kind of behavior. the companies that develop these products need naming and shaming and i hope to find through the internet later which products they are so i can make sure i don’t stock them and also warn customers who ask for them what they are actually buying eg. the life of a terrified animal. i am glad you have exposed these mindless arseholes who work at these labs for the inhuman people they really are.

  • cs says:

    Thanks to PETA for being brave enough to take a stand. I want to know how to get these lab workers and vet behind bars. When will the penalties become stronger to prevent this abuse against helpless animals. By the way if any of the lab workers read this, just know what comes around goes around, you have to live in misery all the time.

  • mekrisd says:

    I wish everyone would pay attention when they purchase products and only buy those products that are not tested on animals. If more people did this the suffering of many animals would not occur!

  • Ginette Gaudet says:

    Je trouve écoeurant que l’on peut battre plus petit que soi. On est fort quand on est plus grand et plus gros. Gang de lâche pour réussir à faire ce que vous faites vous êtes tout simplement des déchets humains. VOUS ME FAITES VOMIR YOU MAKE ME SICK YOU ARE NOT HUMAIN YOU ARE JUST TRASH PEOPLE.

  • David says:

    Thx PETA. You would help us additionally by mentioning the best you can, all customers of such labs. I have no problem boycotting the likes of Frontline, etc., and letting them know why.

  • Luc says:

    Ecoeurant, comment pouvez-vous vous regarder dans une glace après de pareilles monstruausités. HONTE à VOUS TOUS qui faîtes subir ces atrocités à de pauvres et adorables animaux. Comment pouvez-vous vivre avec un coeur de pierre, aucune morale et aucune empathie ?

  • AM says:

    HONTEUX. Faîtes-cesser ces souffrances abominables. C’est abjecte et innaceptable. Honte à ces barbares !

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