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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.

Commenting is closed.
  • Jason says:

    We were lucky enough to adopt one of the animals rescued from this facility, Charlie. When the SPCA first got him, they thought he was blind. He had never been on grass or walked on stairs. He constantly cowered. It took us 20 minutes just to get him from the door of the building to the car on the day we adopted him. Today, one year later, I am happy to say he has become a playful, trusting, loving and fairly normal member of our family. AND, he is not blind, he simply had no reason to look at anyone! Thinking of how Charlie made it to our family makes me physically ill. I’m glad these “people” that contributed to his suffering are being punished.

  • gisele says:


  • Jill says:

    After watching this video I was horrified. I couldnt believe people could be so cruel. I would have loved to take those women and do the same to them as they do to the animals. This has made me cry for 2 days. THANK YOU PETA for closing this house of horrors. Please keep up the great work u do. Again thank you from all of the real humans and animals. May those people rot in hell!!!!

  • Diane Boyer says:

    I’m very happy that people like you take care of animals. It’s a great job that you do… I just adore them and I’m very sad when I hear those things that happened to them.. They don’t need animal to do tests, if they only stop using all chemical solution in everything…..

  • holly says:

    I might only be a 12yearold girl but what i have seen now and for what i have seen in earlier months i know already what im going to do with my life. Also just wondering is PETA world wide?

  • josh says:

    great job peta! ok and another thing but about th china fur farms, fur should be gone by now ive seen no one where but anyways GO PETA!

  • Eddinger says:

    Anyone who supports any animal testing in any form does not understand the issue. There is no such thing as humane torture including “animal testing without animal abuse.”

  • Christian Burgess says:

    God Bless the great people of PETA … Thankyou

  • Katherine Kamm says:

    Great job PETA!!!!! U have my families support

  • Jaime says:

    stop all animal testing!! changing the world one step at a time.

  • Bobbi says:

    Keep up the good work PETA! I will continue to support you and tell my friends to do the same!!


    there is no need today to test on animals.these monsters that do this should be tested to see how it feels

  • Laura says:

    BRAVO PETA!!!!

  • angel says:

    I agree with you Hannah. I love animals very much, and have very little use for humans.

  • lynn cullen says:

    I think the horrific videos that PETA has taken of both lab testing and the fur trade should be aired on prime time TV. I believe that the majority of the population is unaware of what happens. Bravo to PETA and all those who support their wonderful work! Let your voice be heard! Perhaps we should do testing on criminals that have murdered and ruined the lives of innocent people or animals!

  • Nadia says:

    C’est un travail remarquable qu’ont fait les enquêteurs de Péta. La France devrait prendre exemple afin de dénoncer la maltraitance que subissent les animaux en laboratoire. De toute manière les expérimentations sur les animaux doivent disparaitre définitivement. Comme nous le savons il y a des des moyens beaucoup plus efficaces sans prendre l’animal pour cible.

  • Eclipse412 says:

    I support animal testing, I don’t support animal abuse. This is horrific. How can anyone, anyone want to treat an animal like that. Yelling at them and such. Try to purposely hurt them for no reason. Bravo to the insider being able to stay there that long without losing it.

  • hannah says:

    This is sick im so tired of reading every day about people being cruel to animals if there is a heaven then there is only a heaven for all the animals…i hate people!!!

  • debbie cain says:

    I am ashamed to be a human being with facilities like this in our “control”! This place should be burnt to the ground!

  • catherine livingston says:

    This needs to stop NOW !!!!!!!!!!!

  • mirrell grimes says:

    I’ve sent this to everyone who may have laughed at peta. the work they do is saintly and if one animal is saved I’m for it. how do those despicable people sleep at night??

  • Jo Anne says:

    I love PETA, you guys are true heroes!

  • Theresa White says:

    I cannot watch this. I tried, but it is soo cruel I just want to vomit. I have to applaud the undercover investigator as I don’t know how you can stomach to be in the same town as these people! How do people become like this! PETA why do you offer these people anonymity – they should be made public and named and shamed.

  • ursula weyermann says:

    I have never seen something like those disgraceful, abhorrent, inhumane actions of “humans” towards our Animals. It is absolutely disgusting, downgrading and incomprehensible how this can be allowed! How dare we let those human creatures use, misuse and mistreat our animals like this!!!!
    No Animal deserves such a Treatment! NO ANIMAL!!! This must stop, immediately!!!
    No more Animal testing! No more Animals kept in such inhumane circumstances, EVER!!!!
    STOP! STOP! STOP! THAT!!!!!!
    Our human Race is sick,

  • Linda says:

    I hope that these savages are sentenced to the same punishment that these poor defenceless animals suffered at their hands….. confinement to a small cage where they can be sprayed with chemicals, screamed at and operated on without anaesthetic.

  • Suzanne says:

    This type of sickening torture of animals will NEVER stop. As far as I am concerned, there is no HUMANE way to use an animal for laboratory testing. I would think that people who are against this should find out the names of the companies that fund these labs to test their products and STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS until they resolve to STOP using animals period. People mean well, but when it really comes down to it.. TO Give up products we all like to use on a daily basis? Sorry, but the majority of Humans are too selfish to go that far. To actually go further than “whine” and say how shocked we are that this goes on?
    I post lots of these Horrible videos on Facebook, most people turn a blind eye. Which makes me bloody angry. Hey, I am simply trying to educate you about where your FUR lined gloves actually came from. Most people DO not care. They would rather remain ignorant for the sake of their own conscience. Find out who the Culprits are and STOP buying EVERY THING they PRODUCE. IT needs to HURT their pocket book. That is the only way laboratories will ever start to shut down.

  • Kara says:

    One thing we can all surely do – protest the companies that are behind using animals in “experiments” for their products. Refuse to by any products from these companies and encourage others to do the same. I, for one had to stop using skincare made by Neutrogena. They used to claim they did not torture animals for their products. But then they sold out to Johnson & Johnson, who still do use animals. Find out which companies are behind these atrocities.

  • Freed1203ButterFly says:

    It kills me so DANG much to see this. I was crying the entire time I was watching this. I have 3 dogs and birds. And I cant see myself or no one hurting my babies. I wish those people who are doing those experiments can just die or suffer in pain! UGH! it really pisses me off!

  • Caroline Burton says:

    There are no words to describe the hatred so many of us feel for these four “individuals”. There is no punishment under the law that is adequate for such cowards and I hope they will spend the rest of their miserable and hopefully short lives in fear of the retribution they so justly deserve.

  • Renata Brosova says:


  • Julia Skelac says:

    Why can’t this be stopped by law irrevovably??? It is nothing but a crime what people are doing to defenseless creatures. I also wonder what might be the deeper defect in those people mentality that leads them be so cruel and callous towards obvious suffering?? Still – it is a crime.

  • Nunya says:

    There is not a punishment worse enough for these low lives. Thanx to PETA for saving these poor animals from hell and especially to the undercover person who exposed them.

  • Lois Koch says:

    Well, who says the Nazi’s in WWII had a corner on cruelty?! My Lord! there has to be a reckoning for these individuals! Again!! I am sure Our Lord is more than pleased with your work in being there for HIS CREATIONS!! Boy Oh Boy!!

  • elementalmexican says:

    I cried when I saw this video. People are so horrible!

  • Maureen says:

    I couldn’t even get through the first part of the video without feeling sick to my stomach. I hope those workers rot in jail and get the max sentences! They are a descrace to humans, and animals! My heart goes out to all those precious lives who have been save! Hopefully they get great, happy, healthy homes! This is one great victory for PETA!! But we have to keep working hard to uncover all cases of animal cruelty!!

  • Elissa Stephens says:

    I just watched this video and can not stop the tears.What made these people so cruel and barbaric to innocent animals!
    I never thought of myself as a violent person but if I met one of these people I to would be in a cage.
    Thanks PETA for your fantastic work!!!!

  • Vegan_Diva says:

    This is what animal testing is like. There are many ways to accurately test yet animals are cheaper so abuses go on every day. Look up all the companies, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, hospitals like St. Jude’s all animal test. Over 2,714,800 are used yearly in the UK alone. No successful medications have derived from animal models. Nor has animal experimentation accurately predicted the effects and side effects of the drugs. Even knife and scalpel techniques successfully performed on animals needed modification because they killed humans. Though this was not always so, it happened frequently enough to prove that animals are not reliable predictors of human response.

    As for heart disease animals do not, under natural circumstances, suffer from most cardiovascular diseases. When they do, the anatomical and physiologic differences between species negate the similarities. And when researchers try to reproduce human-like diseases in lab animals the same problem occurs, as we will explain in a few paragraphs.

    Stop the insanity!

  • Rhonda says:

    I would rally love to know the names of these people, I wish to publish them on FB and have all my friends share them I think everyone has a right to know what kind of monsters are living among them, so if anyone knows them please share them with me so I can put the names of these monsters out there for all to see

  • Irene says:

    Heartbreaking. All of us should boycott products that test on animals. I’m going to do some research and post these products on Facebook to try to urge people to think twice before buying their products. I’ve used Bayer all my life. Not anymore. I’m going to talk to everyone I know to boycott Frontline. I’m calling these companies to complain and let them know that this is just wrong. It’s sad that people even have to tell them that what they are doing is wrong. They must have no soul. Testing on animals is 100% unnecessary. These huge companies just want to increase their revenue by torturing helpless animals. And to think that many of these are companies that we trust for our pet product needs?!?!?!?! It just makes me sick!

  • Corrine says:

    God Bless the precious animals that these monsters have abused. This is appalling, just plain sickening that these monsters are supposed to be of the human race.There is a place in hell waiting for them, and a place in Heaven called Rainbow Bridge for our furry angels. Thank you Peta workers, thank you.

  • Matt says:

    I can not believe the sheer ignorance and lack of compassion exhibited by the individuals in this video. People like the ones in this video need serious help! How can someone knowingly do the things cited in this investigation and actually be able to sleep at night and come back the next day and continue this torture? What is wrong with our society that cruelty like this is tolerated, in some cases sanctioned? Companies like these should be shutdown permanently.

  • Savvy says:

    I have been really turned off by some of Peta’s outrageous adverts in the past and so pulled my donations. But I really, really like the investigative work Peta is doing, so I may reconsider.

  • Melissa says:

    These individuals are repulsive and deserve stiff penalities. The end of using animals in testing is near.

  • Wendy says:

    This is just SICK, SICK, SICK. I’m glad this facility was shut down, and I hope that we can shut down ALL places like this quickly and swiftly with harsh penalties and consequences. I think too many go unnoticed and untouched. But there is one Judge these sick “humans” will have to face in the end, and they won’t get away with it there…

  • led says:

    Thank you PETA for publishing the names of the accused, people like these should be exposed for our own protection, I wouldn´t like to have them around, and certainly not in my neighborhood, building or workplace.
    Also, I wonder what happened to these poor animals after this “lab” was “forced to surrender animals and close”. Hopefully they are receiving health care and treatment and, most importantly, the love and protection they deserve.

  • Marie says:

    …I was actually physically repelled by this footage.

    How could someone be so heartless as to slam a cat in a door like that?

    And of course those dogs act like they’re abused. They are.

    And that poor cat shaking like that after having that stuff put on it…

    Is this the price we pay for having our pets? To have companies that market to us willing to allow testing like this?

    The scary thing to think about is this is only one of these labs. It’s great that PETA had this one shut down, but…

    I need to go hug my cat now.

  • Renie says:

    Thank yu PETA for your diligence in tracking these atrocities. Why do we allow these laboratories to continue to exist? If it cannot be tested on humans what gives us the right to use animals. If our vanity is so great for cosmetic products or other chemicals then we should be willing to try it own our own bodies, not some helpless animal who has no voice. They cannot talk but they can definitely feel pain.

  • Caroline Green says:

    Thank you PETA! I don’t even see how they can get accurate results on dogs that are so sick. This is why testing needs to stop! Thank GOD for PETA, they will make it stop with animal lovers support! We must tell everyone about this!!!

  • ASHA PEARL says:

    I couldn’t call these guys human. I couldn’t even call them animals because they have stooped even lower than animals who wouldn’t behave the way they have done.Let me just remind them NO ONE GOES SCOT FREE.THERE IS ALWAYS A CONSEQUENCE FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND I HOPE YOU WILL CRY OUT AND REMEMBER YOUR CRUELTY WHEN THAT DAY COMES.AND MAYBE THEN, I HOPE, SINCERELY HOPE, YOU WILL REPENT OF YOUR WICKED WAYS AND COME TO YOUR SENSES.

  • Rebecca says: