It’ll Take You Less Than 29 Seconds to Help These 29 Dogs Trapped at Texas A&M

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Update: March 31, 2021

Documents obtained by PETA show that Ned, a German shorthaired pointer imprisoned in Texas A&M University’s canine muscular dystrophy (MD) laboratory, was euthanized on January 8, ending a lifetime of unmitigated pain. The 9-year-old, who had purposely been bred to have canine MD, was subjected to experiments and repeated biopsies as the disease ravaged his body.

There are still 20 dogs at the university—many of whom are healthy—who also had been part of the canine MD colony and who deserve to be adopted into homes where they can know love and comfort. Take action below to help make that happen.

  • Read More

    Update: February 3, 2021

    Records just obtained by PETA show that a golden retriever named Karbach was freed from Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) canine muscular dystrophy (MD) laboratory and adopted! She spent just shy of five years as a prisoner before finally getting the home she so deserves.

    But the school callously denied another dog that chance. Records also show that Jumba, a dark-blond dog who was affected by canine MD—the painful disease he was purposely bred to have—was euthanized in December. Over the course of his imprisonment, records show that he had difficulty swallowing as well as stiffness and pain in a front paw. In his final days, he was noted to have a poor appetite and was thin and dehydrated.

    Twenty-one dogs, many of whom are completely healthy, remain in TAMU’s barren cages, despite PETA’s repeated offers to place them in permanent and loving homes. There appear to be no studies being conducted that experimenters could even pretend are contributing to a cure. Experimenters are performing imaging studies on the sick dogs—something that could easily be done on humans with the human form of MD so that human patients might actually be helped.

    It seems that TAMU would prefer to warehouse dogs rather than releasing them to adopters or to PETA and admitting that its MD lab is finished, and that means that we need to keep the pressure on. You can help us by taking action below.

    Update: December 9, 2020

    Brioche will be home for the holidays! Records just obtained by PETA show that the 2-year-old golden retriever was freed from Texas A&M University’s canine muscular dystrophy laboratory and adopted. When she was a puppy, experimenters observed that Brioche limped after her front leg became stuck in the bars of her enclosure. Several months later, they noticed that large patches of hair were missing from her body. Those days of suffering are behind her now. Let’s make the same happen for the remaining 23 dogs. Your voice is powerful! Please use it to take action below.

    Update: December 8, 2020

    Documents obtained by PETA show that Jambi, a 10-year-old golden retriever, was euthanized in April of this year because of complications related to canine muscular dystrophy (MD) and cancer. Experimenters bred him to have MD, a painful illness that condemned him to a lifetime of suffering. Texas A&M University compounded his misery by imprisoning him in a barren laboratory cell and performing invasive, useless procedures on him. Will you help us get the remaining 24 dogs home for the holidays? Please take action below.

    Update: November 16, 2020

    Thanks to the many e-mails and calls from PETA supporters, another dog imprisoned in Texas A&M University’s barren canine muscular dystrophy laboratory has been freed! Records just obtained by PETA show that Kenickie, a 6-year-old German shorthaired pointer who was always exercised alone during his imprisonment, has been adopted. Now let’s get the remaining 24 dogs into the homes they so deserve. You can help by taking action below.

    Update: September 22, 2020

    You did it! We asked you to call and e-mail and demand that two healthy dogs who have spent nine years inside canine muscular dystrophy laboratories finally be given a chance to live in a home, and Texas A&M University (TAMU) has listened! Records just obtained by PETA show that Lucilla and Varinia were adopted. Another dog, named Cheddar, has also been placed in a home. The documents indicate that there are just 25 dogs remaining in the infamous laboratory. However, a dog named Jambi is missing from the records that we’ve received, so we’re questioning Texas A&M about that. We won’t leave any dog behind.

    PETA has offered to take all the dogs still imprisoned by Texas A&M. Please ask it to release them now by taking action below.

Do you have a dog? Imagine if he or she had been bred to develop canine muscular dystrophy (MD), caged in a barren laboratory, forced to endure the extremely debilitating symptoms of the disease (which is not the same as MD in humans), and subjected to painful experiments and invasive muscle biopsies on a regular basis. You would stop whoever put your beloved companion through such agony, right? Then on behalf of the 29 dogs—at least 15 of whom are healthy “carriers” and don’t even have the disease—still trapped in Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) notorious canine MD laboratory, we need you to help us stop TAMU.

In 2019, we saw what could be accomplished by relentlessly demanding that TAMU do better—the university bowed to pressure and permanently ended its MD laboratory dog-breeding program. Many of the dogs were adopted into homes. The lead experimenter retired. The program appears to have no funding for experiments. The administration discussed ways the whole laboratory could be closed down. So why is the school still warehousing these dogs? PETA has offered again and again to take them, but TAMU appears to care more about denying us a “win” than about the dogs themselves—or even about good science.

20 Dogs at TAMU

We need to make the entire dog laboratory a thing of the past—for these 29 dogs still trapped at the university, we must turn 2019’s progress into 2020’s victory:

1. Aphrodite

This 1-year-old girl, who has a white butterfly marking on her chest, is “affected,” which means she has canine MD, just as Jelly (pictured below) did.

Jelly at Texas A&M dog laboratory

Jelly’s weakened jaw muscles and enlarged tongue made eating difficult for her. She had to subsist on thin gruel because she was at risk of choking, but she struggled to swallow even that. TAMU’s records indicate that she was euthanized at the age of 8, likely so that her tissues could be removed and studied.

2. Baguette

One-year-old Baguette is a carrier of canine MD, meaning that she carries a genetic mutation and likely would’ve been used to breed more dogs affected by the disease had PETA’s pressure not ended TAMU’s dog-breeding program.

3. Barbara

Born on the same day as Baguette—September 28, 2018—Barbara is blond and also a 1-year-old carrier.

4. Brioche

Brioche, Baguette’s sister, shares her sister’s cream-colored fur but is distinguishable by the small white marking on her head. When she was a puppy, experimenters observed that she limped after her front leg became stuck in the bars of her enclosure. Several months later, they noticed that several large patches of hair were missing from her body.

5. Cheddar

Cheddar was likely born in 2013 or 2014, and in the years since, she has been used as a breeding machine to crank out more puppies with canine MD. Records obtained by PETA indicate that her imprisonment has been punctuated by brief periods of exercise just once a week, often alone.

6. Demeter

Born on October 8, 2018, with a single white hair on her head, Demeter is affected with canine MD. In her short life, she has been subjected to multiple muscle biopsies. Recent notations in her records indicate that she has been regurgitating and exhibiting increased drooling—symptoms common in dogs who suffer from canine MD.

7. Elvira

Born on October 27, 2016, Elvira has a light-blond coat and a white blaze adorning her head. She’s a canine MD carrier who has been bred multiple times to produce more dogs with the disease.

8. Eos

Eos, who sports a white blaze on her head and a little white marking on her chest, is affected with canine MD like her sisters Demeter and Aphrodite. She has also been subjected to multiple muscle biopsies. In February 2020, she was observed to be lethargic and depressed. She also wasn’t eating.

9. Garen

Garen—a 1-year-old black pup with a bit of white fur on his chest who is affected with canine MD—should be taking up space on someone’s bed (and in their heart), not forced to exist in a small cage, deprived of the love and companionship that every dog deserves. His records from earlier this year note that he has been regurgitating food—indicating that the disease is progressing in his body.

10. Grinch

Grinch, a brown-and-white dog who is affected with canine MD, turned 9 years old earlier this month, but nearly a decade of being tormented in a lab hardly called for a celebration.

11. Jambi

As a loving guardian’s faithful canine companion, Jambi would likely turn heads during walks—showing off his dark-blond coat and unique white markings on his chest and abdomen. However, Jambi, who is affected with canine MD, has instead been imprisoned and used as a laboratory tool since his birth on May 24, 2010. Recent notations in his records indicate that he has been leaving some or most of his food in the bowl.

12. Jigglypuff

Most people know Jigglypuff as a small, loveable, pink Pokémon. A guardian would undoubtedly also love 3-year-old canine Jigglypuff, a canine MD carrier who is blond with a white blaze on her head—if TAMU would only release her and the other dogs in its laboratory for adoption.

13. Jumba

Jumba, a dark-blond dog with white markings on his head and chest who is affected with canine MD, has spent more than two years as a TAMU prisoner. He has been observed to have difficulty swallowing and was recently reported to have stiffness and pain in his front right paw. Keep reading to discover how you can help end his torment.

14. Juniper

Two-year-old Juniper, a canine MD carrier who is blond with a white spot on her head and a white chest, could make a loving guardian very happy (and vice versa). But in order for that to happen, TAMU must first shut down its laboratory and release all the dogs there for adoption into good homes.

15. Karbach

Karbach, a carrier and Juniper’s mother, turned 4 years old earlier this year—that’s four too many years spent in barren cages inside a bleak laboratory.

16. Kenickie

TAMU’s records are so inadequate that there’s no information about Kenickie. Nonetheless, dogs like him have a strong desire to form close bonds with humans and to love and be loved by them. How can TAMU deny him this?

17. and 18. Lucilla and Varinia

As carriers, Lucilla and her sister Varinia were a disappointment to experimenters. They were also bred to have canine muscular dystrophy but were born without it. At birth, though, on September 23, 2011, their other sister was gasping and struggling to breathe and so was killed at just a day old. She was never even given a name. At 3 months old, both Varinia and Lucilla were already suffering from intestinal parasites, hair loss, and lesions or scabs on their ears. Varinia also grew painfully thin.

Varinia Imprisoned at Texas A&M

Varinia, along with her sister Lucilla, has been caged in laboratories for her entire life. During that time, she has suffered from weight loss, intestinal parasites, and hair loss. She has probably been used by experimenters as a breeding machine in the hope that she would give birth to puppies with canine muscular dystrophy who could be used in experiments.

These girls are both available for adoption and must be kept together, as they’re bonded. A PETA staffer applied to adopt them and was denied—even though they’ve been publicly available for adoption for many months.

Lucilla Imprisoned at Texas A&M

Lucilla and Varinia are almost 9 years old. They’ve known nothing but a life of deprivation in TAMU’s laboratory. Records show that during most of 2019, experimenters allowed Lucilla out of her barren cage only about three times per month.

19. Lux

Lux, a jet-black pup, was born on February 23, 2019. She doesn’t know it, but 500 physicianshumans with MD, and hundreds of thousands of PETA supporters have asked TAMU to shut the dog laboratory down in her behalf.

20. Maple

Experimenters treat dogs like dark-blond Maple, who is Juniper’s sister, like they’re laboratory equipment, denying them everything that would make their lives worth living.

21. Melania

Melania was born on September 28, 2018, along with her sister Barbara. Six hundred and twenty-six days is too long spent in a laboratory—one day is too long.

22. Mendel

Mendel, a blond dog with white markings on her head and neck, was born to her mother, Elvira, on March 21, 2018. She and the 28 other dogs still stuck in the school’s laboratory deserve to be released from their hellish confinement. In the time that they have left, they should know kindness and love.

23. Mertle

Mertle, who has a white blaze and a stripe on her nose, carries only the canine MD genetic mutation, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know suffering. Because they’re trapped in a barren metal kennel for their entire lives, unstimulated dogs like her often pace and bite the bars of their cage in frustration.

24. Ned

Just like what TAMU should do for the dogs in its laboratory, 9-year-old Ned is black-and-white. Ned, who is affected with canine MD, was born in May 2011, and he’s counting on us to help him.

25. PeeWee

Born on May 24, 2010, dark-blond PeeWee has endured more than a decade of imprisonment. Because he is affected with MD, experimenters took his sperm and used it to impregnate female carriers in order to breed more puppies with his condition.

26. Scrump

Like humans, dogs can dream. Perhaps Scrump dreams of the new, loving guardians she’ll be a companion to if TAMU ever grants her her freedom.

27. Selene

Earlier this year, a dog named Lunes was left to die alone in a cage at TAMU after his apparently deteriorating condition went untreated. TAMU must do the right thing before Selene along with her sisters Aphrodite, Demeter, and Eos and the other dogs stuck in TAMU’s laboratory endure similar dismal fates.

28. Sushi

Two-year-old affected pup Sushi, who has a white blaze on her head and white fur on her chest, is counting on us to refuse to be silent in the face of her suffering. Keep reading to see how easy it is to speak up for dogs trapped at TAMU.

29. Waylon

TAMU treats its mascot dog, Reveille, like a celebrity. She even appears in a Disney+ show. At the same time, the university keeps dogs like Waylon locked up and suffering inside its cruel dog laboratory for useless MD experiments.


Waylon and his 28 fellow TAMU prisoners should be with a loving family right now, playing in the backyard, relaxing at home, and going for long walks.

After our campaigning forced the university to stop breeding dogs into a lifetime of torment, a dog named Cannoli was listed for adoption. PETA has repeatedly offered to take all the dogs, including Cannoli, and place them in good homes. PETA Honorary Director Pamela Anderson has also personally offered to adopt all the surviving dogs. But TAMU has ignored these requests. What’s more, the school subsequently took Cannoli off the adoption list and transferred the healthy 2-year-old golden retriever to another one of its laboratories, likely to be used in more cruel experiments.

Cannoli Imprisoned at Texas A&M

Cannoli was born in captivity in TAMU’s canine muscular dystrophy laboratory. This healthy young dog was eventually put up for adoption but then betrayed: Instead of being allowed to go to a loving home, he was sentenced to further imprisonment and pain in a toxicology laboratory.

TAMU took Cannoli from one lab and dumped him in another, like a test tube, all while the university issued guidelines to scale back animal tests because of COVID-19. TAMU has proved that it has no intention of willingly doing right by Cannoli or the 29 other dogs named above—together, we must demand action from the school. Click on the button below if you’re with us:

Urge Texas A&M University to Close Its Dog Laboratory

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind