Feds Investigating Texas A&M’s Treatment of Golden Retrievers After PETA Complaints

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas

In response to complaints filed by PETA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have launched investigations into Texas A&M University’s treatment of sick golden retrievers and other dogs as well as apparently false statements made by the head of the school’s canine muscular dystrophy (MD) laboratory, Peter Nghiem.

The USDA’s investigation stems from PETA’s complaints regarding the apparent lack of care for seven dogs, all of whom were afflicted with canine MD. Records from the facility show that the dogs had serious symptoms that went untreated for months or years, including decreased appetite, vomiting, and weight loss. One of the dogs, Lunes, was found dead in his kennel after months of deteriorating health. A 10-year-old dog named Ned left much of his food uneaten throughout 2020 and was finally euthanized. Smeared blood was found multiple times in the kennel of a dog named Ganondorf, but there are no records of diagnosis or treatment. Ganondorf later collapsed and died. Garen was euthanized at the age of just 2 after experiencing a swollen tongue and weight loss, and Grinch vomited repeatedly before being euthanized. All the dogs struggled to move, swallow, eat, and drink.

PETA’s complaint to NIH involved nine healthy dogs who were transferred to another Texas A&M laboratory, rather than being placed in homes—even though Nghiem publicly stated (page 6) that healthy dogs are released for adoption when he is done with them. When NIH questioned Texas A&M officials, the university claimed that the dogs are available for adoption—but it’s currently telling the public that the animals won’t be available for two or more years.

“Texas A&M is furtively shuffling healthy dogs between laboratories and apparently just watching as the sick dogs become sicker,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “The laboratory is done for, and the university needs to admit it. PETA is ready to take all remaining 19 dogs and place them in good homes with real families.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Relevant documents are available upon request.

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