TAMU’s Shameful COVID-19 Actions: Healthy Dog Yanked Into Lab But School Cuts Other Experiments

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2020

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

  • University canine muscular dystrophy laboratory pulled golden retriever’s adoption listing and put him in an unrelated laboratory
  • PETA’s repeated offers to take the remaining dogs in the muscular dystrophy laboratory have been ignored—even as the university reduces animal experiments in response to the coronavirus

College Station, Texas — PETA is renewing its demand for the release of all dogs used in Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) canine muscular dystrophy laboratory after learning that a healthy 2-year-old golden retriever called Cannoli was quietly moved to an unrelated laboratory on campus—after he had been put up for adoption. PETA has repeatedly offered to take the dogs and place them in good homes, but TAMU has ignored these requests. Honorary PETA Director Pamela Anderson has also personally offered to adopt all the surviving dogs.

Records obtained by PETA through public records requests show that Cannoli, who was born in 2018 in the canine muscular dystrophy laboratory, is healthy and not afflicted with the disease. After PETA’s campaign prompted TAMU to stop breeding the dogs, Cannoli was put up for adoption in May 2019. Records show that he was inexplicably removed from the adoption listing and sent to the “Bailey lab”—likely, the laboratory of E. Murl Bailey Jr., a toxicologist at TAMU.

TAMU has failed to respond to PETA’s phone calls, letters, and e-mails demanding an explanation and offering to take Cannoli and the other approximately 30 dogs and place them in loving homes. Last week, while ignoring PETA’s offers, the university issued guidelines to scale back animal tests in light of COVID-19.

“Cannoli should be in a home with a loving family right now, playing in the backyard and going for long walks,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Instead, Texas A&M has taken him from one lab and dumped him in another, like a test tube, even as it scales back animal studies.”

Earlier this month, PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging violations of animal protection laws after records showed that Cannoli’s father, a dog named Lunes, was left to die alone in a cage at TAMU after his apparently deteriorating condition went untreated. Five hundred physicians, humans with muscular dystrophy, and hundreds of thousands of PETA supporters have asked the university to end the experiments.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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