University of Delaware President Gets a Birthday Gift From PETA—A Heart

Group Asks Dennis Assanis to Show Empathy for Animals and End Tania Roth’s ‘Child Abuse’ Experiments on Rats

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Newark, Del.

University of Delaware (UD) President Dennis Assanis will celebrate his 61st birthday on Sunday—and to mark the occasion, PETA sent him an anatomically correct model of a heart, along with a message: “As your continued support for Tania Roth’s cruel experiments seems to indicate a lack of empathy, we’re sending you a heart. Perhaps then you will find the compassion to close this laboratory.”

UD experimenter Tania Roth subjects rats to painful depression, stress, and “child abuse” experiments. In her most recent study, she surgically severed the lower thoracic spine of baby rats one day after they were born. All the rats were killed and dissected at the conclusion of the experiment. Roth reports giving them only one dose of pain medication following these painful surgeries and using hypothermia—chilling them in an ice bath to the point of unconsciousness—to anesthetize them.

“While President Assanis celebrates another birthday, most of the animals in Tania Roth’s laboratory are being bullied and killed in ‘child abuse’ experiments,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “If Assanis stops this sham science, PETA will gladly celebrate his next birthday with a champagne toast to good science that helps humans without harming animals.”

Since 2000, Roth has spent nearly $2 million in public funds tormenting rats. Her past experiments include shocking baby rats’ feet, forcing alcohol down newborn rats’ throats, stuffing pregnant rats inside cramped restraint tubes and blasting them with strobe lights and white noise, and dropping rats into tanks of water. She has taken newborn rats away from their mothers and given them to stressed females who, unequipped to care for them, have stepped on, dropped, dragged, and ignored them. She has restrained rats in a Plexiglas enclosure smeared with cat food and placed it in a small metal cage with an adult cat so that they would become terrified that they’d be killed. Her experiments have not produced a single treatment for abused children.

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

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