Update: September 13, 2019
Huge progress! Following intense pressure from PETA, 500 physicians, many scientists, a number of celebrities, muscular dystrophy (MD) patients, and hundreds of thousands of activists, the canine MD laboratory at Texas A&M University (TAMU) has stopped breeding dogs to develop the crippling disease.
The university has also been caught blatantly lying about the breeding. TAMU issued statements insisting that the dogs were "already affected [by canine MD]," despite indisputable evidence to the contrary in publications authored by the laboratory's former lead experimenter as well as documents from the university itself. Records show that as many as 100 puppies have been born into imprisonment in the laboratory since PETA launched its campaign in December 2016—all doomed to die shortly after birth or to endure a lifetime with the painful, debilitating symptoms of the illness.
There are still dogs suffering in this notorious laboratory, so we need to keep the pressure on. Please take action below to urge TAMU to shut down this laboratory and release all the dogs there for adoption into good homes.
At Texas A&M University (TAMU), experimenters led by Peter P. Nghiem breed golden retrievers to develop canine muscular dystrophy (MD). This disease ravages their bodies, causing progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Studies using these animals haven't led to a cure or even a treatment to reverse disease symptoms in humans.
Video footage shows that the appallingly thin dogs in the laboratory were caged, sometimes alone, in barren metal cells and struggled to swallow thin gruel—the only food that they could eat, given how easily they could choke. Long ropes of saliva hung from the mouths of those whose jaw muscles had weakened. Even balancing was difficult. Dogs with this condition are also at great risk for contracting pneumonia because they can easily inhale liquid into their lungs.
Dogs who didn't have the disease but carried the MD gene were used for breeding. Deprived of loving homes, they frantically paced across the slatted floors and bit the bars of the small cages in frustration. They didn't even have the comfort of a blanket.
To gauge just how much a dog's muscles have deteriorated, experimenters invented a crude technique that could pass for medieval torture: They repeatedly stretch them with a motorized lever in order to cause muscle tears.
Experimenters have been at this for nearly 40 years. Puppies in this laboratory who are born with MD are so weak at birth that they require extra nutrition. By 6 weeks of age, their hind limbs have shifted forward, making walking difficult, and some are unable to open their mouths or jaws.
You Can Help Stop This!
Scientists, including 500 medical doctors, have criticized the experiments' inapplicability to human patients. Patients suffering from muscular dystrophy have proclaimed that they don't want animals to suffer in their names, and director Richard Linklater, actor Lily Tomlin, political commentator Bill Maher, NFL player Ryan Tannehill, and musician Nikki Sixx have all spoken out against TAMU's MD experiments on dogs. Please join them by urging the university to close its dog laboratory, release all the dogs there for adoption into good homes, and redirect its resources to humane research methods.