Urge Texas A&M University to Close Dog Laboratory

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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.

Update: February 3, 2021
We asked you to call and e-mail to demand that dogs who’ve spent years inside Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) canine muscular dystrophy (MD) laboratory finally be freed, and the school has listened. Lucilla, Varinia, Cheddar, Kenickie, and Brioche have all been adopted into the homes they so deserve. And we’ve just obtained records that show that a golden retriever named Karbach was also freed from the laboratory and adopted. She spent just shy of five years as a prisoner before finally getting the home that she so deserved.

Records also show that two golden retrievers, Jumba and Jambi, were euthanized without ever knowing the love and comfort of a home. You can read more details here.

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

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

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.

Hernandez III
Junkins, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University
Angela Vasquez
c/o John Junkins, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University

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