URGENT: Sick, Starving—and Possibly Stolen—Dogs in Lab Need Your Help

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

Blue Ridge Kennel, a laboratory in Alabama that uses dogs in grim companion animal product tests, is a demonstrably provable hellhole that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has repeatedly cited for animal welfare violations that span an array of horrors.

Since 2020, USDA inspectors have cited Blue Ridge 86 times for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. But no matter how many citations it racks up, conditions there don’t improve.

So we need your help to pressure USDA to show some teeth by seizing the long-suffering dogs imprisoned in this miserable facility—a good first step toward shutting it down.

Three dogs—Preston, Star, and Shakira—were so emaciated that their ribs, backbones, and hip bones were clearly visible. Some dogs were left outside in the heat without access to water, while other dogs needing veterinary care, including a 12-year-old yellow Labrador named Blue who could barely stand or walk, were left to suffer. Another Lab, named Party Girl, had severe dental disease and two mammary masses—one an inch wide—that the facility left untreated.

A yellow Lab named Sunny suffered from a foul-smelling ear infection. Multiple dogs had been diagnosed with thyroid issues but were months overdue for treatment. Blue Ridge’s parasite prevention plan for the facility’s dogs was inadequate, but it wasn’t being followed anyway. Rusty metal protrusions in the dogs’ pens posed a risk of injury to the animals.

Blue Ridge has also purchased dogs from people unlicensed to sell them, which means those animals may have been stolen, for all anyone knows, because there was no identifying paperwork.

A Legacy of Cruelty
A 2022 USDA inspection report obtained by PETA showed that the facility had failed to offer adequate medical care to multiple dogs, including a yellow male Labrador retriever who was weak, struggled to stand, and had pressure sores on his body. Because he found it difficult to move, he struggled to avoid his own urine and feces. Several dogs were underweight. One redbone coonhound’s backbone, ribs, and hip bones were protruding.

The horrors dogs endure at Blue Ridge are nearly ceaseless. Read about some of them here:

What You Can Do
On February 16, 2023, the USDA took the extremely rare action of filing a formal complaint against Blue Ridge Kennel for serious and chronic violations of federal animal welfare laws. In the ensuing months, the facility committed additional violations, in apparent flagrant disregard for the law. And in March 2024, the agency issued it an $80,000 penalty for racking up 83 citations for those violations.

But problems persist, and dogs continue to suffer.

So we wrote to the district attorney, urging him to investigate Blue Ridge Kennel for apparent violations of the state’s law against cruelty to animals. He has referred the case to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation.

Now it’s time for the USDA to do its job.

You can help by urging the agency to seize these long-suffering dogs. Putting your subject line and letter into your own words will help draw attention to your e-mail. After you take action, you’ll see an easy way to share this information. Please ask five of your friends or relatives to support this campaign!

US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

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