An eight-month PETA undercover investigation at the University of Utah documented the daily suffering of dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, mice, rabbits, and other animals in the school's laboratories.
Homeless dogs and cats—who were bought for $15 to $25 from local animal shelters through a Utah state "pound-seizure" law, which required government-run shelters to turn animals over to laboratories that requested them—were used in cruel, invasive experiments. In one study, a litter of kittens born to a cat bought from an animal shelter died after a chemical that causes fluid to build up was injected into their brains.
In other experiments, mice whose back legs were paralyzed, rats who suffered epileptic seizures, and mice with huge, ulcerated tumors covering their bodies were left to suffer without adequate veterinary care. Many animals died and were left for days before anyone noticed.
After breaking the news of our shocking investigation, we received confirmation from the University of Utah that Robert—the cat pictured above—would be removed from the laboratory and adopted into a new home. Also, in early 2010, two more important developments in this case occurred: Utah legislators amended state law so that government-run animal shelters will no longer be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories upon request for use in cruel and deadly experiments, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the University of Utah for nine violations of federal animal protection laws.
While this is great news for animals who live in animal shelters like Robert did, the University of Utah continues to perform cruel tests on animals inside its laboratories.
Please be a voice for the animals who are suffering in labs at the University of Utah. Take a minute of your time to urge the university to stop experimenting on animals from shelters and to release to the public complete records on all taxpayer-funded animal experiments at the University of Utah.
I was especially upset to learn that the university exploits the victims of the animal homelessness crisis by buying cats and dogs who are awaiting a second chance at life from animal shelters and using them in cruel and deadly experiments. I urge you to sever your unsavory ties with these animal shelters immediately and permanently end the practice of using these animals for any purpose in the university's laboratories.
I know that many others were appalled to learn about what goes on at the university, and as a taxpayer, I further request that you implement steps to ensure greater transparency when it comes to all the university's publicly funded animal experiments by publishing experimental protocols, veterinary records, and minutes of the university's laboratory oversight committee meetings on its Web site.