Alleged Animal Abuse at PLRS

Posted: September 10, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Image via peta.org

Last night, I had a dream that some people posing as the humane society came to kidnap my dog for use in animal experiments.  They stole my car so I couldn’t get away, so I ran outside with my little guy under my arm and thumbed down an ice cream truck driven by Bobby Moynihan and drove to safety.

I awoke, and checked my email for the first time in a couple of days to find an email from PETA detailing abuses discovered in an undercover investigation of Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS).  An undercover investigator, apparently posing as a new employee, documented horrible treatment of the dogs, cats, and rabbits in the company’s care.  Unlike my dog in my dream, they had no happy ending.  They suffered (and still suffer) from the following abuses, quoted word-for-word below, according to PETA:

  • “Workers kicked, dragged, and cursed at dogs and violently slammed cats into cages.
  • Dogs were deliberately kept infested with worms for months at a time even when no tests required it.
  • PETA’s investigator was instructed not to report numerous dogs’ red, raw sores to the lab’s veterinarian—who only visited the laboratory once a week. Bloody diarrhea, skin conditions, worm infestations, oozing sores, abscessed teeth, and pus- and blood-filled infections on ears went untreated or were ineffectively handled by workers who had no veterinary training or credentials.
  • PLRS operated a side business raising and selling ticks and attached thousands of ticks onto rabbits’ shaved bodies to allow the ticks to gorge for five days. Many rabbits were subjected to this twice and were then killed. Non-animal methods for raising ticks have been available since the mid-’90s. Other rabbits were held over thousands of mosquitoes, who fed on the animals and sucked blood from their shaved backs for 15 minutes a day for up to five days.
  • Workers cleaned the bottoms of rabbit cage floors by vigorously shaking the cages up and down—with the rabbits still inside. According to what PETA’s investigator was told, this caused at least two rabbits’ feet to be completely severed. The investigator asked her supervisor if the employee was disciplined for dismembering a rabbit and was told, “No, but don’t clock in late, then you will get in trouble.”
  • A supervisor who killed rabbits by injecting a solution into their hearts admitted, “I’m not really … good at this.”
  • A supervisor pulled a tooth from a dog who had been inadequately sedated with an expired drug. As the supervisor yanked at the tooth, the dog kicked and shook.
  • Dogs were so traumatized from living locked up for months—and sometimes years—without affection, enrichment, companionship, exercise, or even an occasional kind word, they circled and paced continuously.”

A highly graphic and disturbing video of the abuses is available on the PETA website.  The video is not safe for work, due to the violence and frequent profanity.  You can definitely take action without viewing the undercover footage.

To email the companies that use or have used PLRS, such as Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark, and Merial, you can go to the PETA site and enter one email in a text box that will be sent to all the involved companies.

Click here to take action and speak up for these animals.

A Note on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: PETA is opposed by some in the animal rights movement for focusing too much on animal welfare and not enough on animal rights and liberation.  Ironically, those outside the movement actually seem to think that PETA is too radical, even dangerous, or just plain silly.  Regardless of what I may think of some of their overtly sexy campaigns and their recent focus on more humane methods of slaughter, I do appreciate the hard work of their employees and volunteers, and I support undercover reports like this one.  Maybe some lives can be saved or improved due to this campaign.  That is commendable.

UPDATE: This laboratory closed less than a week after PETA’s investigation was made public.  More than 200 dogs and cats were freed.  Read about it here.

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