U.S. News Op-ed: Reps. Brat & Titus urge “Puppies Over Politics”

Posted by Justin Goodman
11 August 2017 | Newsworthy

 

In a new column titled “Puppies Over Politics” published in U.S. News & World Report, PUPPERS Act co-sponsors Representatives Dave Brat (R-VA) and Dina Titus (D-NV) explain how they’ve been able to win strong bipartisan Congressional support to cut painful and wasteful dog experiments at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Join them and urge your Congress members to support the bipartisan PUPPERS Act to end taxpayer funding for painful dog experiments at the V.A.


Puppies Over Politics


Congress must stop the cruel experiments the VA is conducting on dogs.

Reps. Dave Brat (R-VA) & Dina Titus (D-NV)
August 10, 2017

In an era consumed by partisanship and deep policy divides, Republicans and Democrats appear far apart on major issues dominating the headlines. But there are two notable exceptions – veterans and dogs – and we are leading a new bipartisan effort to score a win for both.

In mid-July, The New York Times noted the Veterans’ Affairs Committees in both the House and Senate were a “case study in Washington working as designed.” Veterans issues, from accountability reform and whistleblower protections to the “forever GI bill,” appear to be among the few things folks in Washington can agree on.

After learning that the Department of Veterans Affairs was using taxpayer dollars to buy dogs, breed them and subject them to painful experiments, we both agreed that something had to be done.

The result is the Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act – the PUPPERS Act – to stop the VA from using taxpayer dollars for the agency’s most painful experiments on dogs.

We are proud to have introduced the bill with several of our congressional colleagues who are military veterans; and we are excited we have already had bipartisan success to cut waste and protect animals.

The House passed an amendment we sponsored in the “minibus” spending package to implement this prohibition for one year. That is a promising first step. But Congress must work to make it permanent.

Frankly, details of the VA’s dog experiments almost amount to torture. Recent and ongoing VA research on hundreds of dogs involves causing heart attacks in hound-mix puppies and giving methamphetamine to narcoleptic Dobermans. Some of these experiments are categorized by the VA as involving extreme pain and distress that is left unrelieved.

Beyond the upsetting details of the actual experiments, new exposes of these cruel and unnecessary experiments have identified animal welfare violations, oversight failures and accountability lapses. Many of these abuses and missteps were only brought to light through repeated requests from a tenacious nonpartisan taxpayer watchdog group called White Coat Waste Project.

A new VA oversight report prompted by complaints from advocates and Congress members found the Richmond VA Medical Center approved questionable, painful heart failure experiments on dogs without adequate justifications. It also shows researchers killed dogs with botched surgeries and conducted unapproved procedures on dogs. Moreover, for years staff routinely failed to keep accurate records of how many dogs were used, whether sick dogs were provided with medical care and how dogs died.

In Los Angeles, the Greater LA VA secretively bred and experimented on narcoleptic Dobermans for more than 20 years until members of Congress helped expose the laboratory and its misleading public statements that the experiments were just “observational.” In this case, the VA announced that it intends to end the program.

Unlike many other problems in Washington, this is one that is easy to grasp and tackle. After LA’s announcement, only 3 out of the 74 VA animal research facilities still perform painful experiments on dogs: Those situated in Richmond, Virginia as well as Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Animal experiments are notoriously wasteful, and we are making technological advancements to move toward alternative methods of experimentation. The National Institutes of Health has acknowledged, “animal models often fail to provide good ways to mimic disease or predict how drugs will work in humans, resulting in much wasted time and money while patients wait for therapies.”

The NIH has ended chimpanzee research, and has said that available technologies are more accurate, faster and less expensive than animal testing. The U.S. military is moving away from using live animals in trauma medical training and the U.S. Coast Guard recently announced it was suspending its live tissue training program.

In a recent Pew poll, 80 percent of Americans stated that they do not trust lawmakers in Washington to do the right thing on most issues. Nearly the same number of Americans – 75 percent – oppose experiments on dogs, according to a national poll by Lincoln Park Strategies. Dogs are cherished pets, members of the family, faithful partners to servicemen and women on the battlefield and sources of comfort and healing to those who have returned home from war.

Passing the PUPPERS Act will protect dogs from painful experiments, trim waste and implement a change that both Democrats and Republicans can agree upon.

Blog Comments

Thank you for the incredibly courageous and important work your group is doing. Wonderful to hear such progress is being made by people with big hearts who care to buck the status quo. Shows what can be done when people band together to make a difference. With warm appreciation for your efforts, Sylvia Wright

Stop the cruel experiments the VA is conducting on dogs!

Stop the cruel experiments the VA is conducting on dogs.!

I

In this day and age, inhumane research such as this is completely OUTDATED.

Neither dogs nor any other living being should ever have to endure any kind of cruelty and/or torture supposedly for the benefit of mankind.

This needs to stop now.

Stop the VA NOW!! No more “We plan to end this program”, we need to END IT TODAY!! ENOUGH! I’m ashamed that the VA was able to keep these horrifying experiments secret!! They need to be arrested for animal cruelty, be fired, and have their pictures and names publicly displayed!! There need to be conquences!!

Right on! Pass the bill

Stop torturing animals for alleged human gain. It is wrong, plain and simple and you will be duped eventually!

The time is right to end this abuse.

Please support PUPPERS Act, which protects dogs from unnecessary, inhumane, evil experiments that are ineffective and wasteful and of no purpose other than to waste taxpayers’ dollars.

Why is anyone still supporting these experiments?

Stop this NOW!!!

For the sake of humanity pass the puppers bill your kids will love you for it.

please keep Puppies over {politics….do not harm them

Please stop the cruel experimentation on innocent animals.

Please pass the PUPPERS Act to stop the VA from using taxpayer dollars for painful experiments on dogs.

This Legislation must be passed immediately!

TRY TO BE HUMANS, HELP ANIMALS !!!!!!!!!!

Stop this abuse immediately. You all should go to jail for twenty years to life for this disgusting abuse. How could you go home and look at your families knowing what you are doing

Stop this abuse immediately. You all should go to jail for twenty years to life for this disgusting abuse. How could you go home and look at your families knowing what you are doing. No I don’t think so. STOP THIS ABUSE IMMEDIATELY

Congress must stop the cruel experiments the VA is conducting on dogs.

These animal experiments are so cruel and inhumane.

All lives, small or large, are trying to survive, wanting to find pleasures out of life, and just live.
Please listen closely to Mahatma Gandhi when we make decisions about the way we treat animals: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Animal experiments are notoriously wasteful, and we are making technological advancements to move toward alternative methods of experimentation. The National Institutes of Health has acknowledged, “animal models often fail to provide good ways to mimic disease or predict how drugs will work in humans, resulting in much wasted time and money while patients wait for therapies.”

Yes, we must stop this inhumane type of research. This is so wrong. Please help stop this. It breaks my heart to see these animals treated like this. We are so much better than this and we need to stop it now.

Please act now to prevent any further experimentation on animals, in particular subjecting them to pain of any kind.

I implore that the United States Congress ban animal testing as it is inhumane.

I believe you should make sure that when this is over that the dogs be treated with respect and given good homes not just euthanized.

These dogs must be given good homes once they are released instead of being euthanized.

This needs to be over and done with, outrageous!

Agree completely. These experiments on dogs and cats are wasteful and cruel. Stop them now!!

Agree completely. These experiments on dogs and cats are wasteful and cruel. Stop them now!

Please stop these needless experiments. All it does is promote cruelty. It sickens me in this day and age that this abuse is still allowed…..

STOP ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS NOW!
STUPID UNRELEVANT WASTE OF MONEY!
DO REAL RESEARCH – OPEN YOUR MIND.
THINK ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING. BE HUMANE FOR ALL OFF US.
THANK YOU.

stop painful dog experiements

It’s wonderful when a bipartisan effort can make a positive change, albeit a small one, in this world. The PUPPERS Act provides one such opportunity- cut waste and eliminate cruelty.

Act quickly to ban wasteful, and unnecessary and cruel experiments on all animals.

Animal experimentation is an abomination. Use my tax dollars to help animals.

Please stop the experiments on dogs. This is cruel and inhumane.

Please stop the experiments on dogs. This is cruel and inhumane. Thank you.

DO THE RIGH THING PASS THE PUPPERS ACT NOW!!!

This is a great bill. I will contact my representative.

I pray that this gets passed! I am an animal advocate and love our dogs and cats! Thank you!

Animal experimentation is wrong. We must use non animal models for research. Furthermore, the experiments performed on these animals is unnecessary. These experiments are a waste of money and cause suffering to innocent dogs.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

Posted by elizabeth | 17 November 2017
WCW recently sued the Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland VA) for refusing to release details about its deadly taxpayer-funded experiments on dozens of “friendly,” “shy” and “submissive” dogs, even...
Posted by elizabeth | 16 November 2017
This summer, the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to defund the Department of Veterans Affairs’ most painful and wasteful dog experiments. During the debate, some of the outstanding Waste...
Posted by elizabeth | 10 November 2017
We’re proud to have the support of national veterans’ groups, veterans serving in Congress, a majority of veterans and their families, the entire House of Representatives, and countless taxpayers who want to end the...