When neighbors and employees of the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Richmond, Virginia go to fill up their gas tanks, they’ll be confronted with the awful truth about the federal facility’s abuse of dogs in wasteful and secretive experiments. As part of White Coat Waste Project’s national ad campaign calling out VA’s taxpayer-funded dog experiments, ads will be posted for the next month at gas stations surrounding the McGuire VAMC. The ad campaign is supported in part by a generous in-kind grant from the PVBLIC Foundation.
WCW recently exposed abuses at McGuire including fatal botched surgeries on dogs, public disclosure violations, and a “reckless” and incompetent surgeon who killed dogs still allowed to perform procedures on veterans.
Now, WCW has obtained records through the Freedom of Information Act revealing that McGuire is also the VA’s most painful dog experimentation lab.
Internal McGuire documents show that the facility currently has four separate projects that entail forcing dogs to suffer excruciatingly painful and deadly heart conditions, often without any pain relief. Details of these projects have never been public before because McGuire has failed to list the projects and what they cost taxpayers on the federal research database.
In total, the records reveal that 118 puppies as young as 6-months-old at McGuire are slated to undergo invasive surgeries to damage their hearts, sever their nerves and implant devices that allow experimenters to induce heart attacks and other irregularities. In all of the projects, the puppies are forced to run on treadmills to stress their compromised hearts and are finally killed and dissected.
According to the documents, McGuire’s so-called “dog model of heart attack” experiments involve causing dogs to suffer from significant unrelieved pain and distress, including:
“pain, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and even [unconsciousness]”
“coughing, abdominal swelling, heavy breathing, exercise intolerance, increasing fatigue, blue discoloration of tongue or mouth, and loss of appetite”
In March, there were 19 dogs locked in McGuire’s taxpayer-funded labs. As recently as January 2017, McGuire purchased three more puppies for use in these experiments.
More than 300,000 people have written to Congress in support of WCW’s campaign to cut taxpayer funding for wasteful and deadly dog experiments. If you haven’t yet, email your congress members now.