The Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center wasted your money to abuse and kill cats. And they tried to keep it a secret.
Well we think you have a right to know who’s paying the bills for animal experiments… and who’s cashing the checks.
GOLDSTEIN INVESTIGATES: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has spent millions in taxpayer dollars to perform laboratory tests on cats at three facilities nationwide — including a secretive lab at the West Los Angeles VA https://t.co/8sL45eJfLL
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) March 3, 2021
Guess what: So does the Freedom of Information Act.
When the VA stonewalled and failed to provide any documents last year, we filed a federal lawsuit.
Animal testing at the VA is cruel, wasteful & wrong. We must stand up for animals, which is why we intro’d bills to phase out the use of large driftnets, help prevent lead poisoning in our wildlife, & more. Thank you @WhiteCoatWaste for the support ⬇️ https://t.co/woBy1RNVAd.
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) February 8, 2021
And now we know the sick details of how they wasted your money brutalizing, mutilating, and killing kittens in sick asphyxiation and “de-braining” experiments.
A group with a record of bird-dogging the Department of Veterans Affairs has won a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs hospital. The White Coat Waste project secured documents it said detail research that is abusive to kittens, which are euthanized with pentobarbital after the experiments. A bill in Congress would force VA to stop research using animals in medical research.
We’ll tell you all about the bill in a second. First, meet Artemis, one of the VA’s secret victims.
I’m proud to support the bipartisan CATS Act to end the VA’s painful & outdated lab experiments on kittens. I look forward to continuing working to ensure taxpayers are no longer forced to pay for this cruelty.https://t.co/KKL8rsyFzx
— Rep. Brendan Boyle (@CongBoyle) March 6, 2021
When Artemis was just over a year old, she was sold to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs—shipped to Los Angeles, where government white coats in a secretive VA cat lab drilled holes in her skull, cemented a “head cap” onto her skull, and asphyxiated the “friendly + curious” kitten who liked to purr by cutting off her oxygen while she was sleeping.
After three years of extreme abuse, Artemis was no longer useful to these experimenters.
So they drained the blood from her tiny body, then took her brain from her head.
After what we’ve now seen in these FOIA documents, we can say with certainty the VA should NEVER be allowed near any living kitten, or a penny of your taxpayer dollars, ever again. The records detail two painful, deadly sleep experiments at the Los Angeles VA Medical Center—one of three secretive kitten labs the agency operates, alongside VA labs in Cleveland and Louisville.
As you can see, they use fancy language in the records themselves—but, in plain English, here’s what we found they’re doing to kittens as young as six months old at the LA VA:
😿 Holes are drilled into living cats’ tiny skulls
😿 Strychnine and other chemicals are injected directly into their brains
😿 Kittens are asphyxiated by having oxygen cut off while they sleep
😿 “Head caps” are cemented to cats’ disfigured skulls
😿 At the end, cats are killed with a drug called Fatal-Plus, then have the blood drained from their bodies before their brains are removed for dissection
They’re doing all this to kittens with names, like little Artemis, who occasionally also got chicken treats from the very same people whose job was to hurt her.
Artemis is just one tragic, wasteful example.
We also won the records of a cat named Mau, whose “head cap” became dislodged and infected. She was reported to be “losing her balance” and “banging into stationary objects” before she was killed.
The LA VA’s experiments, categorized as “painful,” are slated to torture and kill 12 cats in total, all on your dime.
Our investigators uncovered records showing the grants funding the LA VA’s cat experiments have cost taxpayers over $5 million over the last five years.
“As healthcare professionals who’ve worked with patients at the VA and elsewhere and conducted human subjects research, these projects strike us as wasteful, cruel and unnecessary,” write Drs. Lawrence Hansen, a professor of pathology at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, and Katie Lawlor, a clinical psychologist in Northern California who trained at several Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, in their Malibu Times opinion piece.
“The anatomy and physiology of cats and humans differs dramatically, making any results from animal tests unlikely to translate to people. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s irresponsible for the VA to waste precious research money and time on superfluous animal tests.”
Steaming mad? You’re not alone.
A brand new poll of more than 1,000 taxpayers conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies finds 63 percent of respondents want the Biden administration to defund the VA’s cruel and wasteful cat experiments.
A silver lining of spending so much time at home is that I’ve finally figured out what my #cat does all day. Can’t imagine this difficult time without our furry friends.
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) December 3, 2020
Here’s how we can do it:
Following our exposé into the VA’s sick cat experiments, 30 members of Congress introduced the WCW-backed Cat Abuse in Testing Stops Act (HR 8867)—known as the CATS Act— to permanently end wasteful, outdated, and painful taxpayer-funded testing on kittens and cats by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The CATS Act’s introduction is led by Waste Warriors Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Army veteran Brian Mast (R-FL).
The VA’s continued use of taxpayer dollars to conduct painful and invasive experiments on cats is unacceptable. These tests are unnecessary, and they must come to an end!https://t.co/Pn9XmgFfKg
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) September 9, 2020
Members of the California delegation have signed on as well, including Air Force veteran Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)–whose district includes the LA VA–and Reps. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who serves on the VA’s funding panel in the Senate, even wrote a letter to constituents calling for an end to the LA VA’s wasteful and deadly experiments on cats and other animals:
“As a pet owner, I am outraged by cruel experiments animals are forced to suffer through … I would certainly support ending the VA’s testing on cats, dogs, and primates sooner…”
You don’t have to be a cat owner like I am to recognize that these practices are cruel. It’s time that we stop unnecessary and inhumane testing on kittens at the VA.https://t.co/CWGtlVR04L
— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) December 10, 2020
When the money stops, the killing stops.
The VA is the last government agency still abusing cats in painful experiments. Now let’s send the VA’s despicable experiments to the litter box of history.