UPDATE: One week after workers at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. in North Carolina were exposed by PETA for the cruel treatment of the animals at its facility – the lab has closed its doors and surrendered all of the cats and dogs.
With quick intervention by the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Welfare Institute the nearly 200 dogs and 54 cats have all been rescued and placed in more than 12 animal shelters and rescue groups in North Carolina and surrounding states.
Many of the dogs, all Beagles, are being treated for severe chemical burns to their paws. All of the animals will be treated for parasites and infections. Most also show clear signs of trauma and flinch when they are touched.
The good news is that the majority of the animals are expected to recover and will eventually be ready for adoption.
Some of the organizations that have taken custody of the cats and dogs are: Norfolk and Virginia Beach SPCAs, Virginia; In Dog We Trust Animal Shelter, West Palm Beach Florida; Washington Animal Rescue League, Washington D.C. and Guilford County Animal Shelter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A North Carolina research lab is being accused by PETA of gross abuse and vicious handling of hundreds of dogs, cats and rabbits by employees at the facility.
The company’s president and law enforcement agencies are examining the allegations.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported they have been conducting an undercover investigation at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) for the past nine months. On Wednesday the animal rights organization released a video that showed intolerable abuse to the animals.
The video which documented mistreatment of the animals by at least one employee, showed a beagle trembling in a corner of a cage as the female worker approaches, an attempt by that same employee to have a cat tear out its nails from the side of a cage and a puppy being kicked into a dog run.
There are also tirades by this employee of swearing profanities at the animals and spraying them with a hose.
The Associated Press stated the video included a scene that showed “a dog squirming through a tooth removal as workers acknowledge that the sedation drug is a couple years past its expiration and may not be working very well.”
PETA says that PLRS is a “contract laboratory that tests animal-companion products such as flea and tick sprays and spot treatments on animals.” Their clients include: Bayer, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark and Merial, the makers of Frontline flea and tick products.
Part of the footage that was not released to the public apparently also showed the type of tests the animals had to endure. In one experiment a flea-control product was applied to the necks of 57 cats.
“The cats exhibited severe adverse reactions that day, suffering seizures and bleeding from the nose and mouth. In spite of the extreme and obvious reactions, the cats were exposed to the chemical for a second time that very same day,” PETA wrote.
The evidence was taken to District Attorney Frank Parrish and PLRS president, Helen Sonenshine. Both individuals vow to investigate the accusations.
Sonenshine, who is not involved in the day-to-day operations of PLRS was especially shocked by the video.
She said in an AP interview, “I am disgusted. I am appalled. This is not what we’re about. We’re about the health of the animals.”
Sonenshine also promised to fire all employees involved in the abuse.
In addition to the abuse, PETA claims the company violated several parts of The Animal Welfare Act including lack of veterinary care and inadequate cleaning procedures.
One sweet, older Dalmatian named Clementine was forced to stand in her cage all day to avoid sitting in her own urine or sitting in the caustic bleach solution workers would spray when they were cleaning. The drainage in her dog run was virtually non-existent. Her legs were covered in open sores from the bleach.
PETA reminded the media and the public that there are modern methods of testing products that do not require the use and abuse of animals.
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