Cat Tortured and Killed for Profit at University of Wisconsin

Steel coils are implanted in your eyes. Your inner ears are intentionally destroyed; you become deaf. Holes are drilled into your skull and electrodes implanted in your brain.

You wake up during one of many surgeries.

You are starved for days.

These are only some of the torments suffered by an orange tabby cat at the hands of  University of Wisconsin-Madison experimenters, according to PETA.

This is not a case that requires weighing potential benefits to human health against the suffering of non-human experimental subjects. This cat, Double Trouble, was tortured solely for prestige and profit. PETA reports that the school’s own excuse for the experiment was that it needed to “keep up a productive publication record that ensures our constant funding.”

Double Trouble’s case was never published because it was deemed a failure.

What happens to cats who fail at UW-Madison? For Double Trouble, it was the death penalty.

And what about this “constant funding” that the school was so eager for — where did it come from? American taxpayers. The federal National Institutes of Health paid for Double Trouble’s torture. The Wisconsin State Journal (the Journal) reports that the university is still conducting these experiments on other cats. The school uses 30 cats each year in this experiment.

NIH has given more than $3 million for the project that claimed Double Trouble’s miserable life. Clearly UW-Madison’s strategy for getting “constant funding” is working.

WARNING: Photo on next page may be disturbing.

Double Trouble at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PETA)

Meanwhile, PETA reports, “researchers at prestigious institutions around the world are already using modern methods with human volunteers to investigate” the question Double Trouble’s tormentors claimed to be analyzing, about the brain’s ability to locate the source of sounds. According to an expert in human brain research, Dr. Lawrence Hansen, experiments on this topic “can be” — and are being — “conducted ethically on human volunteers using sophisticated brain imaging and recording techniques.”

The Journal quotes James DuBois, a medical ethicist, opining that the cat experiments have probably had “at least a decent level of compliance” because they have been underway since 1996 and therefore have been through regular reviews. But reviews of animal experiments are not exactly rigorous. They are conducted by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, known as IACUCs, which must include at least one animal experimenter and often include many more. Every laboratory that experiments on vertebrates must have its own IACUC, and it can include only one person not affiliated with the lab. Everyone else can be an insider.

Dr. Hansen points out that IACUCs put foxes in charge of the hen house. “An oversight system in which animal experimenters are charged with reviewing and approving the work of other animal experimenters is seriously flawed,” he wrote in the Journal.

Among the most disheartening details of Double Trouble’s tragic tale is that the researchers knew that she had emotions. They recorded in their records that she appeared “depressed.” They willingly tortured an innocent creature whom they knew was capable of being depressed, and therefore undoubtedly realized was also capable of being terrified and suffering awful pain. And they did it for money.

According to the Journal, PETA filed complaints with two federal agencies alleging that the school violated the federal Animal Welfare Act. A school spokesperson protested that there is “no justification for any of the claims.”

More photographs are available on PETA’s website. YouTube hosts a PETA video about Double Trouble hereWARNING: Some of these images are extremely disturbing and graphic.

Please sign this petition to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to stop the experiments that destroyed Double Trouble’s life.

Related Stories:

University of Wisconsin May Face Charges Over Illegal Experiments

University of Wisconsin Cited for Animal Welfare Violations

NIH Spends Our Money to Torture Animals for No Good Reason

Photo credit: iStockphoto


Vanessa Gutierrez
Vanessa G4 years ago

How is this possible?
How can this be accepted, tolerated?
What kind of human being is capable of committing such horrible acts?
Disgusting, appalling, beyond belief...
And this happens in a so-called civilized country. What a joke!

Nancy Englehart
Nancy Englehart4 years ago

You barbarians make me sick to my stomach!

Duane B.
.4 years ago

How shameful!

Cindy Roett
Cindy Roett5 years ago

Pretty disgusting.I guess researchers have to freeze their feelings of empathy for the torture they are responsible for.

Suze Q.
Suze Q5 years ago

Unfortunately for the animals, many scientists have become immune to care or concern for the well being of the animals. They are a means to an end, the experiment and publication After all, without publishing they do not get paid. NIH experiments on animals themselves, primates included, and they fund many grants at many institutions--like these. Care and Use committees are "supposed" to monitor this kind of crap, but many things are covered up, hence we have crap like this rearing its ugly head. This is unnecessary, these animals are innocent and none of them should be giving their lives for this kind of garbage science.

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

i am ashamed to say i live in WI. UW also has a vet school that enjoys charging excess fees on procedures, and it seems a lot of the pets die anyway. i would have thought since thay are all just 'learning' it would more along the means of, let's say, a beautician school....less costly prices for the services. anyway, it all SUCKS!!!

Holly M.
Holly M5 years ago

According to an expert in human brain research, Dr. Lawrence Hansen, experiments on this topic “can be” — and are being — “conducted ethically on human volunteers using sophisticated brain imaging and recording techniques.”
If this is true, stop the animal experiments/torturing immediately. Double Trouble did not deserve this.

eileen mckean
eileen mckean5 years ago

Is this really what educated people do 'for a living' the place should be closed or burnt down... you disgusting lot of morons.

Olimpia Marina
olimpia Marina5 years ago

Not acceptable....Those people need to be prosecuted .It is more then criminal....maximum penalty....

SANDRA G5 years ago

Laura i agree so i have to repost your comment

This is horrifying. This University should be boycotted for animal cruelty. Anyone who has cats or pets know how they feel pain and have real emotions. This poor animal had no defense. It was wondering what it did wrong to deserve such punishment. They trust us to keep them safe these people have broken this trust. I think we should make sure everyone knows what is going in at this school. Post this article on your facebook so more and more people can pass it on. Even people who aren't cat lovers would not want to see an innocent animal be tortured. Do not attend this school. Let them know this is unacceptable and we will boycott you until this ends.
Why don't you use the prisoners on death row for these experiments! The animals do not rob, murder or rape people! May you all burn in hell!!