Records obtained by a watchdog group show that the total number of dogs killed in medical research experiments remains concealed by the Veterans Affairs medical center in Ohio.
The VA supposedly downplayed on the numbers, and argued that the dogs were adopted to families, however, the truth is that some of them were actually killed, as revealed by internal documents of the medical faculty.
Reports indicated that the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Ohio spent $5,800 to purchase “five mongrels for research” back in March of 2017, as indicated by federal database USASpending.gov.
However, the Washington Free Beacon highlights that when they tried to reach out to the facility requesting information on their purchase, a spokesperson for the facility informed the news outlet that the dogs were not utilized in research, and instead were given away to local families. This particular VA medical facility was researching ways to, “prevent serious and potentially fatal lung infections in individuals with spinal cord injuries.”
“The dogs most recently purchased did not fit the needs of the study, so the VA was reimbursed from the vendor and we adopted them out to local families,” the spokesperson for the VA facility noted in an email to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Free Beacon reports:
“Invoices and medical records from the facility show that on March 21, five dogs were delivered to the Cleveland VA. According to documents obtained by WCW, three of the dogs—which the VA said were adopted out—were killed on March 23rd, 27th and 30th, a month before the Free Beacon inquiry.
The experiments on the dogs stopped and they were ‘taken off protocol to be adopted out’ on April 3rd, the same day that WCW submitted a FOIA request seeking records related to all the dogs currently assigned to research at the Cleveland VA. Records indicate that two dogs were marked as ‘adopted out’ on April 28, the same day of the Free Beacon‘s inquiry.”
Justin Goodman, WCW’s vice president expressed his concerns regarding the Cleveland VA’s actions, “the VA has a difficult relationship with the truth.” He continued, “they only acknowledged the full extent of their experiments on dogs—and that some are done on dogs still considered puppies—after we found the evidence of it through FOIA requests. Now it appears that dogs they told reporters they ‘adopted out’ were actually killed in experiments.”
The VA denied the charge, and chalked up the entire story to a bad case of “misunderstanding.” Responding to the story, a spokesman from the VA explained, “There was a misunderstanding on my part with regard to the specific group of dogs your outlet asked about. At the time of the request, two of the five most recently purchased dogs had been adopted out. The other three had been used in the research project and were no longer at the facility.”
The American Legion, one of the largest wartime veterans’ organization in the United States also raised their concerns,
“We find the VA’s practices to be within recommended federal and ethical standards as established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health,” the group wrote in a letter to congressmen, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Based on this information, The American Legion . . . encourages the VA to continue research vital to advancing the medical well-being of our nation’s veterans,” the group expressed.