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League Provides Refuge to 30 Dogs and Cats Seized from N Carolina Research Lab
September 20, 2010
(September 18, 2010) Washington, DC – The Washington Animal Rescue League (the League) has taken in 30 of the more than 200 dogs and cats surrendered to officials after the USDA began an investigation into allegations of neglectful living conditions and cruel abuse of the animals at Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) in Gates County, North Carolina. The USDA investigation and relinquishment of the animals follows the release of videos and testimony of an undercover investigator from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PLRS, which used the animals in tests commissioned by Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Merck, and other pharmaceutical companies, has voluntarily ceased to do research. Bin the tests the animals were force-fed some substances and subjected to having others smeared on their skin—one such smear test caused seizures, blindness, and bleeding from the nose in 57 cats—but they were also allegedly routinely abused by their caretakers who screamed at them, sprayed them with water and chemicals, dragged them through the facility, and threw them into cages.
The animals being housed by the League include 10 cats and 20 dogs: beagles, mixed shepherds, terriers, and basset hounds. The animals are being examined and treated at the League’s full-service, state-of-the-art Medical Center. Over the next few weeks, the professionally certified behavior and training staff will assist them in overcoming any psychological traumas.
“These animals have survived an almost unimaginable hell on earth,” according to Dr. Gary Weitzman, the League’s CEO. “We’ve made room for as many of them as we can possibly fit, and we will spare no expense of time or money to help them put this nightmare behind them and go on to live lives as cherished members of loving households. Our mission mandates that we rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals who have nowhere else to go, and these are among the neediest we have ever welcomed. It makes us really proud and thankful that we are able to help them.”
At the invitation of PETA, with which the League partners on animal rescues, four employees of the League drove two rescue vehicles to the North Carolina laboratory to pick up the animals on September 17. The League estimates that the first of the animals may become available for adoption as early as next week. However, adoption staff cautions that some of their recovery periods may take time.
“Considering the extent of the mistreatment and how long it lasted, you can’t really expect immediate recoveries,” counsels Mary Jarvis, COO of the League. “But animals are resilient, and with the kindness and patience of the people whom we know will step forward to adopt these dogs and cats, they should all make wonderful—and very grateful—companions. And what could be more rewarding than giving these animals, who have never known a kind word or a gentle touch, a loving home.”