This headline from The New York Daily News says it all:
Two powerful Republican Members of Congress wrote this half-page op-ed after working with our team.
Money quote from Reps. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Dan Donovan (R-NY):
"As members of Congress — one of whom is an Army veteran and major in the Army Reserves — we're working to hold the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for this waste, fraud and abuse, by passing a law that would once and for all end these cruel experiments."Read it for yourself below.
And if you agree with Reps. Zeldin and Donovan that the VA must end dog torture, please follow this link to contact congress.
The VA must end dog torture
By LEE ZELDIN and DAN DONOVAN | October 26, 2017
Humans have had a special relationship with dogs for thousands of years. Dogs are not only loving pets and loyal companions, but we also rely on them to guide the disabled, search for bombs and missing persons, and support military personnel.
That's why reports of excruciatingly painful and scientifically dubious, federally funded experiments on man's best friend demand a forceful response.
Whistleblowers and other sources recently brought to light the harmful experiments on dogs conducted at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, and veterans have noted that the VA is the only federal agency doing "maximum pain" tests on canines.
In the studies, VA employees induce heart attacks and irregular heartbeats in hound puppies, then keep the helpless animals in pain and distress. In other ongoing VA experiments, clinicians cut into dogs' skulls, collapse their lungs and sever their spinal cords.
Reports indicate that the VA's own procurement records describe some of the approximately 100 dogs it buys and experiments on each year as "friendly," "shy" and "submissive."
This research is cruel, unusual and an inefficient use of taxpayers' money. Though in theory the studies are supposed to help people who have endured serious combat injuries, VA experts have noted that even the most promising animal research rarely applies to people. These painful dog experiments are unlikely to be any different.
In a recent letter to Congress, VetsFirst — a Queens-based disabled veterans' advocacy group — wrote, "We are concerned by the apparent lack of evidence that the VA's past and ongoing canine research — particularly projects involving causing dogs pain and distress, some of which is not relieved — has led to effective and accessible treatments or cures for veteran-specific illnesses."
But we're disappointed that rather than placing this controversial program under the microscope, the VA has been aggressively defending its program. In some instances, the VA's claims have been proven wrong.
For example, the agency has denied it causes dogs pain, yet its own project applications have the box for "maximum pain" experiments checked.
Troublingly, the VA recently said that dogs at its Cleveland facility were donated to local families, but they actually died in invasive experiments.The VA also claimed it was conducting "observational" research on Dobermans, but in actuality the agency planned to inject them with methamphetamine, kill them, and study their brains.
As members of Congress — one of whom is an Army veteran and major in the Army Reserves — we're working to hold the VA accountable for this waste, fraud and abuse, by passing a law that would once and for all end these cruel experiments.
Eliminating these outmoded dog experiments would permit the agency to rededicate resources to current research priorities, like helping our nation's veterans overcome combat-related mental health issues and illnesses attributed to deployment-related burn pit exposures.
It's also an odd juxtaposition that the VA spends millions on canine experiments but could take years to fully roll out a program providing support dogs to veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.
That's why we're asking the VA to take the dogs from its experimentation labs and provide them to veterans in need. New York has been at the vanguard of the lab-animal adoption issue, passing a state law last year allowing for the dogs from publicly-funded research facilities to find loving, permanent homes.
Isolating and eliminating unnecessary government programs is often difficult. This shouldn't be one of those times.
There are nearly a million veterans living in New York, with some of the greatest concentrations in our districts. The VA has too many important, unfulfilled obligations to veterans for it to be distracted by this expensive, unnecessary and controversial dog research program.
In just the five boroughs, there are also an estimated 425,000 dogs. New York even has an official state dog, the humble working dog, a category of canine that exemplifies the deep bond that exists between dogs and people, particularly with veterans on and off the battlefield.
What the VA is doing to dogs in its labs is a betrayal of this bond. We're proud to fight against wasteful spending that hurts dogs and veterans on behalf of our constituents, both human and canine.
Donovan, a Republican, represents the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. Zeldin, a Republican, represents the 1st Congressional District, covering central and eastern Suffolk County. Zeldin is an Army veteran and served as a major in the Army Reserves.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
VA must end dog torture | White Coat Waste Project
Posted by Suomigirl at 10:20 AM