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Cruella’s cruel fate

When a German shepherd mix was found wandering in Carson City, Michigan, it was clear form the purple collar and chain she wore that she was somebody’s pet.

But before the year was out, she was a laboratory animal — getting probed, operated on and tested at the University of Florida.

According to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, which documented the dog’s case as part of its recent investigation into use of dogs and cats at American colleges and universities, what happened to her happens hundreds of times a year.

When she was picked up, she had no ID tags. She was deemed a stray and taken to Montcalm County Animal Control. There, she resided in pen No. 20, unclaimed by owners, unadopted by a new family.

Then R&R Research stopped by. A class B animal dealer, R&R purchased the dog and others, nmed her E6993, and ensured she would never be anybody’s pet again. The process is known as “pound seizure and it is banned in 13 states, including Maryland.

She remained at R&R for 6 months, likely spending most of her time in a cage with little or no human companionship. Her next stop was the University of Florida, which bought the dog from R&R.

Class B dealers are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to buy animals from “random sources” and sell them to animal research facilities for biomedical research, testing, and educational purposes. “Random sources” include auctions, flea markets, animal shelters, or pretty much anywhere else that agrees to deal with them. Their numbers have dwindled in the face of criticism and new laws, but as of this year, there are still 11 Class B dealers selling dogs and cats to research institutions in the United States.

After traveling more than 1,000 miles with 13 other dogs, E6993 was named Cruella by veterinary students at the University of Florida. During her seven months there, she was sedated or anesthetized 7 times, often for hours at a time, and used in medical training procedures, including endoscopy, abdominal surgery, and ultrasound exercises, by both veterinary students and veterinarians.

Cruella also underwent surgery with the intention to spay her, but it was discovered, after her abdominal cavity was opened, that she was already spayed, further pointing to the fact that she was once someone’s pet.

After that, Cruella began experiencing a loss of appetite. It’s unclear whether her problem was kennel stress, the continued isolation, or the many procedures and probes she underwent.

On July 23, 2008, 195 days after her arrival at the University of Florida and over a year after she was found in Michigan, Cruella was killed by lethal injection.

(Illustration – not Cruella — courtesy of Last Chance for Animals)

Comments

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time April 28, 2009 at 9:45 am

An acquaintance recalled reading this poem when he was a boy in a book of poetry that was old then. I remembered reading it, too, and naturally it’s out there on the Web. The poet was doing a bit of a poor job of imitating either Rudyard Kipling or Robert W. Service, but the feeling is undeniably there. I believe it must have been written in the aftermath of World War I. Warning: It’s a three-hanky poem, but it tells the same story:

Rags
Edmund Vance Cooke

They called him Rags, he was just a cur But twice on the Western Line,
That little old bunch of faithful fur
Had offered his life for mine.

And all he got was bones and bread And the leaving of soldiers’ grub,
But he’d give his heart for a pat on the head,
A friendly tickle or rub.

And Rags got home with the regiment, And then, in the breaking away–
Well, whether they stole him, or whether he went,
I am not prepared to say.

But we mustered out, some to beer and gruel, And some to sherry and shad,
And I went back to the Sawbones School,
Where I was an undergrad.

One day they took us budding M.D.’s To one of those institutes
Where they demonstrate every new disease
By means of bisected brutes.

They had one animal tacked and tied And slit like a full-dressed fish,
With his vitals pumping away inside
As pleasant as one might wish.

I stopped to look like the rest, of course, And the beast’s eyes leveled mine;
His short tail thumped with a feeble force,
And he uttered a tender whine.

It was Rags, yes, Rags! who was martyred there, Who was quartered and crucified,
And he whined that whine which is doggish prayer
And he licked my hand–and died.

And I was no better in part nor whole Than the gang I was found among,
And his innocent blood was on the soul
Which he blessed with his dying tongue.

Well! I’ve seen men go to courageous death In the air, on sea, on land!
But only a dog would spend his breath
In a kiss for his murderer’s hand.

And if there’s no heaven for love like that, For such four-legged fealty–well!
If I have any choice, I tell you flat,
I’ll take my chance in hell.

Comment from DaleZ
Time April 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I thought the photo was of the alleged dog. It’s not.

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