8 Investigates

McGuire VA doctor who performed botched surgeries on dogs received $15,000 bonus in 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -- 8News has just learned that the doctor responsible for several botched surgeries performed on dogs during experiments at McGuire VA Hospital, got a bonus from the VA that same year.

The bonus was paid for with taxpayer money.

While the doctor has since been banned from the medical research project, documents obtained by the taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project, and shared with 8News, show that in 2016, Doctor Alex Tan was given $15,000 extra in performance pay.

This was on top of his $300,000 plus salary.

The documents show Dr. Tan also got a $30,000 raise in 2016 and another $15,000 bonus.


In one of those botched surgeries, Tan mistakenly sliced through a dog's lung. A review committee after the fact called his work reckless.

The VA's Chief Veterinary Medical Officer explained the bonus.

"Dr. Tan is no longer permitted to work with animals. His pay reflects his value to the VA as a respected cardiologist treating Veterans at the Richmond VAMC, a job he performs extraordinarily well. By contrast, White Coat Waste is a radical group that puts animal rights extremism ahead of Veterans' health. VA's canine research program has the support of major Veterans groups, including Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans because it creates the potential for life-changing medical breakthroughs for seriously disabled Veterans. VA animal research has saved lives in the past and it will do so in the future unless extremist groups like White Coat Waste succeed in shutting it down." - Dr. Michael Fallon, Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs

PREVIOUS STORIES: Dogs 'intentionally injured,' killed during medical testing at McGuire Veteran's HospitalWhistleblower gives inside knowledge of dog experiments at McGuire VA Medical Center, Group protests dog research at McGuire VA while national veterans group rallies behind itRichmond SPCA makes plea for McGuire dogsVirginia taxpayers funding deadly dog experiments at McGuire VA Medical Center

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