Protesters gathered outside McGuire VA Medical Center Wednesday night to express their anger over the VA hospital’s plans to renew deadly dog research.
8News uncovered earlier this month that a controversial canine research project set to expire at the end of September has been renewed for three more years, making the Richmond VA hospital the last with an active dog lab.
The Los Angeles VA, the Milwaukee AV and the Cleveland VA all halted their canine experiments amid public outcry.
The research at McGuire is part of an ongoing study into heart disease. The dogs are surgically implanted with pacemakers and forced to run on treadmills before they are euthanized.
McGuire told 8News the studies are necessary to better treat life threatening illnesses in veterans. Yet, protesters say there’s no evidence of that.
“These dogs have been used in very painful experiments. They end up dying it is all pointless because they have achieved nothing in terms of any sort of medical breakthroughs,” one protester named Robin Starr said.
Other protesters claimed dog research is outdated.
“There’s other alternatives, please stop this,” said protester Michael Nino. “These dogs are innocent and it shouldn’t be taking place.”
Protesters have now gathered in front of McGuire three times in the last couple of years and they say they have no plan of backing down as the experiments are funded in part with taxpayer dollars.