A top official from the Humane Society of the United States will join a rally Saturday protesting the use of dogs in animal experiments at Georgia Regents University.
Kathleen Conlee, the vice president for animal research issues at the Humane Society, said she decided to attend “The Million Dog Walk on GRU Dental” because the Augusta area has shown extensive support since the Humane Society released an investigation it believes shows questionable practices in a dental implant experiment on dogs.
“The outpouring of support has been larger than we’ve seen in these types of investigations historically,” Conlee said.
March organizer Dennis Briatico said as many as 500 people are expected to turn out for the march. It begins with a rally at 10 a.m. in the parking lot at the Augusta Judicial Center and continues on to the GRU dental school.
The Humane Society’s investigation released Nov. 20 found that GRU purchased six hound dogs from a dealer who has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is under investigation for violating the Animal Welfare Act. The organization also questioned whether GRU followed protocol in getting federal approval for the implant experiments.
Animal supporters from area rescue groups and members of Georgia and South Carolina humane society chapters are expected to participate, Briatico said.
“Ultimately, our goal is to stage the most peaceful, family-friendly protest we can have,” Briatico said.
Marchers are invited to bring leashed, adult dogs that have been properly vaccinated. Dog walkers need to control dogs and bring plastic bags to clean up after animals, Briatico said.
Shuttles will be available to drive elderly from the judicial center to the dental school.