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Protesters walk to end Georgia Regents University's dental experiments on dogs

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 Nearly 100 protesters and their four-legged friends braved the wet weather Saturday to send a message to Georgia Regents University.

They want the university to stop using dogs for unnecessary dental experiments and be more transparent with the community.

Bearing slogans such as “Shame On You, GRU,” and “Dis-GRU-ntled,” the protesters walked from the Augusta Ju­dicial Center to the GRU Col­lege of Dental Medicine to raise awareness about what they believe are the university’s questionable experimentation practices. Kath­leen Conlee, the vice president for animal research issues at the Humane Society, told protesters that the Humane Society found the experimentation practices were neither critical nor necessary.

The Humane Society launched an undercover investigation earlier this year and found that dogs had teeth removed, implants installed and were euthanized after experimentation.

The investigation also found that the animals were purchased from a random-source Class B dealer who has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Agri­cul­ture and is under investigation for violating the Animal Welfare Act. Such dealers obtain animals from random sources, such as flea markets, free-to-good-home ads or auctions.

“These dogs lived in fear and ultimately lost their life for a small piece of their jawbone,” Conlee said. “It does appear that a lot of the work is for financial reasons.”

Conlee read to the crowd a personal message from actress Kim Basinger, who narrated a Humane Society video about the investigation and its findings.

“In order to make something right, you have to know what is wrong,” Conlee read. “This is very, very wrong. Knowing innocent animals are suffering unfathomable cruelty and ending their lives in labs, it is barbaric, primitive and inhumane, to say the least. Thank you for all you are doing to help stop this ongoing crime against helpless and voiceless animals.”

Amanda Harrell, who helped organize the event with Augusta resident Dennis Briatico, said her concern extends to the students who work with the animals.

“You don’t know where these dogs came from. They could have had a disease or some type of ailment,” she said. “They’re putting their own students at risk. That’s wrong.”

Briatico said he was so disgusted when he learned of the investigation’s findings that he immediately turned to social media to organize the walk.

He said another walk will be staged early next year if nothing has changed.

“This is my personal message to you, GRU. Look around you. Augusta cares about its animals. You should have been expecting us,” he said.

University response

Students, faculty and staff of Georgia Regents University received an e-mail last week defending the experiments, saying they are not frivolous nor unnecessary.

Researchers were testing an antimicrobial coating that would prevent dangerous infections in the gums and bones that could enter the bloodstream and infect heart valves and other organs. The university said the U.S. Department of Agriculture found no incidents of non-compliance, that their animals are obtained only from vendors licensed and inspected by the USDA, and that all research is approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

“GRU is committed to research that will improve patient lives. Countless medical breakthroughs – from antibiotics to blood transfusions to vaccinations and chemotherapy – were developed with the help of laboratory animals,” the e-mail said. “We do everything possible to reduce the number of animals used in research and are committed to replacing animals with other scientific models whenever possible. For the foreseeable future, however, animal research remains a critical component of developing safer dental implants and, ultimately, new cures.”

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Common.sense
465
Points
Common.sense 12/07/13 - 08:41 pm
7
9
Only 999,900 short of a

Only 999,900 short of a million...

Brad Owens
4420
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Brad Owens 12/07/13 - 09:10 pm
9
8
The name was sybolic..

The turnout was great and I am proud to have been a part of it.

red10778
57
Points
red10778 12/07/13 - 09:24 pm
9
4
Except that...

The experiments were not unnecessary or cosmetic. Just answer one question for me: If not dogs, or other animals, what alternative do you suggest?

Little Lamb
45863
Points
Little Lamb 12/07/13 - 09:56 pm
9
4
Dogs

Red asks a pertinent question. What is it about dogs that sets these fanatics on their rampage? Why is a dog more sacrosanct than a cat when it comes to medical research? Why is a dog more sacrosanct than a dolphin? Why is a dog more sacrosanct than a chimpanzee? Why is a dog more sacrosanct than a cockatiel?

From the story, these 100 protesters - - -

They want the university to stop using dogs for unnecessary dental experiments. . . .

Well, who gets to decide what is necessary and what is unnecessary? Should it be this rag tag group of protesters, or should it be the people in charge of medical research, using approved protocols?

Little Lamb
45863
Points
Little Lamb 12/07/13 - 09:55 pm
8
5
Work

From the story:

Kath­leen Conlee, the vice president for animal research issues at the Humane Society, said, “It does appear that a lot of the work is for financial reasons.”

All work everywhere is done for financial reasons. That is the wonderful thing about work.

Dixieman
14942
Points
Dixieman 12/07/13 - 11:20 pm
10
5
Feh.

There is an endless supply of fools with far too much time on their hands and insufficient adult supervision in this country as these 100 people so ably proved today.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 12/07/13 - 11:39 pm
9
4
Priorities???

Meanwhile, the protesters walk right past the homeless in Augusta...and do nothing.

Bizkit
31263
Points
Bizkit 12/07/13 - 11:54 pm
6
5
Shameless no different than

Shameless no different than Al Sharpton jumping on the race issue. The school has demonstrated it was needed, ethical and legal research but a bunch of nutcases won't be satisfied till they have their way-like the Trayvon Martin case comes to mind-same mentality and trying to dramatize and sensationalize this. Animals rights is about the most ridiculous notion I've ever heard. We allow abortion to kill millions of babies each year but are going to make a big deal about a bunch of freakin' dogs with an average life span of 3-7 years-then even the Humane society puts down dogs each year. Next will will be a call for all to be vegetarians and then when people realize that a plant cell is just as alive as any animals cell we are screwed. I guess we will eat dirt-oh no millions of "living bacteria". We can't kill innocent harmless life. I guess you missed the Lion King and the Circle of Life.

okletssee
34
Points
okletssee 12/08/13 - 07:51 am
5
3
BRAD OWENS.... Obviously

BRAD OWENS.... Obviously these posters do not deserve our comments.
It's very Sad so many either have not found their way in life or have lost it.
The day will come sadly that will open the blinds for them.... Then they will be on their knees.

jamthang
30
Points
jamthang 12/08/13 - 08:12 am
7
4
Inaccuracies

The protestors were emotionally going on what they were TOLD was going on at the GRU Dental school. However, the fools that started the mess and SUPPOSEDLY investigated did zero fact-checking. I have a relative who teaches in the dental school so I straight up asked about this. We're multi-pet owners and care about our dogs to the point of absurdity. The dogs in question are not being abused and are not stolen from peoples' yards. They come from County Animal Control already sentenced to be euthanized. The dogs are not abused or slashed up in this process. The Humane Society is generally a good group locally and helps many pets find their way back to their owners. In this case, somebody just hates Azziz (as do we all) and wanted to get at him but didn't have their facts straight. We all would've marched had this been accurate and true. As another comment mentioned, put your energies toward the homeless and the working poor who are struggling out there!

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 12/08/13 - 08:29 am
2
2
"They want the university to

"They want the university to stop using dogs for unnecessary dental experiments and be more transparent with the community."

Although I may or may not agree with this group of protesters (a hundred is a good substantial amount of people and I don't think of them as fools or nutcases) I'm glad they took a stance on something they truly believe in.

Bizkit, maybe if most Americans who hate abortion would take the kind of stance this group did, abortion would have never become the norm for our society and since a dog's life span is between 3-7 years (don't know where you got that figure, but we'll use it) that makes it okay to pull it's teeth, install implants, then kill the dog and hack off a piece of it's jaw bone to test a coating? Just seems like there should be another way.

okletssee
34
Points
okletssee 12/08/13 - 08:32 am
2
4
CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH YOUR SOURCE JAMTHANG

So you go to someone on the inside for good investigative work?? Someone who has more interest in protecting their job and the school?
Makes a lot of sense .
I tend to believe a FEDERAL UNDERCOVER SWEEP MORE.
But That's just me... An Alumin, employee, FORMER patient in that department, and medical professional of 30 years.
LOOK past your bias and opinion for FACTS.

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 12/08/13 - 08:34 am
4
2
Meanwhile, the protesters

Meanwhile, the protesters walk right past the homeless in Augusta...and do nothing."

Specsta, give it a rest. There are hundreds of organizations and ministries downtown that help out the homeless in our area (didn't you read all the wonderful meals and coat giveways, etc. around Thanksgiving) constantly so every group that takes a stance for another cause is not "dishing" the homeless.

The Christmas parade marched right pass several homeless areas (in fact anytime you have an event downtown you go past homeless areas)....you going to complain about those people not helping the homeless also? Geeze, you run something into the ground so much it looses it's effect. The homeless in this area are being cared for...you keep helping and we'll keep helping and hopefully someday this terrible issue will be no more.

okletssee
34
Points
okletssee 12/08/13 - 08:34 am
4
4
Numbers are under reported.

I counted well over 200 protesters ... That's not including DOGS!

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 12/08/13 - 09:30 am
5
2
"BRAD OWENS.... Obviously
Unpublished

"BRAD OWENS.... Obviously these posters do not deserve our comments."
Most likely the reason Owens was there is because he is planning to run for office.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 12/08/13 - 09:36 am
0
2
creation or creator

The Bible talks about a time when people will worship the creation more than the creator and this is certainly that time. If you believe in evolution you certainly wouldn't be marching becasue all of life is just an accident anyway.

Stunned 2
4226
Points
Stunned 2 12/08/13 - 02:51 pm
3
1
Thanks, InChristLove, for pointing out that the Parade went

Thanks, InChristLove, for pointing out that the Parade went past the homeless while participants, watchers and organizers ignored the homeless. I was just about to point that out. So many of these negative posts are just to blow smoke. Now, I'm going to address the abortion comparison since I was 'called' out previously by a poster challenging my animal protection posts - with the abortion issue. I am 100 percent against abortion and I can not imagine someone choosing to terminate their pregnancy -for their own convenience. You need to reach the individuals to be effective against abortion. I have crossed paths professionally with people that have worked at abortion clinics and they hated it. I was told that many patients have files so thick, that the workers could not even believe the number of times some women repeatedly have that awful procedure. You need to reach out to those Men and women that casually use abortion for their own convenience! I have. And, I have given to the homeless already this month. The comparisons are senseless. When I watched the video of GRU's hound dogs, it broke my heart. They choose hound dogs because they are so trusting of people. We are trying to reach out to the cruel people that are allowing and participating in these awful experiments.

nocnoc
42460
Points
nocnoc 12/08/13 - 10:12 am
3
3
Where does the real SHAME lay?

Here we have a group of people with a protest agenda to raise $$$$.

After all $44+ MILLION in just salaries for a Washington DC based Lobbying group, Oh! and they spend $26.1+ Million in fund raising activities. That sure takes a lot of donations and that is all $$$$ NOT going to the Animals. How many 100,000's animals did not get saved or cared for, to pay these salaries, travel, dine Hollywood, Liberal Politicians and the media expenses?

See IRS Tax Documents
http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/financials/2012_hsus_form_990.pdf

An here is the 2013 (released by a watch dog group) HSUS does not have it posted for some reason yet.
http://cdn.humanewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/2012-HSUS-Form-990...

If you look closely they are having a BAD year in Donations.
But they did not seem to cut expenses proportionately.

So given these "Undercover" protesters level of and length of
involvement to Video. An IF, this situation happen as they say it did, and I am having my doubts to what degree. Then would they not share a greater responsibility (culpability) and guilt than MCG would?

Because these are the very people, who's stated mission is/was to protect animals yet, they stood by and video taped it ?for how long? without bringing it to the attention of any MCG Administrator or Dean? If it was about the animals and not Media for $$$ why did they wait?

Their actions and documented IRS reports suggest this was about Maximum Media Exposure for $$$$$ donations.

I also strongly feel, given the recent IN YOUR FACE protests, the Humane Society appears to be being Co-Opted by some PETA members, to give those from PETA a veil of respect.

BTW:
If you care for the Humane Treatment of Animals without the HYPE then give a $$$$ donation to a LOCAL rescue effort.

There is one out here on the South Side that just rescued a pair of severely neglected Mini-Horses, an house broken Pet Mini-Pig. The kids grew and lost interest in them. These PET's are missing the love and attention they once had. Here at Least here I see where the $$$$ is going.

Stunned 2
4226
Points
Stunned 2 12/08/13 - 10:32 am
5
1
BTW: Many of the protesters are rescuing & supporting local resc

BTW: Many of the protesters are currently rescuing & supporting local rescues. I am and have been for a long time. This march was not organized by the National Humane Society. One of their representatives joined in with locals. I give my donations locally, but I appreciate their (National Humane Society)'s undercover work for our local community

Common.sense
465
Points
Common.sense 12/08/13 - 12:51 pm
2
2
Symbolic for what? How

Symbolic for what? How unoriginal the creator of the event was at naming it?

Bizkit
31263
Points
Bizkit 12/08/13 - 02:34 pm
0
2
Sold out some people believe

Sold out some people believe in "theistic evolution" where because of the perfection created by God was lost in sin-evolution then took over and the lion and lamb no longer laid together but the lion would eat the lamb, man would have to "work" or toil for food, etc. Like creation some see it as God is the universe, others God created and micromanages it, and then others God created it but let's thing go on their on. But really evolution has absolutely nothing to do with the beginning or creation. Fact is evolution treats that as a black box till a Universal Common Ancestor "arose" on earth (about 20 theories how-like from Mars) and from that bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes which are all protists, animals, plants and fungi arose from that by evolution=descent with modification. But this is a book written by man, inspired by man and his observations, and could be filled with errors-hee,hee,hee.

Bizkit
31263
Points
Bizkit 12/08/13 - 02:37 pm
1
3
Remember Keith Green PhD at

Remember Keith Green PhD at MCG did eye research using rabbits. The animal rights folks were like terrorist always trying to stir up trouble, and harassing him or his lab. Brilliant man, prolific author, and a super nice guy. I guess the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

Bizkit
31263
Points
Bizkit 12/08/13 - 09:57 pm
0
2
I guess all the animal

I guess all the animal worship is expected from atheist and secular humanists. Christians of course realize their place in the universe as well as all the animals too-as clearly Genesis states Adam names all the animals and man has dominion over the earth and all the plants and animals. But atheist put a dog equal to a man because surely no christian would be so misguided.

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 12/09/13 - 04:26 pm
1
0
Huh?

Bizkit, how do you know the protesters were all atheists? Jamthang, I have TWO relatives that work for the federal government and they swear they work hard and I believe them because they would know. I don't like a animal research but it's a necessity. Having said that, there is no reason to treat an animal inhumanely, conduct unnecessary animal research for personal glorification, or obtain animals in an unethical fashion (no matter how worthy the research). All animals, even rats, deserve proper treatment. I hope there is some kind of investigation and we get an accurate accounting of it.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 12/22/13 - 09:35 pm
0
0
I like pigs...

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." -Winston Churchill

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