Time is running out for dogs as testing lab refuses to release them

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on May 13, 2022 with 31 Comments

5/16/22 Update: Over the last few days, 160 legislators from 32 states have co-signed a letter to the CEOs of Inotiv and Crinetics, urging the release of the dogs and pointing out that 14 states have approved legislation to authorize adoption of animals released by laboratories.

Weeks after we released the results of our seven-month undercover investigation at Inotiv, an Indiana animal testing laboratory, we continue to press for the release of 82 beagles there as an urgent matter.

Eighty of the dogs are being used in toxicity tests conducted by Inotiv and paid for by Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, a company based in San Diego, California. Thirty-two of the dogs are going to be killed next week when the first test ends.

But not if we can help it. They’ve suffered enough and they deserve a chance at adoption into loving homes. There is no blanket legal requirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for dogs to be used as test subjects or to be killed at the end of toxicity tests, and there is no scientific reason for doing so. If Inotiv or Crinetics has been instructed to kill the dogs by any regulatory agency, we would like to see the proof. The companies can acquire and use blood samples, observational data and tissue material that might be of use through non-lethal procedures. There is no need to take the animals’ lives.

Over a quarter of a million individuals who support that view have signed our petition calling on Inotiv and Crinetics to spare these dogs and give them a second chance. Our experience in a 2019 case made it clear that there are many people willing to adopt animals spared from unnecessary deaths in a laboratory. In fact, this humane solution is becoming ever more common—it’s being embraced by political, corporate and institutional stakeholders, including the FDA. Some fourteen states have passed legislation to authorize adoptions, too, and this week, in the same spirit, dozens of legislators from 16 states signed a joint letter asking the two companies to release the dogs.

In a sense, these 80 dogs—along with millions of other animals used in tests by companies like Inotiv and Crinetics—are victims of ambiguity. Ambiguity continues to surround testing requirements and the value of animal models in testing. We have been arguing for a long time that regulatory agencies such as the FDA and its counterparts in other nations must expand and strengthen their commitment to the implementation of rapid, sophisticated and relevant non-animal tests to assure human safety and detect toxicity. We have also challenged companies and laboratories in the sector to make stronger investments and effort on the research and development side. There’s no room for complacency with millions of animals’ lives at stake.

Then there’s moral ambiguity, the feeling on the part of so many that it just is not right to do such wrong to dogs, who are so trusting and dependent on our mercy. One thing that stood out for our investigator was the moral confusion of co-workers in the facility. “One of the things that a lot of my co-workers liked to talk with me about was their animals,” the investigator recently observed. “One tech had a cat, multiple reptiles, and loved rats and pigs. Another tech would often show me videos of his dog at home playing. In our tech office, almost every desk had family pictures, including their dogs.”

That moral confusion led to rationalization too, the investigator went on to write, noting that the discrepancy was disconcerting. “I would often be told these dogs are different because they are bred for testing, and they would never be good house pets. I have to think that reasoning is only a self-preservation mechanism for the techs. A way to protect themselves from accepting what they are doing is wrong. Many of the techs came from a vet tech background, leaving vet practices for a higher paying job as a lab animal tech.”

On April 29, HSUS staff members brought boxes of petition signatures close enough to Inotiv’s doorstep in Indiana to make the point that we will not give up on these dogs. Over the next several days, at events in other states where Crinetics and Inotiv have footprints, we’ll make the case again. One of the states is Maryland, where Inotiv has reportedly received a pledge of four hundred thousand dollars from state and local governments for expansion. There, we’ll be joined by legislators and labor groups concerned about the dogs’ fate.

In a recent Remington Poll, almost three-quarters (74%) of those polled oppose the use of dogs in toxicity tests for products such as pesticides, drugs and food additives. Nearly as many (71%) believe that the government should make stronger investments in developing non-animal methods for biomedical research and product testing. Finally, 79% say they would support a legal mandate to give healthy dogs an opportunity to be adopted as pets after their time in laboratories is over.

The writing is on the wall regarding the continuing use of dogs and other animals in laboratories. The landscape has shifted on this issue, and Inotiv and Crinetics should acknowledge as much. We hope that they will seize this opportunity for leadership on this issue by giving these long-suffering animals the gift of new and better lives and tacking swiftly toward the era of testing methods that don’t involve animals.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Animal Research and Testing, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Diana Lewis says:

    Please! Release the dogs who have survived! They have ‘earned’ their chance to go on living!

  2. Lesa Jacobsen says:

    Isn’t there anything else we can do? Phone calls, picketing???

  3. Joyce Conwsy says:

    Please give them a chance at receiving love. They’ve given of themselves, now give back.

  4. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Como es posible que esto siga pasando en estos tiempos esto tiene que acabar ya no entienden la gente lo que pasa si siguen abusando de los animalitos

  5. Sharon Meyers says:

    This is outrageous. I have done many medical studies believing that people are not the same as animals. A lot of what they do doesn’t even have the same effects on humans. This has got to stop. Then after the horrific things they do to these innocent animals they then euthanize them. Sign petitions and turn in places you no that are doing these studies.

  6. Amber says:

    My God how can you do this such cruelty!! To those beautiful babies it’s disgusting how can this go on it’s 2022 it’s time to stop my God

  7. Karen Farrar says:

    This is horrible. These labs need to be shutdown and the dogs released. These people must not have any conscience at all.

  8. Kelly Brannigan says:

    Please stop these deplorable, completely unnecessary testing on these helpless, innocent creatures!

  9. Karin Erker says:

    Stop die Tests es ist schrecklich, das muss aufhören .. Alternativen

    • Kimberly O Thornton says:

      This is one of the most disgusting things i have ever read about in my entire life. I have no words for the cruel human beings that are doing this. Can anyone please post the info needed in order to adopt 1 of these poor beagles?

  10. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Absurdo o que os seres “humanos” são capazes de fazer com animais tão dóceis e incapazes! Espero que Deus não tenha piedade dessas pessoas!

  11. Teresa says:

    What about boycotting t this company and their products. I realize it isn’t the long term solution but this is 2022. There are other ways to handle this.

  12. Bronwyn Armstrong says:

    What purpose does it serve to kill these in hundreds of other innocent dogs that have already suffered a cruel life confined in cages and subjected to inhumane experiments ???
    Surely these companies can surrender these dogs to groups who will find them a loving home, possibly the first they have ever known.
    There is no reason whatsoever to kill these animals.
    Set them free and let them be happy once and for all.

  13. Bronwyn Armstrong says:

    What purpose does it serve to kill these and hundreds of other innocent dogs that have already suffered a cruel life confined in cages and subjected to inhumane experiments ???
    Surely these companies can surrender these dogs to groups who will find them a loving home, possibly the first they have ever known.
    There is no reason whatsoever to kill these animals.
    Set them free and let them be happy once and for all.

  14. Elsa Stewart says:

    Unimaginable that this is still going on. Please discontinue this and let me more forward as a humane civilization.

  15. Mollie Bryan says:

    Release the Beagles!

  16. Abigayle Knightley says:

    Have they been released??

  17. Joseph R Testa says:

    Any updates?

  18. Makaelyn Corey says:

    Save the beagles

  19. Annette Schulz says:

    Thank you for exposing these testing labs for not operating according to the highest standard of animal care. It seems corporations have lost their humanity and ignore the horrible conditions endured by their test subjects. Please keep up the good fight to end this suffering.

  20. Eugene A Manges says:

    What’s the holdup on this situation?? There must be something done to stop this poisoning of animals…and then killing them after the torture…

  21. Cynthia Kern says:

    The email I received from you back in April was eye opening for me. I have considered helping with various causes over the years but never acted on it. When I read your email about the beagles at INOTIV and what you were doing to try and save them I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help you.

    This is the first time I have seen this article so I didn’t know about all of the legislators who signed a joint letter asking INOTIV and Crinetics to release the beagles. That is amazing that legislators from 16 states signed that letter and those 2 companies still refuse to release those poor beagles.

    When I first heard about the 22 beagles who were killed I was devastated. I cried and cried thinking that all the work that the HSUS had done was in vain. Then I became angry when I thought about the people at INOTIV who seem to have no conscience and no heart. So right now I am watching for your updates concerning the beagles and hoping that you will let people know what we can do the help. Thank you so much for everything you do to make life better for all the furry, and non-furry, animals on this great Earth. Now let’s go “SAVE THE BEAGLES”!!

  22. Ana says:

    This horrendous action must stop, they don’t deserve this treatment, they have feelings too.
    Please, I’m begging you!!!!!!!!!

  23. Susan E White says:

    I object to all these puppy mills, simply b/c there are lovable dogs & puppies being put to sleep every day & its unecessary. There was a puppy mill next to my parents house & they locked them out in metal cages on the outside of their barn in the Winter, even at night & they would cry day & night. My heart bled for those poor animals. I realize people need to make a living, but please stop making on the backs of animals. Volunteer instead to rehome. You will still get a rehoming fee. People charge whatever they want for rehoming, but you don’t have to breed them & they are always available for Fostering. Put those great skills to work rehoming poor thrown away & products of hoarding people. Contribute to the wellness of this world in this small way. Please.

  24. Cheryl A Yurko says:

    Please, please end the inhumane treatment of these precious animals who cannot speak for themselves. We, as a civilized nation, have a responsibility to care for and protect these animals from the inhumane treat which causes horrific suffering to these defenseless creatures.

    Thank you.

  25. Eva Adgrim says:

    Please Stop do a lot of lab testing on animals. We still need to test it on human any way. Please let the poor dogs out of this cruelty

  26. Colleen Glynn says:

    What else can we do to get these poor dogs out of there??? All the stops need to be pulled out to save these dogs!!!

  27. Linda Goldman says:

    This is a nightmare. Let those poor dogs have a life.

  28. Karolyn Calloway says:

    Praying for God’s creatures to be saved and removed from this barbaric practice which achieves nothing but torment. There are other means of testing without the use of these precious dogs.Please release them to live the remainder of their lives in a peaceful environment away from this suffering.

  29. Jessica Brinson says:

    Any updates from Inotiv on the dogs?

  30. Sarah says:

    What is the update on the beagles?

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