GRU Responds To Animal Cruelty Allegations - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

GRU Responds To Animal Cruelty Allegations

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The Humane Society of the United States says GRU is abusing and killing dogs for what it calls unnecessary medical experiments.

GRU officials responded to those allegations in a press conference today. They say experiments involving animals are needed to save human lives.

But the Humane Society says dental implant experiments on dogs are unnecessary.

The Humane Society of the United States released undercover footage from experiments being conducted at Georgia Regents University. The Humane Society says its three-month-long investigation revealed the suffering and death of dogs used in dental implant experiments.

"Dogs like shyguy, along with other, who may have been family pets, were all used for unnecessary dental experiments. Their teeth were pulled out and replaced," Kim Basinger said in the video.

Wednesday afternoon, GRU officials confirmed they have been experimenting on dogs, but are doing so within federal guidelines.

"The research being done with dogs is neither frivolous nor unnecessary, as alleged by the investigation, and is performed in order to provide safe, effective dental procedures for patients," Senior Vice President of Research Mark Hamrick said.

Some parts of the video are too graphic for TV, but GRU officials say those images were taken in the autopsy room after the animals had already been euthanized. Other parts of the video show surgery being performed, and the Humane Society says the dogs were in pain during the procedure, but GRU officials say that isn't true.

"All protocols that require surgery, require pain management. It's no different than if it were a human patient," Hamrick said.

GRU officials say dogs are rarely used for research at the university, but say other schools have used dogs.

"Dogs are the most commonly used model for cardiovascular disease, so virtually every major advance in heart procedures, including stents, artificial valves and pacemakers, were all developed with the dog as the model," Hamrick said.

The Humane Society also says GRU obtained the dogs from an animal dealer who has been charged for violations of the animal welfare act. GRU officials say they were not aware of the charges.

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