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Articles and Reports

Letter to USDA Concerning the Cleveland Clinic Foundation


1081-B St. Rt. 28 PMB 280
Milford, Ohio 45150
saen@saenonline.org 513-575-5517

01/14/07
Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Drive
Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606

Dr. Goldentyer,

I am contacting you regarding a matter of the utmost urgency and importance. I have recently become aware of the situation regarding the potentially unlawful killing of a dog during a surgical demonstration by a physician connected with the Cleveland Clinic.

As your inspectors examine this unapproved protocol, I would like to ask you to also examine the identification records for all dogs at the Cleveland Clinic. It has come to our attention that the Cleveland Clinic may be using random source dogs (often referred to as “mongrel” in medical journal articles 1).

Very often dogs of this type are insufficiently identified, and it is also very common for them to suffer from pathological conditions as a result of the stress of shipping and potentially inadequate care. Therefore it would be crucial for the health records of these dogs to be examined as well in order that you can determine if they have received adequate veterinary care while at the Cleveland Clinic.

Random source dogs which can be obtained from animal shelters through the practice of pound seizure are notoriously poor research subjects due to their unknown medical history. It would be highly inappropriate for animals with potentially debilitating conditions to be used in the highly invasive experimental procedures performed at the Cleveland Clinic, which include both cardio-thoracic surgery and neurological procedures. Therefore, the health of these animals must be adequately assessed before they are part of research projects.

It is also important that the source of the dog used in the potentially illegal surgical demonstration should be determined. This situation can only be made worse if the dog so callously murdered was a former pet of some unknowing resident of the Cleveland Metropolitan area.

I will look forward to learning of the results of your investigation.

Sincerely,


Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

1. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 Jan;133(1):174-81; Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2006 Aug;18(8):647-53; J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2006 Oct;17(10):1102-5. Epub 2006 Jul 18; J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Aug;132(2):340-6; etc

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