The Department of Veterans Affairs is again moving forward with its dog experiments aimed at supporting many of its large corporate partners despite pressure to shut down the agency’s canine experimentation wing.

For that past year, VA has been roiled in a battle to preserve its canine experimentation division citing ancillary benefits to veterans. The organization White Coat Waste Project, an organization focused on shutting down certain animal experimentation projects that use American tax dollars, experienced luck pressuring former Secretary Shulkin to shut the operation down, at least somewhat.

RELATED: VA Inducing Heart Attacks In Dogs

As Shulkin exited the agency, he is said to have signed a few documents re-authorizing those projects. Now, VA’s dog experiments are apparently in full swing.

I was involved in helping White Coats shut VA down on the canine front, so it is disappointing to hear more taxpayer dollars are being diverted from veterans into canine research that largely supports corporations rather than veterans.

RELATED: VA Canine Research Helps Foreign-Owned Special Interests

My contribution to the argument was underpinning cites from VA alleging its canine experimentation projects provided modern benefits to veterans. The only recent citation was actually for an insulin pump invention belonging to Medtronic that helps people with childhood-onset diabetes… Of course, veterans would never have childhood diabetes since you cannot serve with that kind of condition.

But what else is new?

VA On Canine Revival

According to USA Today:

VA spokesman Curt Cashour said former secretary David Shulkin approved the continuation of the experiments on March 28, the same day he was fired by President Donald Trump.

But Shulkin told USA TODAY on Monday that he “wasn’t asked, nor did I request a review for an approval,” of the ongoing dog experiments. He said he delegated that responsibility to the agency’s research specialists. 

Whether he – or his successor – signed off on them is important because a law Trump signed on March 23 requires that dog experiments be “directly approved” by the VA secretary to receive agency funding. It doesn’t specify written permission. Cashour said Shulkin gave the go-ahead orally in an early-afternoon meeting March 28 with five other top VA executives.

Revelations that the tests are set to continue under new VA Secretary Robert Wilkie are sure to trigger a fresh round of debate. The records reviewed by USA TODAY show there are nine active experiments at four VA facilities, and more are likely in the future. 

Money Well Spent?

Personally, I think the canine projects are a total waste of resources where doctors and veterinarians are taking up positions that should go to doctors providing care for veterans, directly.

What do you think?

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17 COMMENTS

  1. The VA is the experimental wing of NIH. Needs human subjects and vets are most likely to volunteer. And if they don’t get enough volunteers they just open a project like Tuskegee.

  2. I find it extremely distasteful and foolhardy that the VA is using ‘man’s best friend’ for research purpose given that their physiology/genetics are so vastly different than humans. Why not use animals with more similar physiology/genetics to humans?

    Animals that are much more like humans, and suited for comparative research in the furtherance of medical science are:

    1. Chimpanzees: Chimpanzees share somewhere between 98.6 and 99 percent of our DNA. They’re closer to humans than they are to gorillas.

    2. Bonobos: Bonobos vary only slight from chimps. In fact, the two-share 99.6 percent of their DNA.

    3. Gorillas: Though appearances might suggest otherwise, we’re also closer in relation to gorillas than gorillas are to chimps. We share 98 percent of our genetic sequence with these majestic fellas.

    4. Orangutans: These share 97 percent of their DNA with humans. It turns out male orangutans like to offer effusive displays of “tough-guy” syndrome by leaping around and breaking things before a fight. It’s classic “come at me, bro” showmanship. Much like human males.

    5. Gibbons.

    6. Monkeys.

    7. Lemurs.

    8. Cats: Cats share 90 percent of our genes. They might have also purposely inserted themselves into our homes. Evidence suggests these guys self-domesticated over 10,000 years ago by helping farmers in order to get a little extra protection and food.

    9. Cows: Humans are related to cows. Research has shown that we share more genomes with them than we do with rodents, even though we share a more recent ancestor with mice. It is thought the reason is because rodents and smaller animals in general reproduce more rapidly leading to faster evolution. The jury is still out on this one though.

    Dogs rank quite high on the list of dissimilarities with humans. To cite just one difference, how may humans have you met in your life that have three eyelids? All dogs have them.

    It is way past time for some real leadership at the VA. Leadership that speaks truth publicly about how bad things have really gotten. Leadership that develops solutions to take better care of ALL our nations warriors.

    Leadership that recognizes that when they are doing a good job, it will be veterans singing their praises rather than the VA needing a PR Agency to put out “Fluff Pieces” to mislead America and her citizens about what a stellar job they are doing. They are not. In fact, they are doing a very piss-poor job.

    The VA has a first-world budget which they use to provide veterans less than third-world medical care and benefits. Current VA leadership has their Brain Housing Group the size of mice and their Heart no bigger. It is about FIFTEEN YEARS PAST TIME TO FIX THE DAMN BROKEN VA:

    1. IMMEDIATELY recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations.

    2. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee.

    3. Sell off all the VA facilities. Alternatively, they may be converted into military barracks-style housing for homeless veterans. These will be run with military-style rules to promote good order and discipline.

    4. Issue all veterans a card that allows them to choose their own doctors within their community that they can TRUST.

    5. The United States Government will PAY those doctors promptly (Within 45 days) for the care they provide veterans.

    6. ELIMINATE the “Federal Protection” Umbrella for incompetent QUACKS that the VA sends to other states to practice other than their own. Going to practice in XX state? You need to be LICENSED in XX state.

    7. Any claim a veteran submits to the VBA that requires more than 90 days to adjudicate, is automatically found to be in favor of the veteran. Should a veteran file a false claim to scam the system, the VA will have to prove in civil court that the claim was falsely submitted. For filing a false claim, the veteran will be subject to ALL the following:

    (A). The claim shall be denied. If the veteran has received any form of benefits due to the false claim they will be required to fully repay the benefits, with interest.
    (B). The veteran will be banned from all VA facilities for the remainder of their life.
    (C). The veteran will lose all benefits they originally were receiving, and will not be allowed to file for further benefits.

    8. All veterans will be allowed to seek/retain the services of a Veterans Rights Attorney from their first initial contact with the VA. This will help to protect the legal rights of veterans against corrupt and incompetent VA employees.

    9. No AFGE, nor any other Labor Union business will be allowed to take place in any Federal Workplace. Conducting Union Business during working hours will be STRICTLY PROHIBITED and will be STRICTLY ENFORCED. Should any government employee be found violating this provision, it will result in IMMEDIATE LIFETIME DISMISSAL FROM ANY/ALL STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYMENT.

    10. Attorneys for appeal will be retained at the former employee’s PERSONAL expense. U. S. Taxpayer’s will not be subject to payment of legal bills for incompetent or dishonest personnel with regards to Governmental Employment.

    Our battles overseas were far less stressful than our war here at home. Never Cruel or Cowardly. Never Give Up. Never Give In. We are on the Righteous path.

    POTUS Reagan broke up PATCO in the ’80’s. Time for POTUS Trump to break up the AFGE. Most of our current Congress Critters do NOT have Veterans Interests at heart. Perhaps their replacements will. VOTE OUT all these WORTHLESS BASTARDS AND BITCHES.

    Give their replacement’s one term to take care of Veterans who put aside their own personal lives to answer this nation’s call when she needed them. Many of those Veterans suffer the remainder of their lives for doing what most of their countrymen had not the courage to do.

    If they cannot MUSTER THE STONES to do it properly – – – vote their worthless asses out as well. Party should NOT MATTER. What SHOULD MATTER is their VOTING RECORDS ON VETERANS ISSUES.

    Rhetoric is cheap. Congressional Voting Records on veterans’ issues speak louder than words.

    NO Combat Veteran should be surprised when the next Mass Shooting or Bombing attempt occurs. Bound to happen. Just a matter of time . . .

    We have now reached the next accelerative phase of our country falling apart. Country before Party. Principles before Personalities. Always.

    Want to REALLY fix the VA? The next SecVA needs to be a former Enlisted Man brought in from the general veteran population with a few serious axes to grind against the VA and the AFGE, with zero previous governmental civilian service. Apparently, Former Flag Officers and SES appointed Civilians can’t cut the mustard . . .

    Maybe a SINCERELY MOTIVATED Gunnery Sergeant or Chief Petty Officer CAN.

    Disgruntled Veteran
    1973 – 1976 USMC
    1978 – 1993 USN
    Wounded Warrior
    Playing with Rattlesnakes and Armadillos

  3. SIMPLE:

    Animals, whether a cow, horse, dolphin, dog, cat, mouse, snake, skunk, monkey, ant and the list goes on, have a purpose in the natural cycle of life on earth.

    I am not much of a bible thumper, nor a theological intern, I am however, privy to some folks who are. A priest, a nun, and an American Indian medicine man and who all profess that the animal kingdom is to be treated as an equal and not for the purpose of sport, experimentation, or as a trophy in any capacity. In short, animals are indeed mans best friend and must be treated as such according to biblical and general interpretation. In fact, there are some species that can in fact, run circles around the human kind in many more ways than one.

    Now, there is nothing that prohibits those who get a paycheck and/or kickback (we know this to be factually true) from the VA, from being used as experiments themselves for it is their DNA and intellectual matter that concerns me most. After all, they, the VA employee do exhibit criminal behaviors and deviancy not to mention a lack of intellectual prose and wonder so I would like to see, literally, what they posses in and about the smull area.

    There is abolutely no reason for animal experimentation and no excuses to be heard for its purported value.

    I say, bring back the “Projects” and experiment on the two legged species….

  4. They give dog’s to veterans to help with ptsd and or traumatic brain injury or both !

    Why, to help the VA ! Why because dog’s understand when a person is sad or happy. They come to you and lay their head on your lap.

    They defend you ! Someone tries to hurt you they do not care about getting hurt, they care only about you.

    They make children happy ! They save people ! They save Soilders !

    They have a brain to think ! A heart to express love ! And they know when they do wrong ! In other words ! They have feelings like we do.

    I would hurt someone who knowingly try and hurt my dog’s. They become part of the family.

    When they hurt, we hurt ! American’s spend billions on dog’s medical care , why because of the love and dedication they show to their owners.

    They feel pain and remember who is hurting them and would run away or attack.

    If a human was being expermented on and seen someone coming at you again that has hurt you in the past, they will try and pull away.

    That shows a lot of similarities on how Humans would react. Fear, pain and confusion !

    Dogs are first for experiments ! Second are the veterans ! Then if it work’s ! Someone gets rich !

    If it does not work ! The VA will tap their chest and say OH MY Bad ! Next !

    Dog is man’s best friend ! Is that really how we treat your best friend !

    • Husband is a PTSD Vietnam Vet. He was given a dog and training from a company helping Vets. Had a year of training. We saw Vets lives changed by pairing with a dog who helped with stability, sensed illness, PTSD much better. Helped him socialize more and shared dog with other vets. His dog has changed his life and we’ve seen them do the same with other Vets. Comittment to maintain training is very important. A vet needs the right dog and good training. My husband has many agent orange illnesses. His dog is so attentive to all of his feelings and problems. Better than counseling!

  5. From the comments listed here I think the commentators miss the point Ben is trying to make. It is not whether or not to use animals for experimental purposes. It is whether or not to use VAfunds to do so. I agree that these findings used for this research should go directly to Veterans not funding research companies.

  6. I am a bible thumper an animals also have souls according to our Fathers word. This is shameful no matter who’s money’s being spent😡

  7. This reminds me of the VA Dr. doing tests at the VA that developed the Hep C pill that has high percentage of curing Hep C. The Dr. got rich, Big Pharma gets very, very rich from it (And still is) and the VA pays a $1000 a pill for it’s Vets. I went through the treatment (Had to get Pat. Adv. involved because the nurse that runs the Hep C treatment says they didn’t have it- But the Gastro. Dr. said BS, they’ve had the treatment available for a while now before I even sent you there) and was constantly reminded about how expensive this treatment was as I made the 100 mile round trip to pick up the pills every two weeks because they didn’t trust sending such expensive pills in the mail to us lowly Vets, who might try to sell them. Oh yeah, had to get blood tests when I came in too, because they “wanted to see how it’s working”, but the blood drawer said it’s probably to see if a VET is selling them as you have to run the full course of treatment anyways, regardless of the results. That ticked me off, saying we might be selling their $1000 dollar a pill a day for a dangerous disease I take it for to make a few bucks. A pill developed by a VA Dr. with the VA paying a $1000 a pill from big Pharma. Ridiculous. I doubt they used dogs though, but who knows…

  8. the bitch do not care about know body but their self and the care about the dog, and cat has long the can buy them self a big house abd big fucky car and big shot and big pay check and have party they dont can about but them self and we getten poor

  9. why come soc-sec can run the veteran affairs because the sec-soc know how to do there buessee and people on benefits the veteran can put people on benefit why can soc sec can run the veteran affairs we wounld be butter off thank you

  10. can we kick out the veteran affairs for good and let soc-sec run the damm thing no more fright on veteran affairs benefits thank you

  11. p.s ever body be happy and vet get there benefits and the childress and spouse to can get benefirs thank you think about that for a min

  12. “Money Well Spent?” NO. Of course not. Especially when the VA gets funding, yet more quality items or needs for some vets are dropped or discontinued due to costs. Then float monies off for special canine studies? The VA should be all about ending suffering, care, and healing, etc. Period. Not research or claims of ‘research.’ However, there are still and will be those firmly connected outside sources and ‘research’ institutions, med schools, secretive labs we know of that have been and probably continue on to be joined at the hip. That will pick up and run with such ‘research.’ Also share in those big dollars for all kinds of testing and ‘research.’ Just like all those secretive farms used by our gov and foreigners for all kinds of research from crops, chemicals to animal research. Humane or not. Collateral damages or not. How will we ever know the truth about any of it?

    Reports earlier this year and last claimed that approx ninety percent of scientist approved of all kinds of animal research from every critter out there. And nobody wants to be put out business.

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