Shelter dog taken to veterinary school for surgery

Pet dog transferred from shelter to vet school for experimental surgery and likely death

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An Alabama family’s pet dog wound up at an animal shelter and then she was turned over to a veterinary school where she was going to be used for experimental surgery and likely…death. As reported by WRBL News, the Hively family’s seven-year-old dog Sheba was first taken in at the Russell County animal shelter – when her stray hold was up, she was transferred to the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.

What happened?

By the time that Sheba’s family learned that their pet was at the county shelter, it was too late – she had already been handed over to the veterinary school. According to the news agency, Tina Hively could not get definitive answers out of the shelter about the whereabouts and fate of Sheba, so she turned to social media for help.

Hively said, “By that time I was desperate and started posting on Facebook groups to ask anyone if they had an idea what I could do.” Hively was ultimately directed to the Stop Pound Seizure In Alabama Facebook group where she learned about pound seizures and the likelihood of pets being used in experimental surgeries.

Saving Sheba

The family began an earnest quest to find Sheba at the veterinary school. Hively was eventually able to reach a professor at the school who was able to help, and Sheba was found in one of the holding kennels. Amazingly, the family was able to get their pet back from the school and bring her home.

The horror stories

Had Sheba not been located, it is likely that she would have been operated on and then killed. A former student at the veterinary school has spoken out about the traumatic situations the students were forced to participate in. The student told WRBL:

There have been eye enucleations (ie. removal), there are amputations, there have been where they’ll place a foreign body in the dog’s throat, wait a couple hours, and then we have to go in and retrieve the foreign body.”

The anonymous informant commented on the dogs’ demise:

“I mean, come terminal surgery day we were all in tears. I was a basket case. These animals, you know, they trust you. Even when they’re in kennels and in pain, they’re still looking at me, at us, for comfort and I had to betray them. It was sickening and very traumatic.”

The woman told WRBL what the school told the students:

“They try and make it seem like these are unwanted animals and they were scheduled for euthanasia anyhow, but when you start seeing dogs come in with collars still on them, I mean you as a student are mortified because you could have potentially done unnecessary surgery on this dog and euthanized it and it was someone’s pet.”

Veterinary school statement

There are alternatives to operating on live animals – but the school stands by its practice. The veterinary school provided a statement to the news agency:

College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dean stated:

“Our use of animals to prepare the next generation of veterinary practitioners is endorsed by many professional and industry groups that regulate our use of animals as part of our teaching efforts. These groups, as well as schools of veterinary medicine across the country, regard this type of surgical experience essential to preparing skilled, future veterinarians.”

-Dr. Ruby Perry, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

More news, updates, funny videos and memes on the National Animal News Facebook page.

Yesterday in the news: Man died during hurricane while protecting his dogs – more here.

Inspiring – Rescuers saved horses who were neck deep in flood waters – more here.

Beaten and abused – dog gets second chance

From horrific cruelty to the beach – inspiring!


19 replies
  1. vicki hood says:

    Abandon your dog (or cat) at a kill shelter? At a shelter that sells to labs (including universities). At the labs, eyes are cut out, limbs cut off, poisons injected and sometimes many experiments on the same animal. I have a picture in my home of Rodney, a beautiful German shepherd. Rodney endured removal of parts one by one until he died. That was the experiment. To see how many parts/organs they could remove before death. This is a false science. Done just for money. Grants come from NIH (your tax money) Fight this and expose shelters and labs. Save innocents from this horror.

  2. Star Shelley says:

    My lord, so why is this veterinary school allow to kill innocent healthy dogs . What is wrong with this world. So glad their owners found their dog safe. If I were going to school there, I would drop out . What a sad world we live in. Bad enough that we have idiots who torture , neglect abandon, eat and kill our animals, plus this high kill shelter who have managment don’t give a damn.

  3. Gizmos Mommy says:

    That fuckin dean can try to justify the actions but it won’t fly. This is not the first time I’ve heard these horror stories. And I’m sick of it. Some assholes even use the bible as justification stating something to the effect; god gave man dominion over the animals. Problem – that book was written by men thousands of years ago. It’s total patriotical BS. So my question is – where is it stated it’s ok to mistreat and abuse animals?

    • BnB's Mommy says:

      The verse that says God gave man “dominion”, is an incorrect translation. The word should be “care”, not “dominion”. God gave humans the planet and all things in it, on it and around it, to take care of. We are NOT taking care of all things that God has given us. We are using and abusing as we see fit and whatever we fancy. This is not right or good. We WILL pay for it in the end, in one way or another.

  4. maxiemom says:

    Inexcusable in this day and age! Most vet schools no longer use this barbarous and outdated mode of teaching since computers are able to teach without the use of animals.

    Go elsewhere if you really care about animals. I’ve always had a great regard for this school….. until now.

  5. Adrienne says:

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has been at the forefront of ending the practice of using animals in experiments and labs in teaching colleges,many of which use computers and simulated replicas to do what live testing does. There must be an end to the use of all animals for testing and training of future vets.Even the military has ended the practice of using live animals in their trauma units for training.Dr. Ruby Perry, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine needs to end this practice now.

  6. Bunny Peters says:

    According to the news station, the “humane society” knew Sheba had a family searching for her and turned her over to the veterinary school anyway…..

    Her fate, had her family not persisted in searching for her, would have been “experimental surgery on Wednesday and euthanasia on Friday”……. hardly a “humane” way to treat an animal…… when there are alternatives to using “pound animals”…….

    Very glad Sheba made It back to her family….. we will never know how many other family pets suffer these horrible, unnecessary deaths……

  7. bill c says:

    I agree with the posters to date. There has to be a more humane way to do this. Torturing live dogs and cats is not acceptable. One thing though, there is a lesson to be learned from this story. People need to chip their pets. It costs around $15 and then this would have never happened.

  8. Dalma Bugg says:

    Universities and Colleges receive an utter fortune every year from every student’s parents in fees alone, so they should not be using archaic barbarous practises for tuition when modern technology provides up-to-the-minute methods. Shame on all educational institutes for taking the lives of innocent animals in the name of science when there are better, more efficient and more appropriate ways to educate.

  9. Rosiekat says:

    People learn to become doctors without taking apart humans or experimenting on humans. Why can’t it be the same for vets. REFUSE!!! I refused to disect the fetal pig and the live frog when I was in high school, for goodness sakes. What kind of vets will they be turning out if they don’t have the empathy to refuse to do this! DISGUSTING!

  10. Diana Rowell says:

    I pray Dr. Ruby Perry, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Alabama, is found with a VIOLENT beating that leaves this POS blind, cripple and maimed for LIFE. I pray it requires MANY surgeries, you know so we can give our NEW surgeons some good “experience”. By the time they’re done with this sub-human maggot Perry, I pray that there have been several INVASIVE surgeries leaving Perry in agony. Eye for an eye…liar! This is what happens to the brain when there’s too much inbreeding. Perry is the result to too many cousins making babies. Just wait for it…LMFAO! God’s gonna get ‘cha for this egregious abuse on His creatures. He knows you don’t need live subjects anymore, because God sees ALL and forgets NOTHING, while DEMANDING that we be good stewards to His children, His animals and His mother earth. Yikes…you failed miserably Perry.

  11. Denise Moore says:

    One day all humans that perpetrate such horrific abuse to animals in the name of science will get what they deserve but I doubt they will realize when KARMA comes for them…Makes me want to say and do things that aren’t so nice. Sad there are so many alternatives but these schools that choose to continue to deceive, torture, mutilate and murder animals in the name of science are inhumane!. What are we? Where is the humanity? My heart weeps for the innnocet


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