Whistleblower Exposes Culture of
Cruelty at UC at Denver and Health
An animal care technician who worked at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) for five years turned to PETA when officials refused to deal with serious charges of neglect and mistreatment. The whistleblower reportedly witnessed repeated violations of federal laws and regulations governing the care and use of animals in laboratories, including the following:
- Failure to provide veterinary care and euthanasia in a timely manner
- Improperly trained animal care employees
- Improper review and approval of experiments
- Inadequate anesthesia during painful surgeries
For nearly a decade, Moshe Solomonow, director of the Musculoskeletal Disorders Laboratory at UCHSC, has been conducting similar invasive back surgery experiments on cats by cutting down to their spinal tissue and attaching an “S” hook to their spinal ligaments. A machine then applies pressure in an effort to approximate what might happen if the cats were carrying heavy loads on their backs.
Whistleblower’s undercover footage
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The whistleblower told PETA that chloralose, the drug that the cats were being given as an anesthetic, did not appear to be effective and that the cats were still moving and responding to light and sound after the drug was administered. The whistleblower had reason to worry—for more than 40 years, veterinarians have said that chloralose alone does not provide adequate anesthesia for surgery. Remarkably, Solomonow has been killing cats and using inadequate anesthesia for invasive procedures for more than 15 years, funded mostly by taxpayers through federal research grants.
The whistleblower also reported observing a monkey with a prolapsed colon who was left to suffer for hours before she was euthanized, a cat whose eye was swollen shut and was left without veterinary care for nearly a month, a rabbit who did not appear to be fully anesthetized killed by having his heart punctured with a needle.
PETA has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct an immediate investigation and is calling on UCHSC to dismiss the current animal care and use committee and replace it with members who are willing to do their jobs.