Report: Beagles Killed in NIH-Funded Experiment Named After Celebrities, TV Characters

Greg Nash-Pool, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Greg Nash-Pool, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Beagle puppies who were killed in an experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were named after celebrities and popular television characters, according to taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project (WCW).

WCW released the report on Tuesday after obtaining information from the NIH through a FOIA request. The 74-page document contains NIH internal emails and invoices from the University of Georgia (UGA) for 28 beagle puppies named after well-known celebrities like Bon Jovi and Snoop Dogg, and TV characters like Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe from the show Friends.

The watchdog group first documented the UGA beagle experiment in July of 2021. According to WCW, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), directed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, granted the university $424,455 in taxpayer dollars to do a lymphatic filariasis vaccine efficacy trial in dogs between Sept. 16, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2022. WCW says the tests were “unnecessary” and involved injecting the puppies with an experimental drug and intentionally infesting them with flies that carry a disease-causing parasite before euthanizing them. 

Records show that the dogs were “vocalizing in pain” during the experiments,” the July WCW report states. 

The UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital ordered 28 beagles separately by gender. The first invoice dated December 1, 2020, was for 14 female beagle puppies all named after TV characters. Their names were, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe from “Friends,” DJ, Kimmie, Stephanie, and Michelle from “Full House,” Blossom from “Blossom,” Bubbles and Buttercup from “Powerpuff Girls,” and Lane, Rory, Sookie, and Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls.” All 14 were euthanized on June 8, according to the documents. 

The second invoice dated July 6, 2021 was for 14 male beagle puppies. Their names are/were Bon Jovi, Ozzy, Lynyrd, Garth, George, Vince, Travis, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Eminem, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg. 

Breitbart News reached out to UGA asking if the university was responsible for naming the beagles and if the male beagles had been euthanized. UGA’s press office sent an already released statement from UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor, which confirmed that all beagles involved in the trial were euthanized. The university did not say who named the beagles. 

In his statement, Trevor said the experiment is for a potential vaccine being developed at another institution that would “protect humans against a disease that afflicts approximately 120 million people worldwide.”

“Under federal rules, a vaccine must be tested in two animal species before it can be cleared for human clinical trials,” he said.

The statement continues in part:

When NIAID decided to fund this research, the agency determined that the research needed to be conducted on a dog model. According to researchers at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, beagles are the standard dog model used in this type of research. Because this disease currently has no cure, unfortunately all of the animals that were part of this trial had to be euthanized. We do not take lightly the decision to use such animals in some of our research.

Breitbart News also reached out to the NIH asking if the agency played a role in naming the beagles after celebrities and characters. The agency said it was working on the request but did not reply by the time of publication.

WCW noted in its report that “government white coats rarely name the animals in their labs.” Instead, they reportedly identify animal subjects by tattoos.

“Naming an animal strengthens your bond with them. It’s harder to harm an animal when you have that bond…which is precisely why it’s so rare to see named animals in government labs,” the WCW said.

Vice President of WCW Mackie Burr released a statement condemning “Fauci-funded white coats” for naming beagles “just before feeding the dogs to flies…”

The statement reads:

Our latest #BeagleGate investigation proves that Dr. Fauci’s wasteful spending sentenced Snoop, Eminem and other puppies to death row. From the Doggfather and Ozzy to anti-animal-testing advocate Mayim Bialik, animal-loving celebrities will be horrified to learn that Fauci-funded white coats are heartlessly naming beagles after them just before feeding the dogs to flies, torturing and killing them in wasteful experiments opposed by taxpayers in both political parties.

So far, WCW has documented at least six separate incidents of labs experimenting on beagles using taxpayer dollars — the group refers to its collection of investigations as “BeagleGate.”

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.

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