Please Consider Joining the Remembering Rodney Society
By joining the Remembering Rodney Society, you will ensure PCRM’s continued work on behalf of animals like Rodney with your gift every month, week, or quarter.
Rodney was a sweet, gentle mixed-breed dog whose poignant story captures the essence of why PCRM was founded. In a medical training lab, he endured unspeakable cruelty—repeatedly used by students to practice surgery—before being euthanized. His story is told by veterinarian Peter Henricksen, one of students in training:
“He was always happy to see us—tail thumping wildly against the walls of his small steel cage. I was in my third year of veterinary school and he came from the local dog pound. For the next quarter, four of us students would practice surgery techniques on him—the first of our small animal surgery training. From the looks of him Rodney hadn’t had much of a life, so a pat on the butt and a little walk around the college complex made his day.
“He was always happy to see us—tail thumping wildly against the walls of his small steel cage.”
The first thing we did was neuter him, a seemingly benign project except it took us an hour to complete the usual 20-minute procedure, and anesthetic overdose kept him out for 36 hours. Afterward he recovered his strength quickly and felt good.
Two weeks later we did an abdominal exploratory, opening his abdomen, checking his organ inventory, and closing him again. This was the first major surgery for any of us, and with inadequate supervision we did not close him properly. By the next morning, his incision had opened and he was sitting on his small intestine. Hastily, we sewed him up again, and he survived. But it was a week or more before he could resume the walks he had come to eagerly anticipate. He would still wag his tail when he arrived and greet us with as much enthusiasm as he could muster.
“As the life drained from his body and his eyes lost their focus, my attitude toward animal research began to change.”
The following week, again when he was under anesthesia, we broke his leg and repaired it with a steel pin. After this Rodney seemed in almost constant pain, his temperature rose, and he didn’t rebound as he had in the past. His resiliency gone, despite antibiotic treatment, he never recovered completely. He could no longer manage his walks, and our visits generated only a weak thump of his tail. The shine was gone from his brown eyes. His operated leg remained still and swollen.
The quarter was ending, and Rodney’s days were numbered. One afternoon we put him to sleep. As the life drained from his body and his eyes lost their focus, my attitude toward animal research began to change.
I am a scientist, weaned on the scientific method, and should be a staunch believer on the use of animals for research. … After 15 years in the veterinary profession, I now believe there are moral and ethical considerations that outweigh the benefits. Because we happen to be the most powerful species on earth, we humans have the ability—but not the right—to abuse the so-called lower animals. The ends do not justify the means.”
Rodney’s experience, unfortunately, has been shared by millions of animals used in education and research who are unable to speak for themselves. By joining the Remembering Rodney Society, you will ensure PCRM’s continued work on behalf of animals like Rodney with your gift every month, week, or quarter.
The Remembering Rodney giving program is a great way to support PCRM on a regular basis through automatic credit or checking account deductions. You’ll never need to write another check or send in another renewal—yet you’ll be among PCRM’s most loyal and committed supporters—with us every month, every step of the way as we work to eliminate the use of animals like Rodney in cruel experiments and medical training.
Your gift of only $5 per month is a gift of $60 annually to PCRM! $10 per month is over $100 a year!
To join, use our secure online enrollment form.