Heart Failure Experiments in Dogs

The Physicians Committee
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Stop Heart Failure Experiments in Dogs at Wayne State

After two decades of heart failure experiments on dogs, Wayne State University in Detroit has made no medical advances that help the millions of Americans suffering from heart disease. So for the past several years, the Physicians Committee has worked with doctors and scientists—through legal complaints, billboards, extensive media coverage, and protests—to put an end to the scientifically flawed experiments. To read a scientific analysis of the experiments click here.

  • Despite evidence that the dog experiments don’t help human health, Wayne State experimenters collect almost $400,000 in funding every year to put dogs through multiple surgeries, artificially create heart failure in the dogs, and force them to run on treadmills.
  • The surgeries are so invasive and dangerous that as many as 25 percent of the dogs die during or after surgery, before the experiments are completed. All of the dogs who make it through the experiments are then killed. Read a description of the experimental methods.

In 2014, the Physicians Committee and dozens of local advocates let attendees at the university’s graduation ceremonies know that that the millions of dollars that have been spent on Wayne State’s dog experiments could be better used on public education and prevention research. The experiments are even drawing criticism from one of the university’s own faculty members, cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine Joel Kahn,

M.D., F.A.C.C.

Wayne State Campaign Records

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Celebrities Join the Physicians Committee’s Call to End Dog Experiments

May 19, 2015

Local doctors, dogs, and concerned citizens hold a peaceful demonstration at Wayne State University to protest the use of dogs in painful heart failure experiments. Legendary, Detroit-born comedian Lily Tomlin, a Wayne State alumna, is denouncing the dead-end dog experiments.


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Doctor-Led Protest and Celebrity Statement Target Wayne State Dog Experiments
April 7, 2015

Local doctors, dogs, and concerned citizens hold a peaceful demonstration at Wayne State University to protest the use of dogs in painful heart failure experiments. Legendary, Detroit-born comedian Lily Tomlin, a Wayne State alumna, is denouncing the dead-end dog experiments.


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Actor Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead Slams Wayne State’s Dog Heart Experiments
November 1, 2014

Jon Bernthal, star of the hit show Walking Dead and the film Fury, mailed a letter to Wayne State University president in Detroit, Michigan on November 1st to express how unhappy he is with the institution’s practice of doing experiments on dogs. The date marks the one year anniversary of the death of one of the dogs used in the heart failure experiments.


Penny Marshall Speaks Out Against Wayne State's Cruel Dog Heart Experiments

Penny Marshall Speaks Out Against Dog Experiments
August 27, 2014

Penny Marshall, star of Laverne & Shirley, speaks out after discovering that Laverne, a dog named after her character, was used in heart experiments at Wayne State University.


Doctors and Advocates Urge Wayne State to End Dog Experiments

Doctors and Advocates Urge Wayne State to End Dog Experiments
Summer 2014

The Physicians Committee let attendees at Wayne State’s graduation ceremony know that Wayne State is letting down the people of Michigan when it comes to addressing heart disease—the state’s No. 1 killer.


Wayne State: Experts Call for Halt to Dead-End Dog Experiments

Wayne State: Experts Call for Halt to Dead-End Dog Experiments
Spring 2014

Three medical experts have called on Wayne State University to end its controversial series of dog heart-failure experiments.


Complaint Says Wayne State Dog Experiments Don't Help Humans

Wayne State Dog Experiments Don’t Help Humans
Winter 2014

Local doctors and concerned citizens joined the Physicians Committee in November at Wayne State University to protest the use of dogs in heart failure experiments.


Court Orders Wayne State to Provide Records of Heart Failure Expriments

Court Orders Wayne State to Provide Records of Heart Failure Experiments
Summer 2013

A Michigan court has rejected a Wayne State University lawsuit that attempted to stop the Physicians Committee from accessing public records showing the details of its heart failure experiments on dogs.