Purina, Hill's Conducting Unethical Tests on Dogs/Cats

Mike Ryan, February 13, 2019

Most Americans oppose medical experiments on trapped animals. It’s no surprise that this is particularly true for traditional companion animals like dogs and cats.

Given this consumer preference, we’d like to know why two of the largest makers of dog food in the US running large experimentation facilities in which dogs and cats are trapped and experimented upon. Consider this:

  • Purina (owned by Nestle) has nearly 1,400 cats and dogs trapped in a medical experimentation facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. Here’s the report they filed with USDA admitting as much.

  • Hill’s Pet Food Nutrition has 975 cats and dogs trapped in a facility in Topeka, Kansas. Here’s their report for proof.

Once a large corporation begins caging thousands of animals in facilities to use them as test tubes, suffering is inevitable. There’s no way for them to get the individual medical and social attention they need. And often, it’s worse than simple neglect.

Boiled to Death: To give one example of the dangers in keeping thousands of cats and dogs trapped to be used as test tubes, consider this: in 2017, one of the cats Purina keeps at this facility was accidentally, effectively, boiled to death. Here’s how the USDA inspector that had to write this up put it:

“The cat…went unnoticed by the staff…The large, dark gray holding/transport device was then sent to the enclosure wash. Upon completion of the cleaning cycle, the cat was found deceased in the enclosure.” Source

Hill’s Hasn’t Even Been Inspected

We would detail a few abuses at Hill’s facility, but get this: Hill’s has managed to avoid even being inspected by USDA in the last three years. (Try searching for their ID, which is 48-R-0039 on this USDA website for inspection reports, and you’ll see proof of that sad fact.) So we simply don’t know what the conditions are for these animals.

Unknown Number of Deaths

Purina and Hill’s aren’t mandated to disclose how many dogs and cats are killed at these facilities, so we have no way of knowing the extent of the suffering, or how many tragedies are resulting from any of us purchasing products like Science Diet, Fancy Feast, One, or Beneful.

Hill’s Latest Recall Proves These Tests Don’t Work

In case you missed it, last month Hill’s announced a recall of canned dog food (brands including Science Diet and Prescription Diet) because of dangerously high levels of vitamin D, which can make dogs gravely ill.

Our Letter to Purina’s CEO

Last month we wrote Purina’s CEO, Joseph R. Sivewright, to respectfully ask him to consider bringing Purina into the 20th century and closing this blighted facility.

Unfortunately, no one at Purina even acknowledged our letter. As such, we’re mailing consumer alerts to households with dogs and cats to consumers in select U.S. markets advising them of how Purina does business, and encouraging them to choose from the many dog/cat food companies that don’t do invasive tests on thousands of animals trapped anonymously in a testing facility. (See an example of this mailer below).

Remember, no federal law or regulation requires these experiments. This is as optional as it is cruel.

So if you love cats and dogs, please stop buying products from Purina and Hill’s until they announce that they’ll change their ways. Giving these companies your money is actively supporting a system that abuses animals, plain and simple.

Join the boycott of Purina and Hill’s until they stop experimenting on animals.

Please consider supporting the following dog/cat food companies which do not conduct cruel, invasive tests:

Almo Nature
Artemis Pet Food
Azmira Holistic Animal Care
Bravo Raw Diet
Dr. Harvey’s
Dynamite Marketing
Feline’s Pride
Flinch River Ranch
Fromm Family Foods
Halo, Purely For Pets
Happy Dog Food
Holistic Blend
Newman’s Own Organics
Oma’s Pride
Pet Chef Express
Pet Guard
Pooch & Mutt
Primal Pet Foods
Raw Advantage
Sauder Feeds
Sojourner Farms
Solid Gold
Stella & Chewy’s
The Honest Kitchen
Timberwolf Organics
Veterinary Nutritional Formula
Wysong Professional Diets