On Monday, Nov. 4, Jerry, a six-month old beagle allegedly “rescued from a laboratory” at UC Davis, gamboled on the grass outside California’s state capitol as news cameras looked on.
But campus veterinarian, Vic Lukas, was puzzled. He wasn’t aware of an animal being “rescued.” More concerning, one of the people in the photos with Jerry was Shannon Keith, an animal rights lawyer connected with the notorious activist group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).
The mystery was solved when staffers were able to compare Jerry’s ear tattoo, shown in some photos, with university records. Jerry had indeed been at UC Davis, for a couple of weeks, but for teaching purposes, not research.
Twice a year, residents in training at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine see a demonstration of the sort of electrophysiological exam that they might perform on a dog patient. This involves giving the animal an anesthetic and placing electrodes on its skin. No surgery, or invasive procedures are involved, other than that the dog is spayed or neutered at the same time.
This teaching class involves exactly two dogs a year, and the dogs are normally adopted afterwards.
UC Davis does allow animals that have been involved in research or teaching procedures to be adopted in some circumstances. So far this year, 90 animals, mostly dogs and cats, have been adopted, according to Lukas.
Paperwork for Jerry’s adoption was filed on Oct. 23 — the day the dog arrived at UC Davis. The adoption was by a “Katie Johnson” of Livermore — but the address given for a veterinary clinic was in West Hollywood, hundreds of miles away. Ms. Johnson took possession of Jerry about 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3 — and the next afternoon, he was being photographed at a media event organized by animal rights activists.
Apparently, the Beagle Freedom Project went shopping for a poster dog for their campaign, and were able to find one at UC Davis.
Who is behind the Beagle Freedom Project? Apart from SHAC lawyer Shannon Keith, one of the leaders is Kevin Kjonaas, also known as Kevin Chase, recently released from federal prison for his role in the campaign of threats, violence and harassment by SHAC-USA. As a mouthpiece for extremist groups, Shannon has made many shady friendships.
Speaking of Research