Documents obtained by White Coat Waste (WCW) exposed how the National Institute of Health (NIH) used $2.3 million taxpayer dollars to turn Beagle puppies into cocaine addicts so that they could test an experimental treatment drug for cocaine addiction.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of NIH, ran tests on six-month-old beagles.

The WCW obtained documentation detailing the experiments through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  According to the documents and photographs, the dogs (six-month-old beagle puppies) were forced to wear jackets loaded with hypodermic needles that injected the puppies with cocaine. For several months, the puppies were dosed with the narcotic substance, over and over again, along with an “experimental compound” to study the interaction of the two drugs.  

Prior to being outfitted with the injection jackets, and drugged, the dogs were surgically implanted with telemetry units to monitor their biological signals throughout the experiment.  Researchers filmed the puppies to see if any of them had “adverse reactions” to the drugs.  The goal, according to NIDA, to find treatments for cocaine disorder.  

The experiment ran from September 2020 to September 2021. And a second experiment, from March 2020 until March 2021, again injecting beagles with cocaine using the same jackets.  During one of the tests, each dog was put through nine dosing episodes, six of them involving cocaine injections. The other test had 13 dosings, with six involving cocaine. On the days that the puppies were dosed, they were isolated, fasted —water only— and forced to wear the cocaine-injection jackets for testing. The dogs were returned to their normal quarters, up to three dogs in the same space, after the jackets were removed. When not being tested, the puppies were given chew toys and “regular opportunity for exercise and socialization” and had regular human contact, the research proposal said.

The dogs were dubbed “coke hounds.” Researchers said the experiment was expected to be “non-terminal” — in other words, the dogs were to survive.  Upon completion of the study, the dogs were either killed or “recycled” — meaning they were to be used again for other experiments. Results of the cocaine-drug interaction are not clear. The documents obtained by WCW say a report may be submitted by NIDA to the FDA later this year.

The experiments were contracted to SRI International — the same organization that spent taxpayer money to poison and “de-bark” beagle puppies. Since SRI International didn’t have the necessary equipment, however, they outsourced their experiments to Charles River Laboratories.  The same infamous Charles River Laboratories that has been a scourge on society and the object of multiple forceful attacks from animal activists.

Charles River Laboratories, which maintains a “dog colony” for testing and had the equipment for the experiments, could use the beagles for further research or kill them with an injection of sodium pentobarbital. The radiotelemetry devices that had been implanted could then be “recovered” from the bodies, the proposal said.

White Coat Waste Project says thousands of dogs are used in taxpayer-funded experiments each year. “Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the multimillion-dollar bill for wasteful and cruel ‘Coke Hound’ experiments in which beagle puppies are injected with cocaine just to fulfill burdensome and outdated FDA red tape,” said Devin Murphy, communications manager at the White Coat Waste Project, which works to stop taxpayer-funded research on animals.  WCW calls the experiments “wasteful, cruel, and unnecessary.”

According to the Beagle Freedom Project “70,000 dogs a year are used in laboratory experiments and a great majority of them are beagles. The heartbreaking reason that beagles are so often the dog of choice is because they’re docile, sweet, trusting, and they don’t fight back. Like all laboratory animals, their lives are miserable from the time they are born until they’re killed. They are taken from their mothers and are subjected to horrific cruelty, painful tests, torture, and then finally, when the experiment is over, they are killed.”

Technologically advanced non-animal test methods can be used in place of animal testing. Not only are these tests more humane, they also have the potential to be cheaper, faster, and more relevant to humans.  As for the poor Beagles, they were born into a world where kindness and love are the gateways to hell.

Urge Congress to defund the NIH’s deadly cocaine experiments on puppies!