Letter to Dr. Shapiro at Pierce College

Dr. Shapiro,

Someone has been sending comments to my blog that I ought to leave alone the story about how cats are obtained for dissection by vet students at Pierce, and that I should be doing more investigative reporting about the City and County shelters. That wouldn't be you, would it?

It is strange to get several comments that I should leave a story alone that does not involve public shelters or officials, and only involves the relationship between Pierce and Carolina Biological. It is also strange that the comments started coming to my blog at the same time you stopped answering my emails.

Carolina Biological has refused to respond to any and all requests for specific shelters that they allege supply them with cat cadavers. And, of course, I sent you information about their history of violating animal welfare laws, such as embalming cats alive revealed in undercover videos taken by PETA followed by citations by the federal government.

In fact, the PETA investigation revealed that Carolina stated even then what they are still stating now, that all the cat cadavers supplied are from shelters, when in fact most were coming from Mexico where they were picked off the street by the poor. Of course, this was 14 years ago and things may have changed for the better.

The entire story is below on an earlier posting on this blog at the URL below.

There are the legal issues involved around shelters selling cadavers, to resellers, not the least of which they are considered toxic waste due to the Fatal Plus injections. Some cities also require a specific ordinance to allow this.

In undated legal papers on the web, Carolina supplied two alleged shelter contact numbers. On calling, I found neither phone numbers are for the public shelters indicated and one is a FAX.

Even then there are the moral issues, as you as a bioethicist should be concerned with, as are all related issues of pound seizure: how are the animals chosen to be killed?

If Carolina wants only healthy cats from shelters, that means adoptable cats that likely could find a home are killed for profit. Healthy cats in LA's shelter system, if not under 8 week old kittens or feral, have a fairly high rate of adoption.

This means that an estimated 100,000 adoptable cats are killed nationally just for high school lab use. I wonder how many more are killed for college anatomy classes and pre-vet training across the country.

These and ethical and legal issues that directly involve you and Pierce. I think you need share your opinions on these issues publicly, and perhaps debate with local animal rights spokespersons if you are up to it. I hope you share with your students that the source of the cadavers you use is Carolina Biological, and that you cannot personally vouch for the truth of their statements regarding the source of the cats dissected at Pierce.

You do teach a course called Animal Science Ethical and Legal Issues. I certainly think Pierce College's use of dissected cats from unknown sources is first an investigative issue, then legal and ethical issues.

I would be concerned about pre-vet students who were not concerned about where the cadavers came from.

Another curiosity issue, if Carolina gets skinned cat cadavers from shelters, why do they not sell skinned dog cadavers? Why skinned cats and not dogs? Is the cat anatomy enough transferable to dog anatomy for pre-vet training that dog cadavers are not needed? Or, is it that the moral and ethical issues are more palpable when dogs are involved? Why species discrimination?

There are many issues to be explored here including your branding of animal rights groups as America's new extremists, and your very public opposition to these groups.

Edward Muzika, Ph.D.




Anonymous said...

You really illuminated the sinister nature of what is going on with all of the players in this situation. The way our pet "shelters" function is beginning to remind me of the German Umschlagplatz in Nazi Germany.

What bunk to call the animal rights groups America's new extremists. What are these accusers so afraid of? Maybe Orwell's Animal Farm???

Ed, you are creating a major Malox moment for these people. Keep up your great work!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, accuse a doctor named Shapiro of being a Nazi... You people have lost all your humanity. You animal rights wackos are degenerates.
Wow, just mind-boggling...

Anonymous said...

The emotional cripples who write this blog and post here give weird and creepy a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Shapiro has already debated with someone from PeTA, and I think he feels he won. He says someone (Animal Rights activist) sent him something threatening (can't remember what it was...?), but got in trouble because they put their real return address on it.

I know he will be a tough nut to crack, but I applaud what you are doing Ed!


Ed Muzika said...

You did not read what anonymous said. He said what he is learning about how pet shelters work reminds him of Umschagplatz.

How you translated that into calling Shapiro a Nazi is beyond me. Sinister maybe; complicit maybe, but not a Nazi.

And, apparently to you, people who have humanity think people who fight for animals are nuts. How strange.

Let's take a look at some of the topics covered in Shapiro's animal ethics class.

Dr. Shapiro’s required reading for his animal ethics class and some of the topics discussed:

Animal Rights: What’s at Stake

Testimony to the Value of Animal Research

21 Things You May Not Know About the Animal Rights Movement

Some Call It Protecting Animal Rights

The Animal Rights Movement.. In the words of Its Leaders

Lives Saved Thanks to Animal Research

The Vital Role of Animals in AIDS Research

We’re going to expose the naked truth about PETA tomorrow

HSUS - PETA Connections

Some People Just See A Rat. We See A Cure for Cancer

xv. Using Animals in Research is Necessary.

Human vs. Animal Rights.

In Defense of Animal Research

Use of Animals in Medical Education

The Payoff From Animal Research

Making the Case for Drug Addiction Research

The Use of Animals in Product Safety Testing

Regulation of Biomedical Research Using Animals

The Use of Dogs & Cats in Research & Education

Animal Rights Extremists: Impact on Public Health

America’s New Extremists:
The Animal Rights Movement


Anonymous said...

Yes, I think he started his "ethics" class so he could spread his disdain for the animal rights movement even more than he already does in his other classes. These kids listen to him too! Pretty gross.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Muzika,

I very much appreciate that you are following up on urging Dr. Shapiro to stand up against the dissection of animals and instead use other means of study for the cats.

You are absolutely right when you state:

"You miss the point. 100,000cats a year are dissected in high schools alone. What need does a high schooler have to dissect a cat?"

Exactly right!

When you say that every life is important, you are right on target. The dead deserve as much respect as do the living.

But what NEED is there for embalming a cat with Fromaldehyde while the cat is still alive, if only to satisfy some morbose greed for dollar signs so that we are desensitized and in denial of the suffering that goes on in our midst?

Dr. Muzika, you love animals and you care for every living thing that breathes. You love feral cats and you want to do everything in your means to alleviate some of that suffering.
Is there any possibility you can help our group at Feral Cat Caretaker's Coalition by passing along this ad for us, perhaps help us out by placing the notice on your website and keeping it posted so that everyone who comes into your site can see it on a regular basis?

The president of the group was talking to a lady at HSUS and explaining to her that we have no fundraising in place for FCCC, due to many factors, the most important being experience.

The lady at HSUS told her to put an ad on Criag's List for a volunteer with experience in fundraising for the organization, so I put up the ad on Craigs. Since you have been fighting for quality of life (and death in your recent posts) for the ferals, I was hoping to appeal to you to help us out by placing our plea for volunteers who have experience with fundraising in your website and wherever you deem it might help.

Here is how the ad reads with the slight addition/definition (for clarification):



Thank you for anything you can do on this and for always thinking about the helpless, Mr. Muzika.

You are so right when you say that there is so much evil in the world and every little thing that we can do to help can go such a long way. These are all moral and ethical issues indeed.

Thank you also for putting up the texts used in the Pierce Bioethics course. Ouch!

I'd sure love to go by their bookstore sometime to take a peek at the texts---particularly the HSUS Vs. PETA. Intriguing titles...but this isn't fair to the students. All very biased teaching it seems--like trying to preach religion in a secular, academic instituition. It's just not right.

There has got to be a plethora of different view points in a democratic environment so that the student can critically examine and evaluate the texts for himself, otherwise the professor is brainwashing students into a type of cultic mindset and that isn't teaching. It's brainwashing.

That's just want it seems to me from how I've read this, but I'm just skimming for now. I may be wrong. I acutally wanted to ask you if you can help FCCC out a little by spreading the word about the lifetime care TNR programs for the ferals and the need for a volunteer to help the group with some knowledge and experience with the fundraising.

Keep up the great work on your endeavor regarding ethical and humane methods of education at Pierce, Mr. Muzika. Hopefully other schools will follow. I'm keeping all my hopes up on this one.

You don't need to put this up, I just wanted to get this out there while I was looking into your website and reading up a little on the most recent findings about the dissection in the schools.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

"Shapiro has already debated with someone from PeTA, and I think he feels he won. He says someone (Animal Rights activist) sent him something threatening (can't remember what it was...?), but got in trouble because they put their real return address on it."

You really need to stop and think if this is even true. He makes lots of crazy claims like this every semester with no proof whatsoever. It's the way he generates hysteria among the students in a hollow effort to support his campaign against the invisible monster. The sad part is that a lot of them just take his word for it and believe him.

Anonymous said...

...and folks, please do us all a favor and leave Germans and the Nazi's out of it. Remember, whenever Shapiro doesn't like something, he compares it to Hitler. Like we're all going to step back and gasp, or something.

Anonymous said...

Okay first of all, lets not even begin to compare hitler and genocide to vet professors and vet students dissecting cats. Thats crazy and quite twisted actually. Second, we are becoming Doctors, it makes perfect sense that we would need a solid understanding and a real foundation of our patients anatomy. So we disect. I have heard all kinds of "alternative" ways to learning this subject such as diagrams and models, and those are great, when used in relation with dissections. There is a difference of seeing a real muscle on an animal then looking at a picture of it. We are becoming doctors becuase we LOVE animals not because we want to torture small kittys and doggys like some sadist mad scientist. If that was our motive we wouldn't get into vet school (it's way to much work to go through...if your intentions were not pure). If we did not learn anatomy in this controversial yet nessesary fashion it would be a horrible dis-service to our patients. On another note, shelters are at a loss, because of animal propagation which greatly increases the "unwanted" pet population, they can only house so many animals at one given time, they are over crowed. So they donate to science, regardless they would still euthanize the animals. Riddle me this, what is better a dead animal in trashcan or a dead animal being used for the greater good, that in turn will save so many other animals? I know my answer. The shelters that I have volunteered with in the past have done everything in their power to get these animals adopted, they simpley do not have the resources nor the money. I would suggest helping out, or dontating to you local shelter. I see people on our farm taking pictures and bloging about how horrible pierce college is, but why not spend you time bettering the world, instead of talking about how other people are "destroying" it. If anyone is to get a slap on the wrist and sent to bed without supper it should be the state. Lastly, to be frank and forward, Orwell's animal farm will never play out because 1) animals do not sit in barns and talk to each other and 2) animals do not possess rational thinking.

Anonymous said...

Orwells animal farm was about the russian revolution dumbass. what are you talking about??