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Iams Kid's Corner

Why Iams?

For nearly 10 months in 2002 and early 2003, a PETA investigator went undercover at an Iams contract testing laboratory and discovered a dark and sordid secret beneath the wholesome image of the dog- and cat-food manufacturer: dogs gone crazy from intense confinement to barren steel cages and cement cells, dogs left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after having chunks of muscle hacked from their thighs; dogs surgically debarked; horribly sick dogs and cats languishing in their cages, neglected and left to suffer with no veterinary care.

Iams lied to PETA with promises to improve the conditions for animals in its contract laboratories, even assuring us that enrichment programs were already in place, but our undercover investigator saw otherwise. She fought for six months to have a single cheap, rubber toy placed in each cold, lonely kennel. This is Iams’ idea of enrichment.

Our video footage shows Iams representatives touring the facility and witnessing dogs’ endless circling in barren cells, sweltering in the summer heat. Iams knew the truth yet did nothing to protect the animals.

The dogs and cats in Iams’ tests are no different from our dogs and cats at home when it comes to deserving companionship, play, a stimulating environment, and the right not to be tormented in painful experiments.

Luckily, caring consumers know that advances in nutrition don’t have to come at the expense of animals in labs. Help PETA force Iams to end these painful and unnecessary tests, as many compassionate companies have already done.

The Investigation

Our investigator videotaped Iams representatives touring the facility. They saw the sad, distressed dogs. They felt the sweltering heat and humidity in the kennels. Then they walked out. But the animals couldn’t.

An Iams veterinarian inspecting a group of dogs purchased from a USDA Class B dealer did nothing when he saw that a mother dog who had just given birth in a cement kennel had been provided with no bedding to rest on. A puppy and an adult dog from that group died during our investigation, most likely the result of neglect and temperatures that fell below 34 degrees in the building.

An Iams “behaviorist” saw dogs spinning in their cages out of madness and yet said nothing. An Iams cat dental researcher even overheard two employees talking about animals who were treated inhumanely at the facility yet Iams continued to conduct business there as usual.

Despite assurances in the Iams research policy that no animal would ever be killed, our investigator documented the destruction of 27 out of 60 dogs who underwent an invasive procedure that involved having huge chunks of muscle cut out of their legs. Two more of those dogs were found dead in their cages after the surgery; one had been suffering for 11 days prior to her death.

When our investigator reported that Humbug, an Iams dog, was limping, she was told by a vet tech that the laboratory had an x-ray machine that dated back to the 1960s but no film for it and that the director of the laboratory preferred to kill, rather than treat, animals with broken bones. In addition, Fifi and the other dogs used in Iams’ metabolic studies were bled by the laboratory in order to sell their blood to other companies even though the studies do not call for blood draws.

Finally, shortly before our investigator left, the lab director told the vet techs to debark all the Iams dogs as he was being disturbed by their desperate cries for attention. Our investigator e-mailed Iams researchers in Dayton with this information, hoping that Iams would intervene. But all she got was the sickening sight of a lab technician covered in blood after a day of performing the debarking surgery.

When our investigator resigned, she told the Iams representative and the lab director that she was leaving because despite her best efforts, nothing was being done to enhance the desperately boring, lonely, harsh lives of the animals. The Iams representative admitted that both he and the lab director were from the “old school.”

What Our Investigator Found: Iams’ Den of Horrors

  • Iams dogs dumped on cold concrete flooring after having huge chunks of muscle cut out of their thighs
  • dogs and cats gone stir-crazy from confinement; dogs and cats in windowless, dungeon-like buildings
  • a coworker who instructed her to hit the dogs on the chest if they quit breathing; another coworker who talked about an Iams dog found dead in his cage, bleeding from his mouth
  • a dog who limped in pain from Lyme disease
  • cruel studies done by Iams involving sticking tubes down dogs’ throats to force them to ingest vegetable oil
  • Iams dogs with such severe tartar buildup on their teeth that it was painful for them to eat
  • vet technicians with inadequate training and experience performing invasive procedures
  • coworkers who talked about a live kitten who was washed down a drain
  • coworkers who talked about how they had to go home because the ammonia fumes in the animal trailers were so overpowering that it made their eyes burn (try being one of the animals in those cages!)
  • cats kept in a cinderblock room with crude wooden “resting” boards that had nails sticking out of them; one of the boards fell on a cat, crushing her to death, while our investigator was there yet the lab director did not remove the boards when the cat was crushed—he removed them when he was told that the lab was going to be inspected because he knew they were illegal





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