Washington State University has received an official warning from the federal government for the death of a dog on campus. The animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now announced the 2016 warning Monday after obtaining documents from the US Department of Agriculture. The agency’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service found that WSU failed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act.
The dog was brought to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital in April of 2016 from an animal shelter in Othello to be treated for a cough. Federal investigators say there was significant blood in the dog’s cage. An attendant left a message for veterinary staff before leaving for the night. The dog was found dead the next morning. Investigators determined that unclear processes in the teaching hospital resulted in the dog’s unnecessary suffering. The federal inspection report notes that the problem was corrected before the investigation. The WSU vet teaching hospital self-reported the incident as required by federal law.
The warning from the agency notes that future WSU violations may result in civil penalties. The animal rights group calls the official warning “a slap on the wrist.” The dog’s death was first brought to light publicly by the group 2 years ago when the organization began investigating deaths of bears at WSU.
The federal report also found the some deer mice died during a feeding study at the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. The investigators determined that the mice didn’t have access to adequate food. That problem was also corrected prior to the federal investigation.