Shri Thanedar is a candidate in Michigan’s gubernatorial race, and in the latest polls, is either leading or going neck-and-neck with candidate Gretchen Whitmer. He was also the owner of an animal testing facility that went bankrupt in 2010. According to a petition on Care2, after the bankruptcy, the most unbelievable thing happened at the lab – the owner simply shut its doors, leaving 170 dogs and monkeys inside.
The New Jersey testing facility, AniClin Preclinical Services, was closed after its parent company, Azopharma, owned by Thanedar, went bankrupt in April 2010. It wasn’t until June of that year that local animal activists learned 118 beagles were still stuck inside the building. According to USA Today, former lab workers would climb over the facility’s fences to bring in food and water for the dogs until some arrangement could be made.
On July 4, 2010, the activists finally succeeded in saving the abandoned dogs. After some legal machinations, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey took in 30 of the dogs and Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in Middletown, New York took 88. After living for years in plexiglass crates, the beagles were finally about to learn what life is like for “normal” dogs – the kind of life they yet had absolutely no idea about. A few days later, In Defense of Animals rescued 55 long-tailed macaque monkeys who were still in the laboratory.
If it had not been for the ex-employees who were taking care of the animals after the facility’s shutdown and animal rights activists, what would have happened to the dogs and monkeys in the lab, abandoned in their crates without food or water?
When confronted about the situation, Thanedar recently told HuffPost that the lab was under the control of Bank of America, which seized it when he declared bankruptcy and claimed that he had no knowledge of how the bank took care of the animals from that point on. It is, however, hard to believe that he had no option whatsoever of making sure that the animals would not suffer after the bankruptcy – in fact, if doing anything else other than leaving them in a shutdown building.
Animal abandonment is a very real problem and Thanedar’s doings show just how extreme the recklessness and lack of any care for other living beings can be. A Care2 petition launched in the case emphasizes that it is thanks to rescue organizations like the ones that saved the 170 beings from his lab that many animals get any chance at a life at all. Thanedar should acknowledge that, as well as the consequences of his actions.
Click here to sign the petition urging Thanedar to admit his wrongdoing in abandoning the animals and to donate to an animal rescue organization!
Image source: Hilary Halliwell/Pexels