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End the Cat Lab

January 14, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons


Washington University conducts a class called Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) that includes practicing intubation on live cats.

Intubating requires students to forcibly insert tubes into cats’ throats. This can cause bleeding, swelling, cracked teeth, punctured lungs, and even death.

The American Heart Association states that it does not condone the use of animals in its PALS course.

Instead, training should be done on lifelike human simulator manikins. Wash U’s PALS students have access to a state-of-the-art pediatric simulation lab on the campus of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

97% of U.S. medical institutions offering PALS training do not use live animals.

Your voice counts for these cats. Take action immediately.

Tell Washington University to stop using live animals for unjustifiable practices.


Email block: ; ; ; ; ;


Robert “Bo” Kennedy, PALS Director

Marcia Putnam, PALS Administrator

David Jaffe, PALS Instructor

Joseph Gunn, PALS Instructor

Larry Shapiro, Dean of WUSTL School of Medicine

Mark Wrighton, Chancellor of WUSTL


314-454-2341, 314-454-2229


Dear Administrator Putman, Director Kennedy, PALS Instructor Jaffe, PALS Instructor Gunn, Dean Shapiro, and Chancellor Wrighton:

I am disturbed after discovering that Washington University in St. Louis still uses cats and ferrets to teach students how to intubate babies; these animals are subjected to mutilating experiments and killed, a practice that inflicts immense suffering upon them. These animals are marvelously intelligent and sentient beings, capable of thought, love, pain, and fear, and to expose them to this archaic method of training is alarming. In a recently-conducted survey, it has been determined that in greater than 95% of similar programs, the TraumaMan System has been utilized (PCRM). The TraumaMan System has been proven a superior model to the live animal “model”, and I fear any student not trained on the most advanced method will have a diminished learning experience. This should be concerning to any potential patient.

Additionally, since animals cannot be substituted for human beings, subjecting them to this exploitive process reflects a blatant disregard for life; how can we teach our future medical professionals ethics while enforcing a course that maims and kills live, sentient beings? This represents a conflict of interest as well as a contradiction in both morals and actions: if non-human animals are deemed similar enough to humans physiologically, then you must acknowledge that, as sentient beings, they should not be exploited and killed either. Any other conclusion would be considered a discord and would serve as a detriment to the learning process, especially in such a critical field of study.

It would be regrettable not being able to recommend your fine institution; however, because I value the most sophisticated and innovative learning techniques, it would be remiss of me to consider Washington University based on your reliance of such an obsolete method of study. As such, I respectfully ask that you please accept the superior method of study, the TraumaMan System, for your university and students, and make yours an institution of credibility and honor.

I know that your time is limited, and I want to thank you for your attention and consideration to this urgent appeal.


i cannot breathe,
i cannot swallow.
whose evil instructions
did you follow.
i am just an innocent cat.
i do not think you humans
would want to go
through that!
please use manikins,
be humane.
no being should ever
go through this pain!!!

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

21 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2013 2:40 pm

    This kind of crap really makes me so angry! Emails gladluy sent and i shared in several places thanks so much Stacey youre the best!


  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    January 14, 2013 2:41 pm

    i cannot breathe,
    i cannot swallow.
    whose evil instructions
    did you follow.
    i am just an innocent cat.
    i do not think you humans
    would want to go
    through that!


  3. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    January 14, 2013 2:42 pm

    entire poem:
    i cannot breathe,
    i cannot swallow.
    whose evil instructions
    did you follow.
    i am just an innocent cat.
    i do not think you humans
    would want to go
    through that!
    please use manikins,
    be humane.
    no being should ever
    go through this pain!!!


  4. carolsemin permalink
    January 14, 2013 3:16 pm

    Hi Stacy

    Email sent – thank you for preparing this and making it so easy.

    Also posted the pre-written letter to the webpage of AstraZeneca on your previous action:- “AstraZeneca: Free the Beagles Immediately”.

    Many thanks ~ for the animals


    • January 14, 2013 3:53 pm

      Carol, thank you so much for all you do! May I ask a favor, please? My post on the WAR Facebook wall automatically showed up on the AZ Facebook wall according to the above provided link. Is that where you posted, or is there another Facebook AZ page? Thanks so much for your information, I just want to be certain that the link above is accurate; it worked for me, but I want to know that it is working for others, too, or if there is another I should add.


    • January 14, 2013 3:56 pm

      Sorry, I am referring to the AstraZeneca alert, not this one. The link provided is the following: Is that the one you used or is there another page of which I should be aware? Thank you!


      • carolsemin permalink
        January 15, 2013 3:03 pm

        Hi Stacy! Sorry for the late reply – I ticked the WordPress bock to notify me of further posts or replies, but I didn’t get your messages!

        To clarify, I posted your pre-written letter to the hyperlink where you say Contact AZ online HERE.
        (and it goes to goes to the online website of ‘AstraZeneca – General enqiries’).

        Regarding the AstraZeneca FB link you’ve copied above, it doesn’t work for me – it just shows a Page with a description from Wikipedia, although it has nearly 8,900 members on it – called AZ Pharmaceuticals.

        When I do a search for AZ on Facebook, it shows another page called AZ Pharmaceutical Company – this has 220 people on it, and doesn’t seem active, or monitored by the company.

        Both Facebook and Google show the following page for AZ:-

        I’m not sure if the above is relevant!

        I’m glad to see the FB ‘AstraZeneca:Free the Beagles Immediately’ event by Win Animal Rights, is being so well supported.

        I’m disappointed I can’t be of more help! But all power to Win Animal Rights in the struggle to release the beagles to freedom. ~


      • January 15, 2013 3:55 pm

        Carol, thank you SO MUCH for your helpful information! I am sorry you did not receive the notifications. You should have, and that is something I’ll need to look into. I have a hosted site (meaning WordPress forwards all those types of inquiries or responses), so I don’t have a lot of power determining why you did not receive a notification, but I can email them to ask why that is not happening as it should.

        I removed the Facebook AZ link. It only posted my comments becuase I initially posted them on the WAR page I am guessing, so I am unsure as to what the relation that is. (I posted on the WAR page, and then those comments showed on that link, which is odd to me, so I just removed it as it seemed to only work via the WAR page on which people are only responding basically to the invite alert in any case.)

        I know that is confusing, I am still confused. But basically, I saw no need for a link that worked only via the WAR invitation where people are not asked to communicate anyways – they’re just asked to communicate directly with AZ, not WAR.

        It still confuses me!

        Anyway, thank you so much for your information and additional insight as well as your participation. What you are doing is GREAT; I appreciate your help!


  5. julie k permalink
    January 14, 2013 8:18 pm

    sent my emails-thanks!


  6. January 15, 2013 1:12 pm

    Digusting & outdated practice for a modern society. With all the technology available to us, this needs to end NOW.
    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man”


    • January 15, 2013 3:56 pm

      Thank you for your help and for the quote, it is one of my favorites.


  7. January 16, 2013 10:11 am

    Thanks Stacy for your kind words in comment below…. I agree with your logic about removing the link, if it only works via commennts made on WAR. It is confusing!
    As feedback, I again ticked both boxes to be notified of follow up replies, and your reply didn’t come through!
    Someone else I know has problems with his wordpress blog – it won’t accept requests to follow him, and he writes some good blogs. I did let him know!
    I’m posting this as a new comment, as it’s from my phone, and the Reply option isn’t showing – I’m certain that’s because of my phone…
    Many thanks for your ongoing work – an inspired forum to continue the


    • January 16, 2013 10:16 am

      Apologies – my comment got posted before I had finished – but I am sure you know what I meant! 🙂


    • January 16, 2013 1:05 pm

      Hi, Carol! For some odd reason, there are only a certain amount of replies offered per reply. It has always been that way and makes it difficult to carry on a conversation. That would be an improvement if it were possible. Maybe it’s a space issue as replies get longer with the limited amount of horizontal space available whenever it occurs.

      That is odd your friend is having difficulty getting follows to occur. That hasn’t happened on mine (yet!). I get a notification whenever someone starts following the blog, and I have had notifications recently so I know they are going through (hopefully the emails are working vice versa and the people are getting an email whenever a post is published).

      Thus far I haven’t any explanation as to why you are not receiving a notification when a response is published. It works for me, but that could very well be that I am the author of the blog, which may have different capacities than a reader of a blog. If I get follow-up, I will definitely let you know, but it is not too surprising – WordPress is huge and hosted blogs may be not so urgent than the self-hosted ones. I have an icon in the upper-right hand that “lights up” whenever there is a new comment, as well as an email. See if you get the option of an icon as well, but that may be something limited to authors.

      I am so sorry for having no answer right now! I know that can be frustrating, especially when you want to follow comments! I wish it would just work. Hopefully I can get some WordPress magic to work.

      Thanks much for all your help, patience, and support. It really means a lot to me!


      • January 16, 2013 1:34 pm

        Hi again. when I logged in to your latest action (petition) from laptop, I saw there was no reply option…. I had another look here to check for comments.
        I do get all your alert emails….just to clarify.
        The only quirk is that from my phone above comment posted from my own wordpress a/c (which I have just for following others on wordpress.) The avatar is different. And, I GOT YOUR REPLY – posted thro’ to my email.
        Still confused why my comments here (from laptop) get a nice pink avatar, but then I don’t seem to get the replies via email. I’ll work around it – it’s not a problem. 🙂 Sometimes I do your actions without leaving feedback


        • January 16, 2013 8:23 pm

          It all seems so confusing as to why some features are effective and others are seemingly broken, but I greatly appreciate your understanding. Great chatting with you, Carol!


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