Surrendered pet dogs infected with a zoonotic disease reportedly were used in sand fly experiments at the University of Iowa and then killed, according to a nonprofit watchdog group and news.

White Coat Waste (WCW) reported that at least 12 foxhounds owner-surrendered to the university between 2017 and 2019 were placed in mesh cages and then fed on by hungry sand flies who had been starved for 12 hours.

Records show the surrendered dogs ranged in age from 2 years old to 10 years old and were named Ringo, Granite, Paddington, Nicky, Cougar, Lover, Gunner, Viking, Verity, Velocity, Brigette, Raptor, Willow, Gentle, Kasji and Paisley, according to WCW.

All the dogs were killed and dissected by the end of 2019, WCW reported.

WCW added that the experiments have consumed millions of taxpayer-supported dollars through grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

The report is the latest in a series of exposés by WCW revealing cruel experiments involving dogs. 

“As White Coat Waste Project’s #BeagleGate investigations have revealed, NIH-funded white coats in the U.S. and abroad are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to inject puppies with cocaine, de-bark and poison dogs, infest beagles with flies and ticks, and force dogs to suffer bleeding disorders and septic shock,” said Desiree Bender, WCW’s campaign manager. “Now, we’ve made the disturbing discovery that discarded pet dogs are being drugged, caged, and eaten by sand flies in painful and deadly experiments by the NIH.”

The University of Iowa referred LFT to its official statement that the experiments aimed to study the transmission of leishmaniasis, a parasite-caused disease that can result in sores, fevers, internal organ swelling, and death. Dogs had contracted the disease naturally and then had been surrendered to the university with their owners’ informed consent, according to the statement. 

“Caretakers worked hand in hand with University of Iowa researchers to establish what would happen during the study and what knowledge and treatments would be gained,” the university said.

The university told LFT that leishmaniasis vaccines for dogs are only licensed for use in Brazil and Europe and that the existing vaccines do not cure infected dogs.

The experiments have consumed at least $2.4 million of taxpayer-supported dollars over the last five years, according to the university’s statement. 

University documents obtained by WCW through a public records request detailed a protocol in which drugged, disease-ridden dogs were locked in mesh cages with capsules of dozens of hungry sand flies in “feeding cups” attached to their ears for at least 30 minutes — the point which reportedly was to see whether the dogs transmitted their disease to the flies, WCW’s Justin Goodman told The Epoch Times.

Forms obtained by WCW indicate that the people who surrendered the dogs were not licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — ruling out commercial, large-scale breeders as the owners.

WCW said that some records from the experiments had reportedly been destroyed. 

“The University of Iowa admitted to White Coat Waste it destroyed some records related to the experiments and has refused to answer questions about the sources of the dogs it abused,” WCW said.

A supermajority of Americans across the political spectrum want Congress to cut NIH funding for cruel dog experiments, WCW added. 

The nonprofit is working with Congress to pass the bipartisan Protecting Dogs Subjected to Experiments Act to stop funding for cruel tests on dogs and puppies. 

“The solution is clear: Stop the money. Stop the madness!” WCW said.