Breaking: Shelter director “lends” 18 dogs to vivisectors – Take Action

activist, author, former political prisoner

The highlighted NAVC tag confirms that this dog was deliberately “loaned” to vivisectors

Camille Marino
February 5, 2018

Front line activists with Rescue Me Tampa – Shelter Dogs have exposed a disturbing arrangement that this shelter has engaged in for at least the last several years. Director Trebatoski, the person who is paid to oversee the care and placement of abused and neglected animals, is allowing these dogs to go on “field trips” with vivisectors where they will be used for experiments at their annual conference. At this moment, 18 dogs are missing having been sent off at taxpayer expense to be used as teaching tools. In the past, some of these victims have returned to the shelter so hurt and traumatized that they’ve had to be killed — no longer suitable for adoption to a loving home.

In 1987, Hillsborough County Animal Services got in bed with the University of South Florida and passed an ordinance that specifically allows shelter directors to send unclaimed animals into labs to be tortured in their alleged “medical” experimentation labs. Rescue Me Tampa says “this is deliberate cruelty to voiceless animals in our county shelter!!!!!! This is not the first time and dogs came back last year with razor burns, change in behavior, shaved body parts…”

Take Action

Email the county commissioners to ask why shelter dogs are being used as “experiments” at taxpayer expense and demand this heinous arrangement be terminated now. Make it clear that Director Trebatoski is clearly not concerned about the animals he oversees and needs to be removed from his responsibilities promptly.




21 Responses

  1. lynn skilling says:

    This is shocking,shelters are traumatic enough but to think they could end up in some freak lab is awful & no doubt it will be the most timid,placid dogs that go to the top of the list due to their sweet nature,terrible

  2. Lynne Koenigsberg says:

    When a dog or cat or any other species ends up at an animal shelter ~ the objective is to give them a 2nd chance for a better life. How do you justify the use and abuse of a supposedly “unwanted” animal that is given a Nazi death sentence by Hillsborough County Animal Services and the University of South Florida!

    “Hillsborough County Animal Services got in bed with the University of South Florida and passed an ordinance that specifically allows shelter directors to send unclaimed animals into labs to be tortured in their alleged “medical” experimentation labs.” Stop these events from happening again, now! ~ emailed

    • admin says:

      exactly, shelters exist to give already-disenfranchised beings a second chance. if the directors are “lending” these animals out to vivisectors, one needs to wonder what kind of insidious sociopaths are in charge of caring for them in the first place. thanks for putting the pressure on. these monsters need to go

  3. Marisol Tammero says:

    Shame on both of these institutions!!!   Disgusting!

  4. Pam says:

    Email sent!! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to their responses.

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much, Pam. If you haven’t seen this update yet, you may find it of value when they send you back a canned response full of lies: http://camillemarino.com/2018/02/12/update-proof-that-vivisectors-operated-on-shelter-dogs/

      If you do confront them, is bee very interested to know how they excuse their lies

      • Novette D Gish says:

        READ MY POST!   This is not the shelter director’s decision.   And I am over this BS of standing up for dogs, but you seem FINE with experimenting on CATS!!!     

      • Pam says:

        I did get a reply from them.  Here it is below.  Based on her response it does not appear that the dogs were harmed and that the U/S will lead to better vet education and methods. 


        Good Afternoon Ms. Fay,

        Thank you for expressing your concern and passion for shelter pets.  We, too, share your passion.


        However, there are several key pieces of information that you should know.  Eighteen Pet Resource Center (PRC) dogs were carefully transported to the Veterinary Meeting and Expo (VMX), where licensed veterinarians utilized ultrasound to perfect their techniques in diagnosis.  The ultrasound performed on our pets was non-invasive and each dog was sedated, and his pulse, respiration and temperature monitored throughout.  All pets were returned back to the shelter in good condition.  Although endoscopies were performed in past years, our pets only received ultrasounds this year.  Ultrasounds are a very important tool to diagnose obstructions or abnormalities; we do not have ultrasound at PRC, so this health review is very important.  In fact, a previous pet taken to VMX was diagnosed as having a kidney stone thanks to the procedures.


        The VMX learning labs are held in conjunction with the University of Florida, one of the nation’s top veterinary medicine programs.


        Although the county has an historic ordinance for partnership with the University of South Florida that was enacted many years ago, no shelter animals have been transferred from Hillsborough County to USF since the early 1990s.  We do not send any animals to the University of South Florida for any reason.


        Despite the social media efforts to misinform and alarm citizens about the care of our shelter pets, PRC has among the highest live outcome rates of any public shelter in the nation, with approximately 90% of cats and dogs being rehomed.  We hope that you will visit PRC and find out more about what we do and how we care for our pets.


        Lori Letzring

        Manager, Pet Resources and Community Services

        • admin says:

          thank you very much, pam —

          you are the first person of whom i’m aware to have gotten back something other than their canned response. however, there are several issues i wish i could address with them. but since you received this response, maybe you’d like to follow up? this is what i would write, but, of course, however you choose to respond, i hope you’ll share it with us. -camille

          Dear Ms. Letzring,

          Thank you for your prompt response. It appears that you are either innocently uninformed or being deliberately untruthful. Either way, there are serious issues that need to be addressed.

          I’m fully aware of the ordinance that was passed in 1987 to benefit University of South Florida’s researchers. I don’t understand, however, why you seem sincere and adamant about not sending shelter animals to that institution “for any reason.” I can only assume that you understand the atrocities carried out in their labs everyday and are suggesting you would never hand over an animal to vivisectors at USF. If I am correct, then it defies logic to understand why you would excuse these animals being subjected to experiments by others.

          You state that no endoscopic surgeries were performed this year. Clearly, had you not been presented with evidence to the contrary, you would have continued to give the public the impression that these veterinarian experiments are wholly innocuous. They are not and we both know it. You don’t even consider that the sheer trauma caused by taking these rescued dogs and subjecting them to ANY procedure is a betrayal of the community’s trust. We expect our shelters to care for animals, not further exploit them.

          And why were only ultrasounds performed this year? Was it because there was simply no need? Had those vivisectors wanted to perform endoscopic surgery or, perhaps, test neurological responses, or maybe damage those dogs’ muscles to try to repair them, what exactly is in place to stop such horrors from happening? Absolutely nothing. And your response that suggests nothing extreme happened this year makes it okay is both misleading and infuriating.

          The community is outraged and we demand that this unconscionable practice of “lending” shelter animals to vivisectors be stopped immediately, ordinance or not. This is your choice. And I am holding you and Director Trebatoski personally responsible. We all are.


        • Laura says:


          I received the same, exactly reply from this Manager of the Pet Resources and Community Service!!!

          • admin says:

            Thanks Laura. I posted a response to theirs. Since they’re using canned responses to communicate with us. I want everyone too feel free to use my template to respond and confront them.

  5. Novette D Gish says:

    Augh…please do your homework.  This agreement has been in place for YEARS, LONG before the current director.   And you can blame the colleges and universities, NOT THE SHELTER!

    Further, it is NOT just Hillsborough County…it is ALL surrounding counties!!!  Don’t remember your screaming when Pasco High Schools were given CATS to have their students cut up into pieces…and that still happens today!!

    I agree that this BS of experimenting on our SHELTER animals is wrong.  However, it is absolutely idiotic to blame a shelter director for laws/agreeements that are in place to benefit the UNIVERSITIES!!   Got a problem, take it up with the schools…leave the directors out of it!!

    • admin says:

      novette, you seem to be confused.

      we’re not speaking about any of the atrocities that happen anywhere else; we’re speaking about this one in particular. the ordinance that was passed in ’87 between usf and hillsborough county was clearly for the benefit of the vivisectors — they enjoy victimizing animals (all animals) in peace and anonymity and would prefer to secure them as cheaply as possible.

      now, the fact that trebatoski chooses to participate in this arrangement is solely his decision. he is under no mandate to give shelter animals to vivsisectors; he chooses to do so.

      so, then, am i correct that your basic argument is that we should go find something better to do with our time because everyone exploits shelter dogs?

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