Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Update On The Dog Dissection Case

Update on Pharyngula

This person is trying to clear some stuff up on the internets:

Hello everybody,

I am a local of the area concerning the dog controversy. Whether people agree with it or not, I don't care. But this has sparked some heat because things are not reported correctly and I would appreciate it if you all could please help pass the truth along because PETA and other animal rights activists don't have the full story. I'm a former student of this teacher. I love him and he has taught me a lot whenever he's taught me and my class. He's a very hands on teacher (don't worry, not with
the dog because that was in a clinic by a licensed veterinarian), who has always been known for taking his students out to measure moss on trees and ecology of streams, etc.

This man has provided a hands on education for many of his students whom went on to be doctors, veterinarians, and other jobs relating to the medical field. Well, I'd like to
give you the official statement of the Human biology class that went to vivisection of the dog, my cousin being one of the students of this class. As you read their statement, as given in the Sanpete Messenger of May 18,2005, please keep in mind that 6/10 of these students are CNAs and the others are going into the medical field, except one I believe. They write:

"We write this letter in defense of the teacher, the veterinarian, the administration, and the students that were involved in Gunnison Valley High School's dog controversy. We, who wrote this letter, are the majority of the students in the human biology class that went and witnessed an exploratory abdominal surgery on a dog. The rumor mill has thrown out a lot of misinterpreted, totally crazy, and completely wrong rumors about what really
occurred. The first accusation was that the parents were unaware of what was going on. That is not true. All of us who attended were in the office when the secretaries called our parents to ask for permission, and our parents had to personally talk to the administration to say that we were allowed to go. The rumors about what type of dog it was has changed from a rottweiler, to a bassett hound and then changed again
to a terrier. The truth is that the dog was not any distinct breed, and must have been a cross between a few different breeds. Another rumor is that our class dissected a live dog. The dog was under anesthesia and was prepped for a sterile surgery. The students were simply observers of an exploratory abdominal surgery on a dog that was to be euthanized because it was violent and unadoptable. In our human biology class we have been learning about the digestive system. Using a plastic mannequin we had learned all of the parts of the digestive system, but it was not the same as a real life experience seeing the parts functioning and as they really are. We feel that this out-of-classroom lesson was very educational and we learned much because of it.

Several of the kids in our human biology class are CNAs, or going into the medical field. Learning from textbooks gives us information, and videos allow us to see the information working, but neither of those tools allows us to ask questions from someone who had everyday experience. Yes, we love animals. We know that without animals, the ecosystem would not be able to function properly, but we also understand that they make so many things possible. The first prosthetic heart was tested in a cow; lab rats have been used to test all sorts of medicine. Without scientist's poking and prodding, America could still be a third world country. Without scientists, the greatest cause of death would still be communicable and preventable diseases.

We are ashamed of how this has been blown out of proportion. News reports stated that several parents and students called and complained, but it was only two students from the class who complained. The rest of the students, along with our parents, full-heartedly support the veterinarian, our principal, and our teacher. We are saddened that this incident could scar the reputation of all three men and our high school. We write this
hoping that people will get the right facts before they attempt to make a judgment that will permanently damage people lives. The GVHS human biology class."

So that's it. The internet has an important role in today's information for the world. Unfortunately, anybody and their dog can get on "report" and distort truth. I'm just going to different chatboards to put everybody's mind at ease so there not steamed up over nothing and giving the teacher, veterinarian, and administration, the unneeded frustration and threats that they receive daily from animal rights activists. Thank you and please feel free to copy and paste and pass along this letter to protect these integrable educators. Thank you.
Aaron Peterson

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