Animal Conservationist with Muscular Dystrophy Wins PETA Award for Rescuing Dogs from Texas A&M Lab

For immediate publication:
November 17, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas – A Hero to Dogs Award from PETA is on its way to Johnathon Byrne, an animal advocate from Norwich, England, with muscular dystrophy (MD) who helped PETA shut down the infamous canine MD lab at Texas A&M University. The school has said it will release the last of the remaining healthy dogs for adoption by the end of the year.

During PETA’s six-year campaign, Byrne flew to Texas to meet other PETA supporters outside the office of the President of Texas A&M and the School of Veterinary Medicine and disrupted an alumni event in San Antonio attended by then-college president Michael Young . a keynote speaker. When Byrne asked to see the dogs used for experiments at Texas A&M’s lab, he was detained by police, banned from campus, and then detained again at the airport before flying home. Byrne also appeared in ads going up in Post Oak Mall and throughout Houston calling for an end to testing on dogs, which had continued for 40 years despite their failure to produce a cure for MD.

“Thanks to Johnathon Byrne’s heroic determination and compassion, these sweet and trusting dogs will finally have loving homes after enduring agonizing pain in the Texas A&M lab,” said PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA encourages all who are moved by Johnathon’s inspiring example to stand up for animals in need and support humane, animal-free research.”

Texas A&M has ended its MD dog breeding program, closed the lab and released 60 unaffected dogs for adoption. PETA first exposed the lab in 2016, when it released video footage revealing that golden retrievers and other dogs were bred specifically to develop a crippling form of canine MD that humans don’t get. The dogs were used in painful experiments involving biopsies and a device that stretched their muscle tissue. Video footage shows them chewing on the bars of their cage without having a comfortable place to lie down.

PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment with” — opposes speciesism, a worldview that stands in the way of human supremacy. For more information, go to or continue following the group Twitter, Facebookor Instagram.

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