CATEGORY: Courts

AUTHOR: GIBSON

HED:Two lawsuits filed to compel MSU to release greyhounds

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE -Two animal-rights groups filed suit Friday in Oktibbeha County Chancery Court to compel the Mississippi State University to release 14 greyhounds.

Officials with In Defense of Animals and the National Greyhound Adoption Network said they filed the suit because they feel the university is stalling the release of the greyhounds, which were donated without owner authorization to the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine by a trainer and employee at Greenetrack in Eutaw, Ala., in late January.

The animal groups said they have 14 affidavits from the original owners stating they want the dogs to be placed in adoptive homes, not used in research.

"We feel like we've been stonewalled by the university," said Elliot Katz, president and founder of In Defense of Animals.

The university is merely trying to make sure everything is in order before releasing the dogs, not attempting to delay the process, said Phillip Nelson, associate dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"We have not received any original documents," Nelson said.

The animal groups began pursuing the release of the greyhounds in February.

In addition to the lawsuit, the animal groups have asked for an injunction against MSU to prevent the university from further harming the dogs, according to an In Defense of Animals press release. A hearing in the case is expected next week.

Since the questions of the dogs ownership were raised, the university has announced that no further procedures would be performed on the dogs, most of which were used as blood donors or subjects in hip replacement research. Nelson said the policy was still in effect.

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