NC Pup Lobbies U.S. Lawmakers to End 'Horrifying' Animal Experiments

A Charlotte-based Doberman is putting her (paw) print on U.S. law by serving as a lobbyist for animal rights.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With her strong demeanor and glistening brown coat, Griffin practically demands the attention of anyone passing by.

"Look at that, she's so photogenic," Griffin's mom, Rory Riley said as the camera shutter released. "She knows there may be a treat in it for her."

As a social media sensation, Griffin and her sister Boston are accustom to being in the public eye. The Doberman's Instagram, Dobie Sisters, has over 17,000 followers. The account is home to an array of photographs of the pups, but was also a key reason behind an influential bill's kickoff in possibly saving the lives of thousands of dogs.

"The organization is the White Coat Waste Project. They are a government watch dog group that is seeking to stop tax payer funded experiments on animals," Riley said. "They actually found me on social media."

Rory Riley is a Charlotte based political activist and lawyer who was hired by White Coat Waste Project to lobby for The Puppers Act, a bill designed to put an end to the Veterans Affairs medical testing on animals. 

"White Coat Waste Project had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to get detailed information about these experiments and what they found was really horrifying," Riley said. "They were drilling into puppies' skulls, they were performing heart attack experiments."

According to Riley, the VA is stepping outside of their core mission of focusing on initiatives that directly impact veterans in order to conduct research on broad areas like narcolepsy and heart attacks, which are being medically tested on dogs, including Dobermans. 

"Even though they have been doing this research for a long time, this is in no way the type of research they should be doing," Riley said. 

As the former staff director of the House of Veterans Affairs Committee and proud mother to two rescued Dobermans, Riley seemed like the perfect representative and lobbyist for The Puppers Act. Little did she know, Griffin would actually end up making the most impact. 

White Coat Waste Project and Riley came up with the idea of Griffin being a spokesperson for The Puppers Act. 

"So, we planned a trip to D.C. where Griffin was our assistant lobbyist just to show people that this is a Doberman, they're great, they're loving animals," Riley said. "Why would you do experiments on them?"

The four-legged lobbyist was quick to make an impression on U.S. lawmakers.

"When we're presenting information to the congressional offices about the fact that Los Angeles was purposefully breeding a colony of disabled Dobermans to do these experiments on and then there's a Doberman sitting in front of you, it certainly... I want to say humanizes but more 'doganizes' it," Riley said. 

Riley also says the Puppers Act is unique in its ability to bring together lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

"The reaction was really touching to see," Riley said. "Politics nowadays are so divisive and this was [a bill] both democrats and republicans alike were excited to be apart of."

Interested in learning more or becoming involved in passing the Puppers Act? Click here.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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