Dr. Oz Puppygate Scandal Explained: Did Dr. Oz Kill Puppies During Experiments?
Dr. Mehmet Oz is in hot water following serious allegations of dog abuse.
Despite apparently living in New Jersey, the Trump-associated political hopeful is running for Senate in Pennsylvania on a campaign that has been plagued with controversy from the start.
Now, resurfaced reports of the alleged deaths of dogs (including puppies) and other animals during a string of reported scientific experiments conducted by Dr. Oz and other researchers over a 20-year span are sparking outrage from dog lovers around the country.
Here's what we know about the alleged Dr. Oz puppygate scandal.
Content warning below: animal abuse
Did Dr. Oz Really Kill Puppies?
According to Jezebel, a review of 75 scientific studies published by Dr. Oz revealed 329 dogs plus a litter of puppies died due to his and other scientists' experiments conducted between 1989 and 2010.
The studies were published in academic journals. Rabbits, calves, pigs and rodents were also killed during the experiments, according to the report.
In the early 2000s, whistleblower and veterinarian Catherine Dell'Orto gave testimony exposing Oz's alleged practices. She alleged that one dog experienced kidney failure, lethargy, vomiting and paralysis but wasn’t euthanized for two days, despite its suffering.
Dell'Orto also claimed another dog that was suffering was kept alive for an entire month to continue testing, despite the dog's condition and "despite how data from her continued experimentation was deemed unusable."
What Kind of Experiments Did Dr. Oz Allegedly Do on Dogs?
According to reports, during the period of experiments Dr. Oz served as the "principal investigator" at Columbia University's Institute of Comparative Medicine labs, where he took "full scientific, administrative and fiscal responsibility for the conduct," according to Jezebel.
The experiments reportedly involved injecting syringes of expired drugs into puppies' hearts with no sedation, according to Dell'Orto's testimony.
The experiments resulted in excessive suffering to the animals used. They also violated the Animal Welfare Act, which enforces guidelines for the treatment of animals that are in the possession of labs.
According to the AWA, researchers are required to use pain-relievers, anesthesia and euthanasia on animals used for testing. The AWA also bars researchers from experimenting on the same animal more than once.
Has Dr. Oz Commented on the Puppygate Allegations?
As of yet, Dr. Oz has not made any statement regarding the allegations.
While the alleged experiments were mostly carried out by his team, according to Vanity Fair Dr. Oz was responsible for the methods used and his "name was on" the studies.
"When your name is on the experiment, and the way the experiment is designed inflicts such cruelty to these animals, by design, there’s a problem," Dell'Orto said during her testimony.
According to The Independent, Columbia University was fined $2,000 in 2004 for violating the Animal Welfare Act via the alleged Dr. Oz-led experiments.
Columbia University has also not commented on the resurfaced reports as of publishing.
The backlash on social media has been swift.
Dr. Oz's Democratic U.S. Senate opponent John Fetterman didn't hold back on Twitter, where he called Dr. Oz a "puppy killer."
Even music icon Cher commented on the scandal, referencing the allegations in a tweet on Oct. 7.