Students See Surgical Exploration of Dog

Students See Surgical Exploration of Dog

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gunnison High School has received angry phone calls since news reports that biology students witnessed surgical exploration of an anesthetized dog before it was euthanized.

South Sanpete School District officials said such demonstrations will not be performed again.

"It's an unfortunate incident and one we don't condone or defend," district Superintendent Jim Petersen said.

School officials said the operation, allowing the students to see the dog's digestive system, was performed by a veterinarian on an anesthetized Rottweiler scheduled to be euthanized.

"The dog had no feeling as to what was going on. The dog did not suffer," said Gunnison High School Principal Kirk Anderson.

"Most of the students said it was a 'positive learning experience,"' Anderson said.

Peterson said the Rottweiler came into the veterinarian's care after a family that adopted it noticed the dog threatening children. The veterinarian couldn't find a home for the dog and decided it had to be put down, he said.

The veterinarian knew the class's substitute teacher -- a retired 30-year veteran of the school that still fills in sometimes -- and approached him about teaching the students on a live dog before it was euthanized, Peterson said.

Peterson said eight of the nine students in the class received parental consent to go on the trip, and the other student did alternative work.

The students left after seeing the operation and the veterinarian euthanized the dog.

After news reports, the high school and district administrators were flooded with telephone calls alleging animal cruelty and saying the incident was "sending a terrible message" to young people.

The Humane Society of Utah said, "We feel that both the instructor and the veterinarian involved in this case used extremely poor judgment all around."

"We apologize to anyone who feels the dog was hurt in any way," Anderson said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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