Candidate for governor, Shri Thanedar, says allegations of animal abuse used as 'smear campaign'

Posted at 11:43 AM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 17:05:45-04

The leading Democratic candidate for governor, Shri Thanedar, is responding to new reports that a now bankrupt company he owned eight years ago mistreated 170 dogs and monkeys used for testing of new drugs.

Thanedar says the animals were not abandoned, adding that they were always fed and cared for by staff.

But he also confirms his attorneys went to court with a motion to have them sold as assets with a value of $189,000 to $445,000 to be used to lower his company debt.  Thanedar tells 7 Action News Investigative Reporter Jim Kiertzner today that his attorneys filed the motion to “make a point” and was withdrawn a short time later.  Asked why he didn’t mention this during an interview last week he responded today, “it was not on the top of my mind.” 

Thanedar blames Bank of America for closing down his business rather than let him work through the effects of the recession.

Thanedar says a receiver found shelters to take the animals and that video from 2010 showing the dogs “rescued” was sensationalized by the media at the time. 

The dogs and cats were used in a company called AniClin Preclinical Services to test drugs prior to approval by the FDA.  Thanedar told 7 Action News last week that the testing was for side effects and the animals would get “higher blood pressure” and “some rash”.

He also says opponents are using this as a “smear campaign” in the race for Michigan Governor.

Thanedar declined an on camera interview.