Clinic facilities

Mayo Clinic Stays Mom When Asked If Dog Research Continues at Hills Institute – Post Bulletin

Know everything,

Does the Mayo Institute Hills facility still use dogs for research?

John Kruesel

Oh, John.

You never offer softball to the Answer Man, do you?

As a lifelong Rochesterite, you know that animal testing and the top-secret Hills Institute research facility aren’t things Mayo Clinic officials like to discuss in public, if they can. to help.

And, of course, they can actually help with the help of “communications” staff members who field inquiries like a hockey goalie deflecting a puck.

“Mayo Clinic conducts research involving animals across a continuum of investigations to ensure that potential medical treatments and therapies are safe and effective for patients. Animals are only used when necessary and every effort is made to ensure their safety and well-being,” research communications manager Bob Nellis wrote in response to your question about the use of dogs for research in the Institute Hills rural complex in Rochester.

He didn’t say no. Just to be safe, you might want to forego walking Rover or Rex in the hills south of Bamber Valley Road. This is where Institute Hills is located at 1800 Institute Road SW on 187 rural acres.

We know the Mayo Clinic was using dogs for research as recently as 2020 because the United States Department of Agriculture issued an official warning to the clinic about the death of a 9-month-old puppy in a research laboratory at the SC Johnson Research Center. in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nellis pointed out that the experiment is no longer active or, in other words, dead.

Although the Hills Institute is best known for its experiments involving pigs in recent years, research using dogs has often been documented there.

In 1988, a Mayo Clinic veterinarian discovered that a Golden Retriever had an identifying tattoo. Goldie was then flown back to her owner Shirley Smith of Des Plaines, Illinois. The theory for the end of a suburban Chicago pet in the Mayo Clinic research lab was that a dog thief had nabbed Goldie and sold him to Mayo.

The Hills Institute’s chief veterinarian, Craig Frisk, told reporters in 1988 that the facility would house about 30 dogs a week for human disease research. The Mayo Clinic was a little more open about its research back then.

About 20 dogs reported as stolen from homes in LeRoy, Dexter, and other nearby communities were recovered from the Mayo Clinic’s Hills Institute in 1984. This story, which described Hills Institute as having 500 dogs penned for research, was published by the nonprofit Animal Welfare Institute.

Send your questions to Answer Man at