Penny Marshall, star of Laverne & Shirley, film producer and television director, is taking a stand against Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan after discovering that experimenters named a dog after her character Laverne only to perform painful heart experiments on her involving cutting the dogs chest open and forcing it to run on a treadmill.

“I still remember the episode on the hit TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley in which my character, Laverne, and her friend Shirley handcuffed themselves to a dog destined for euthanasia at the pound in an effort to save his life,” wrote Penny. "The dog was ultimately spared and found a loving home at the end of the episode.

“Tragically, a dog given my character’s name – as well as many others like her – met the opposite fate in horrific heart failure experiments at Wayne State University. I am writing to urge you to immediately end these cruel, unnecessary experiments and instead focus on human-relevant research. Two decades of these experiments – which have not translated into benefits for Americans suffering from heart disease – is quite high.

“Researchers have gained far greater insight into the causes of heart failure from epidemiological studies such as the Framingham Study and the Methodist study. In addition, human-relevant basic science studies and human clinical trials offer reliable information about this problem and other cardiac disorders.”

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