Like so many animal advocates, Shari Yudenfruend-Sujka, MD, has always had a love of animals. But it was only after the adoption of a companion animal of her own that things really began to “click” for her.
In the years of education and training leading to her becoming a board-certified anesthesiologist, Shari had only used human cadavers as models—not animals. As she moved into her anesthesiology certification classes, however, she learned that CPR experiments had been conducted on dogs.
“I found it unsettling, but I never really questioned it at the time,” she reflects. “I figured that’s just how things were done.”
Then Shari brought Jasmine—a beagle she rescued from a local shelter—into her home, and into her life. And that’s what led to her “a-ha!” moment.
“Looking at Jasmine,” she recalls, “I began to question how anyone could apply the findings of a CPR study on dogs to humans.” This first realization got Shari thinking: “There was so much research being done on animals who had significantly different physical attributes from humans. I wondered how that research could be even remotely relevant to the human disease process.”
It was at about this time that Shari learned of NAVS’ efforts to end the exploitation of animals used in science—and, in us, found a kindred spirit.
“NAVS is working hard to help find and fund better alternatives,” she says. “And they’re educating the people on what I have learned as both an animal lover and a medical professional.”
Shari has since gone on to adopt another canine companion (Tigger, pictured) and to become a NAVS Monthly Donor—one of our most committed supporters.
“No amount of animal testing can ever accurately predict what is going to happen to humans,” she observes. “I want other people to understand that animal research is not the only way to obtain useful information. That’s why I applaud and am proud to support NAVS’ work.”
Your gift to NAVS will help make a positive difference for animals today. Please also consider becoming a Monthly Donor—like Shari—to help sustain our ongoing efforts to promote greater compassion, respect and justice for animals all throughout the year.