The dog that was recently used by Russian scientists to demonstrate a novel liquid-breathing technology has been adopted by the country’s deputy prime minister.
The experiment had angered several animal protection groups that accused the scientists and the country’s deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin of being cruel to animals.
“Yes, indeed, Dmitry Olegovich [Rogozin] asked to give this dog to him. He wants to take him home,” a source at the deputy PM’s office told the Russian news agency Tass.
To demonstrate the technology, Nikolas—a dachshund—was put headfirst into a container filled with a special liquid rich in dissolved oxygen, according to Tass. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Dmitry Rogozin were present at the laboratory where scientists were carrying out this experiment. A video released by the scientists showed Nikolas trying to get out of the tank initially, but later he calmed down and started to breathe normally after his lungs were filled with the oxygen-rich liquid.
According to the BBC, the video of the experiment infuriated several animal rights advocates who criticized Rogozin on social media, accusing him of being cruel to animals. Ironically, the experiment was conducted one day before Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new regulation to increase punishment for the people who mistreat animals.
In a Facebook post, Oleg Kashin—a famous Russian journalist—described Rogozin’s actions as “fascism.” Several other people in the country also expressed their anger on the social media.
Russian deputy PM's breathing technology test on a dog has made animal rights activists furious https://t.co/ykHFBcCyxu— BBC_HaveYourSay (@BBC_HaveYourSay) December 22, 2017
Journalist Dmitry Smirnov, who hailed the experiment and the new research, also said he “feels sorry” for the dog. Rossiya 24, a news channel owned by the Russian government, described the research “a breakthrough.”
Serbian President Vucic, who himself witnessed the whole experiment, said the dog was in a “good mood” after he was taken out of the tank.
Following the public outcry, Mr. Rogozin—who had initially praised the work of the Russian scientists—said he would adopt the dog. Rogozin already owns a German Shepherd named Ponchik.
Russia has witnessed several incidents of animal cruelty in recent years. In one specific case, a group of teenagers from Khabarovsk were sent to jail for torturing and killing animals. The case infuriated animal rights groups in the country so much that they started demanding new regulations on animal cruelty and tougher penalties in such cases.
According to Tass, the Russian technology of liquid breathing has potential to be used in various domains, such as treatment of premature babies as well as other people with breathing issues, the rescuing of submarine crews, etc. Using this technology, it is possible to make some oxygen-rich liquids, which are able to meet the oxygen demand of a living body. So far, scientists have tested the technology on some small mammals and dogs, and it may soon be tested on some larger mammals, including apes and eventually humans.