Dan Mangan of the New York Post reports: Judith Giuliani once demonstrated surgical products for a controversial medical-supply company that used dogs - which were later killed - in operations whose only purpose was to sell equipment to doctors, The Post has learned.
"It was a horribly cruel, outrageous program," Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said about the demonstrations of medical staplers on dogs conducted by U.S. Surgical Corp. employees during Giuliani's tenure there in the late 1970s.
Feral said U.S. Surgical's demonstrations on hundreds of dogs each year through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s were done to boost sales, not for medical re search or testing.
The dogs were "either put to death following the sales demonstrations because they can't re cover from them, or they die during them," Feral said.
"I'm not going to characterize her, but I hope she regrets it for what it was - a mon ey-grubbing effort," said Feral, whose Da rien, Conn.-based ac tivist group waged a heated public-rela tions battle with the Norwalk-based com pany for more than a decade.
"I guess the ques tion would be, how does she justify this now? What is her conscience at this stage?" Feral asked about Giuliani's as sociation with U.S. Surgical.
"There's no ethical justification for this."
In Sunday's Post, Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign spokesman, Michael McKeon, said of Judi Giuliani's work with U.S. Surgical, "She was in the operating room hundreds of times, using her nursing skills and training doctors in the stapling technique."
Asked yesterday about the procedure being performed on dogs, McKeon said, "I've never heard any of this before."
Then McKeon said he would have to ask Judi.
Finally, he said only that Judi had not been involved in procuring dogs for sales demonstrations - but did not comment on whether she participated in demonstrations involving dogs.
Judi Giuliani joined the company as a saleswoman in North Carolina in 1975 after spending a year working as a nurse.
At age 19, she married fellow U.S. Surgical salesman Jeffrey Ross, who she only recently disclosed was the first of her three husbands.
Giuliani spent four years at U.S. Surgical.
The company, now part of Tyco Healthcare, has long acknowledged its salespeople routinely demonstrated staples on anesthetized dogs as part of sales pitches to doctors.
Then-CEO Leon Hirsch defended the practice in the 1980s, saying there was no other way to properly show how the staplers worked.
"A dead dog doesn't bleed," Hirsch said in a 1988 issue of Time magazine. "You need to have real blood-flow conditions, or you get a false sense of security."