By Dr. Katherine Albrecht
October 16, 2010

I have big news! A lawsuit has been filed against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. and implant maker Digital Angel over a cancerous tumor that formed around a HomeAgain pet ID microchip.

The victim was a cat named Bulkin, who miraculously survived the ordeal after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. We are breaking the news on website, featuring Bulkin's story, along with a copy of the lawsuit. Our press release, which has already gone out to thousands of media outlets and personal press contacts. The Boston Globe has already picked up our story. As has Bruce Sterling of Wired.

Steven Wise, the attorney who filed the suit, will be a guest on my radio show tomorrow (Thursday 10/14) at 5:00 PM Eastern to discuss the case. (See: for details on how to stream the show live online, or catch the archives afterwards.) Our new website,, is an adverse reaction registry where pet owners can report harm caused by implanted microchips. It features Bulkin's story and the stories of other other cats, dogs, mice, rats, and small animals that have been injured -- and even killed -- by implanted chips. Our inspiration for the website came from Seamus and Scotty, the two brave dogs that died from microchip-induced tumors earlier this year, Charlie Brown, the adorable chihuahua who bled to death in his owners' arms last year, and Leon the bulldog whose owner first alerted us to the cancer problem.

We pay tribute to their memory through this new website, and pray that by telling their stories we can help protect other pets from their fate. As you can imagine, it has taken months of hard work to put the website together. I want to thank our unflappable graduate intern Lidiya Prorochuk, tenacious pet owners Howard Gillis and Linda Hawkins, our steadfast volunteer Brian Wiegand, our fountain of knowledge Jeanne, and our cheerful webmaster Robin Abbate for a job extraordinarily well done. I also want to thank each of you -- the CASPIAN members, supporters, and radio show listeners who regularly send prayers, encouragement, and financial support to keep us going. You guys are what makes it possible for us to work on important issues like this. In freedom, Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 13, 2010 MERCK SUED: HomeAgain® PET CHIP IMPLICATED IN CANCER New website,, features details on cancer case and other adverse reactions here and here. Nashua, NH -- Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has been served with a lawsuit over claims its HomeAgain® pet microchip induced cancer in a cat. Animal rights attorney Steven Wise seeks "reasonable compensatory damages" for a malignant tumor "likely" induced by a HomeAgain® ID chip implanted in his client's cat, Bulkin. The complaint, "Andrea Rutherford v. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. and Digital Angel, Inc." (case # 1052CV1147) was filed last week in Cambridge (MA) District Court.

The complaint named implant maker Digital Angel Corporation as a co-defendant. "Based on the alarming number of microchip-linked cancers we're discovering, I predict this lawsuit will be just the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a consumer advocate and expert on adverse reactions associated with implantable microchips. Bulkin's case is featured at, a new website launched by Albrecht's consumer group CASPIAN to bring attention to the plight of animals who have developed cancer and other adverse reactions from ID microchips. Albrecht documents several of these cases in "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990¬2006," a peeer-reviewed academic paper she presented at a June conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers devoted to concerns about implantable microchips.

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Albrecht's paper and a copy of the complaint are also posted at The site, co-developed with graduate intern Lidiya Prorochuk, spotlights a growing number of adverse reactions to microchips, including the chip-related cancer deaths of two dogs within the past year.

The site also features a form where pet owners can report adverse microchip reactions, since there is currently no official registry in the US to collect such data. "Merck and organizations that advocate pet chipping should take this lawsuit seriously and start warning pet owners of the risk of microchip-induced cancer," Albrecht advised. "As Andrea Rutherford and other pet owners can tell you, it's not a statistic when it's your pet."

© 2010 Dr. Katherine Albrecht - All Rights Reserved /

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