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Delaware: Adoption of Dogs and Cats Used in Research; House Considers Amendment to Senate Bill

Delaware: Adoption of Dogs and Cats Used in Research; House Considers Amendment to Senate Bill

Name: Research Animal Retirement Act

Bill Number: SB 101

SB 101 passed the Delaware Senate in 2017. The original language required research institutions to offer healthy cats and dogs used in research for adoption instead of euthanizing them, either by entering into an agreement with an animal rescue organization or animal shelter, or by making the animal available through private placement. It also gave immunity to the research facility or animal rescue organization for damage caused by the animal if the adoption was made in good faith. Before it passed, the bill was amended to give research facilities an option to operate their own adoption program or outsource adoption to a third party.

The House Health & Human Development Committee, in considering the amended bill, has now amended it again, returning the original language to the bill, but striking the immunity clause. This version is now under consideration.

While it would be preferable for a research facility to have a firm agreement in place with an animal shelter or rescue organization in case their private adoption placement is not successful, this should not be a deciding factor in passing the bill. It is of more concern that the House removed the immunity clause, because it could make both research facilities and animal rescue organizations unwilling to risk adopting out any animal, in case they were later sued.

Please send a letter to your state Representative asking them to reject the amended language and pass the bill as introduced, or as amended by the Senate. 

Learn more about Research Cat and Dog Adoption Legislation.


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Representative and urge them to support this important piece of legislation without the proposed amendment.
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Please give cats and dogs in research a chance to live in loving homes

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask for your support for SB 101, as introduced, to require research institutions to make dogs and cats available for adoption, either through an animal rescue organization or through private adoption, instead of euthanizing them when they are no longer needed. Too often, animals used in research are regarded as disposable commodities to be discarded when the research or education project is done.

The proposed House amendment to SB 101, which would remove the immunity clause from the bill, will make it much less likely that any animal shelter or rescue organization would enter into an agreement to offer a cat or dog for adoption. It would also raise the bar for research institutions to agree to adopt out any animals through their own private adoption process because of potential liability in the future.

Please allow cats and dogs used for research to have a chance to find loving homes by rejecting the proposed amendment and passing the bill in its original form or with the amendment approved by the Senate.

I hope that you will also give your support to move this legislation forward in 2018 in order to give healthy cats and dogs a chance for lives after the laboratory.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]