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Promote Adoption of Cats and Dogs Used in Research, Testing and Education

Promote Adoption of Cats and Dogs Used in Research, Testing and Education

Name: Adoption of Cats and Dogs Used in Research, Testing and Education

States around the country have been asked to consider passing legislation that would require publicly-funded institutions of higher learning to adopt out their dogs and cats used for research, testing or education instead of routinely euthanizing them when they are no longer needed.

Since 2014, Minnesota, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island have adopted laws that would ensure that healthy dogs and cats have a chance to find loving homes. In 2018, 10 states considered legislation, and three states—Maryland, Delaware and Rhode Island—succeeded in passing laws.  Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania still have bills under consideration.

The momentum to provide a remedy to the problem of euthanizing otherwise healthy animals after being used in research is growing. If your state has not already passed a research animal adoption bill, please contact your state legislators and ask them to introduce one in your state during the 2019 legislative session.  


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Senator and Representative and urge them to support this important piece of legislation.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.



  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives


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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 you to consider introduce legislation in our state to require publicly-funded educational institutions to make dogs and cats available for adoption through an animal rescue organization instead of euthanizing them when they are no longer used by the facility. Too often animals used in research are regarded as disposable commodities to be discarded when the research or education project is done.

Laws have already been passed in Minnesota, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island. Additional legislation is still pending in several other states that would give healthy dogs and cats a chance at finding loving homes when they are no longer used for research.

Below you will find a model law that you can use in drafting legislation.

I hope that you will give your full support to this measure in the 2019 legislative session.

Thank you for your consideration.



To ensure that healthy cats and dogs no longer used for research, testing or educational purposes be made available for adoption instead of being euthanized, and to put in place the process for adoption through agreements with local shelters or rescue groups.


For the purposes of this act:

"Animal rescue organization" means any non-profit organization whose purpose is rescuing animals in need and finding permanent, adoptive homes for the animals;

"Animal shelter" means any non-profit organization that provides housing and care for animals, directly or through third-party agreements, with the purpose of finding permanent homes for these animals through an adoptive process;

"Private placement" means an arrangement between the research facility and an individual seeking to adopt the retired animal;

"Retired animal" means a cat or dog that has been previously used for science, testing, educational or research purposes and is no longer required by the facility and has no substantial medical conditions preventing successful integration into a family home;

"Research facility" means a higher education research facility that receives public money, including tax-exempt status, or a facility that provides research in collaboration with a higher education facility, and other research facilities, that conduct experiments on dogs and/or cats for science, testing, educational or research purposes.

(a) Any research facility, or employee or student thereof, that confines and uses dogs and cats for research, educational, testing or scientific purposes, instead of euthanizing a cat or dog that is a retired animal, shall, providing the cat or dog is not required for health or safety reasons:

(1) Offer the cat or dog to an animal rescue organization or animal shelter for adoption; or

(2) Offer the cat or dog for adoption through private placement.

(b) A facility that is required to offer dogs or cats to an animal rescue organization under this section shall enter into an agreement with an animal rescue organization or animal shelter for the implementation of this section. A facility that provides a dog or cat to a rescue organization under this section is immune from any civil liability that otherwise might result from its actions, provided that the facility is acting in good faith.

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