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Rabbits released from a laboratory put faces on the need for the CARE Act

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Orca the rabbit at a photoshoot

The Companion Animal Release from Experiments [CARE] Act seeks to #SendSurvivorsHome

Last Fall, we welcomed the reintroduction of the Companion Animal Release from Experiments (CARE) Act, a bill to ensure that dogs, cats, and rabbits are sent to loving homes rather than killed when no longer wanted for experiments in laboratories.  

We also got to meet a few laboratory survivors taken in by Friends of Unwanted Rabbits (FUR), a foster home in Folsom, California, after their release for rescue by a laboratory in California. Their stories highlight the need for a nationwide law that would ensure more animals get a chance at life after the laboratory.

Meet Charles, Mac, Orca and Lola. We don’t know exactly what happened to them in the laboratory but, as the metal ear tags that pierce their ears suggest, they were sadly numbers not individuals. Charles and Mac were both extremely shy and wary of humans when they first arrived at FUR, but thanks to their loving foster home, they’ve learned how to be rabbits and how to trust people. Charles has now been adopted and Mac is ready to find his forever home.

Orca was extremely overweight when she first arrived in the care of FUR. She had trouble moving due to her weight and was also unable to chew or eat on her own. We think that it’s likely that in the laboratory she had been tube fed or fed via IV, leading to her obesity, lack of jaw muscles and upset digestive system. In the care of FUR, she has now lost weight, is eating on her own and is able to hop around and explore her new foster home. Orca was recently made available for adoption.

Lola, a female New Zealand white rabbit, was also rescued from a laboratory. She is now very sociable and loves the FUR family dog.


Kimberly Wheatfill, Executive Director, Friends of Unwanted Rabbits said, “Our organization knows firsthand that animals released from laboratories can thrive in home environments if given the chance. We thank Congressman Cárdenas for introducing the CARE Act to help ensure that dogs, cats, and rabbits used in laboratories across the U.S. get a chance to have the life they deserve.”

Our North America Head of Public Affairs, Monica Engebretson, said, “The CARE Act has the potential to save hundreds of animals who are all unique individuals with personalities and a desire to live, just like Mac, Charles, Orca, and Lola, and organizations across the US like FUR ready to help laboratory survivors find happy endings. Anyone who cares about animals should support the CARE Act.”

You can help by asking your US Representative to become a cosponsor of the CARE Act and by promoting the bill on social media using the hashtag #SendSurvivorsHome. You can also show your support with our campaign T-shirts and hoodies

P.S. Want to do more? You can also send your US Representative or State Legislator our report, “Homing Companion Animals from Laboratories in the United States”, which provides an overview of state and federal laws and legislation relevant to the homing of animals formerly used by laboratories, and includes our recommendations for maximizing the impact of such efforts.