You are here:

Sending Survivors Home in the US

Published on


Grey cat with eyes closed and human finger stroking under chin

Our new report spotlights homing of animals from laboratories in the US

Approximately 60,000 dogs, 18,000 cats and 140,000 rabbits are used in experiments in the US every year. While many of these animals die during the experiment or are deliberately killed so that their tissues can be examined, some do survive and could be homed if given the chance. However, the number of animals which are found homes after being used in experiments is unknown. Most states do not have legal mechanisms to track this information and it is not collected by the USDA or any other federal authority.  

Our new report, “Homing Companion Animals from Laboratories in the United States”, provides an overview of state and federal laws and legislation relevant to the homing of animals formerly use by laboratories, and includes our recommendations for maximizing the impact of such efforts.

While thirteen states have passed laws relevant to post-research placement of dogs and cats from some types of research institutions, information on law compliance and the number of animals released for adoption in these states is lacking. The report also reveals what we found when we surveyed laboratories in California governed by the state’s laboratory adoption law to help assess its impact. Sadly, just one third of the facilities provided post-research adoption policies, and only one (UC Davis) reported having released dogs and cats for adoption.

Our Head of Public Affairs in North America, Monica Engebretson, said, “Our report makes the case that a national requirement is needed to ensure that research institutions receiving taxpayer funding establish transparent policies for adoptable animals and are held accountable for ensuring the adoption program is successful. The recently re-introduced Companion Animal Release from Experiments (CARE) Act would fill this need.”

You can help by sharing our new report with your US Representative and by asking them to become a cosponsor of the CARE Act.